If there's one question auto mechanics hear all the time, it's "how often should I change my oil?" There's no cut-and-dry answer when it comes to oil changes, but as a general rule your oil is due for a change when:

  • Your vehicle reaches its recommended oil change interval
  • When the oil level is low
  • When the oil is dirty

At Each Oil Change Interval

The old oil change standard used to be every 3,000 miles or 3 month - whichever comes first - but modern cars run more efficiently. As such, those old rules are somewhat obsolete - some automakers recommend up to 10,000 miles or 12 months, enough to take you far afield from Tawas City and Iosco County.

What you need to do is check your owner's manual. It will tell you exactly when your car, truck, or SUV needs to get its oil changed. Oil change intervals will often be part of your basic scheduled maintenance review. Many modern vehicles have service reminder monitors to provide an alert when you need to change the oil.

When the Oil Level is Low

There are some problems your scheduled oil change intervals cannot predict, such as leaks. If your car is running low on oil, you need to change it up and add some more.

We recommend checking your oil level around once a month. Check the manual to get the details - newer models often have electronic oil monitors instead of traditional dipsticks. If you have a dipstick, make sure the vehicle is parked on level ground and that the engine is off and cool before making your check.

When the Oil is Dirty

Oil breaks down and gathers contaminants as time goes by, so try checking the oil's appearance when you measure the level.

Engine oil should be brown or black. If it has a lighter, milky appearance, coolant could be leaking into the engine. If you see any tiny metal fragments, it could mean there is internal engine damage. As well as replacing the oil, you should bring the vehicle to a licensed service center in for further diagnosis.

Discuss Oil Change Frequency with the Dean Arbour Ford of Tawas Team

If you need an oil change or oil change advice, visit the Dean Arbour Ford of Tawas Deans Express Lane to get back on the road as quickly as possible. For more advice on everything from oil changes to tire rotation frequency, don't hesitate to contact us today. Don't wait too long to change your oil!


  • Monday 8:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Tuesday 8:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Wednesday 8:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Thursday 8:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Friday 8:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Saturday 8:00AM - 2:00PM
  • Sunday Closed


Dean Arbour Ford of Tawas Inc.

55 W M-55
Directions Tawas City, MI 48763

  • Sales: (800) 610-3781
  • Service: (989) 362-3489
  • Parts: (989) 362-3489