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How Long Can an Engine Run Without Changing the Oil?

It’s essential for any car that runs on oil to change the oil after a certain period so that the engine functions properly and the car runs smoothly.

However, sometimes due to several reasons some of us may not be able to change the oil for quite a long time, thereby, you naturally would be concerned enough to know how long an engine can run without an oil change. 

Thence, keep on reading to find learn the answers to this query. 

How Long Can An Engine Run Without Changing The Oil?

Previously, an engine could run up to 3000 miles without an oil change but now with advanced engine technology, an engine can run for nearly 5000-7500 miles without changing the oil. And if the vehicle uses full synthetic oil, the engine is capable of going 10,000-15,000 miles without an oil change.

Different vehicles run on different types of oils, for example, some may use regular oil, some may use synthetic blends, and others may use a synthetic blend.

As a result, it’s not possible for you all to know how long a vehicle using any of these oils can run without an oil change.  

Thus, individual explanations regarding each type of these oils have been added below to let you know the exact answers.

Full Synthetic:

A vehicle’s engine that requires full synthetic oil to function properly can go for about 10,000 miles to 15,000 miles at least, depending on the vehicle’s age and driving conditions. 

Generally, full synthetic oil is more tolerant to a high temperature than regular motor oil, thereby, vehicles that use full synthetic oil to run their engine are capable of keeping the engines running for a longer period. 

Synthetic Blend:

An engine that is functioning by using synthetic blend motor oil can go as far as 5,000 miles to 7,500 miles without changing the oil. 

Moreover, synthetic blend motor oil has a low level of oil consumption, thus, on average the engine keeps running for up to 7,500 miles. 

Regular Oil:

Previously engines that used to require regular motor oil to keep functioning, could run up to 3,000 miles on average without an oil change. 

But lately, engine technology is developed, thereby, an engine can run approximately 5,000 miles to 7,000 miles without changing the oil.

Is It Bad To Go 1000 Miles Over An Oil Change? 

Depending on your car’s model and the requirement of the oil type, if your car’s engine can run up to 7,5000 miles or about 10,000 miles between an oil change, most times it’s not considered that bad to go over 1000 miles over an oil change.

It’s because it will not be putting the life expectancy of your vehicle at risk.  

Thus, if you tend to push your vehicle’s engine for an extra 1000-2000 miles over an oil change, it may not be so necessary to change the oil that often.

When To Get An Oil Change?

Conventionally it is suggested to get an oil change every 6 months or every 3,000 miles distance, whichever happens first. 

But now with all the developed engine design and motor oil technology, modern vehicles with the latest models can run go even 5000, 7500, or even as far as 10,000+ miles. without an oil change.

Thus, depending on your vehicle and its required oil type, you should change the oil when the engine reaches its limit of running without an oil change. 

However, it’s suggested to check the owner’s manual to know the exact for an oil change that is recommended by the manufacturers. 

What Happens If You Go Too Long Without An Oil Change?

There obviously are some effects if you go too long without an oil change, and to let you know those probable consequences are discussed and listed below.

Voiding Vehicle’s Warranty: 

Going too long without changing the oil can result in voiding the vehicle’s warranty. 

Your vehicle needs to go through regular oil changes on basis of its manufacturer’s recommendation to keep the vehicle’s warranty valid.

But if you go too long without an oil change, it completely will void your vehicle’s warranty and you will be left with no absolutely no help in case anything major happens. 

Warped Engine Parts: 

When you are going too long without an oil change, the heat is not being withdrawn any longer as well as no virtual indication is happening, thereby, the engine parts will start clashing, pushing, and rubbing against each other.

And this directs to wrap the engine components causing a seized engine. 

Blown Head Gasket:

Without changing the oil if you go too long, it will cause the head gasket to blow up. And a blown-up head gasket is going to halt you in the track.

Poor Engine Performance: 

Except for lubrication, the engine’s oil help in keeping your vehicle’s engine clean. Detergents, dispersants, as well as many other additives transfer dirt/debris in the fuel filter, which is restored while changing the oil.

Thus, if you go too long without an oil change, the filter can get clogged and there will be a declination in the engine power and the driving quality. 

Total Engine Failure: 

If you go too long without changing the oil, it will lead to a complete engine failure. It’s because when the motor oil will turn into sludge, the heat from your vehicle’s engine will no longer be removed.

And this will lead to a total engine failure that will be needing a brand new engine or a new car to fix.

What Are The Overdue Oil Change Symptoms?

The most apparent symptoms that manifest that your vehicle is behind the schedule for an oil change have been listed and described below.

Check Engine/Oil Change Light Appears: 

When there is an overdue for an oil change, the change oil light will light up in your vehicle to alert you regarding not staying behind the schedule for an oil change, and it’s the most apparent symptom.

Or worst, the “check engine” light may appear as well to indicate an overdue for an oil change.  

Dark/Dirty Oil: 

It’s needed to check the condition of the engine oil once every month at least. And while doing so, take out the dipstick, wipe the dipstick’s end, and return the dipstick to the vehicle’s oil tank.

Now remove again, if the dipstick isn’t visible through the old, dirty, and almost black color engine oil, it’s an obvious sign that shows that your vehicle’s engine oil has fallen behind time for an oil change.

Exhaust Smoke: 

If the translucent vapor that usually comes out from your vehicle’s tailpipe changes into smoke, it can mean that your vehicle’s falling behind in time for an oil change.

Engine Makes Noise: 

When the engine oil isn’t changed for a long period, the oil doesn’t do its job properly, thereby, the metal components of the engine brush against each other and make rumbling sounds. And this signifies an overdue for an oil change.

Oil Smell Inside The Car: 

If you are smelling oil inside your car, the maximum time it indicates that your vehicle is behind time for an oil change. 

Excessive Mileage: 

The most apparent symptom of an overdue for oil change is exceeding the mileage recommendation. 

How To Tell If The Engine Is Damaged From No Oil?

Below the most obvious symptoms that an engine may show if it’s damaged from having no oil have been explained. 

Burning Oil Smell: 

While driving if you are smelling a burning oil smell in your vehicle’s interior cabin, it either can mean an oil leakage or the engine has a very low amount of oil that’s causing it to overheat. Take this symptom into account and change the oil. 


If there is very little to no oil left, it will not lubricate the engine’s parts well. Thereby, the engine will heat up more than usual causing overheating. And overheating is another sign that alerts you the engine is being damaged due to no engine oil. 

Stalling Engine: 

Without having absolute no engine oil, the metal components of an engine slide, grind, and rub against each other until the engine stops functioning or starts to stall. 

When you will notice those signs, know that your engine is being damaged or already is damaged due to having no oil.

Grinding Sound: 

When there isn’t any engine oil left the engine will make grinding/scraping sounds and such sound is produced when the engine components are roughly changing positions without any oil for lubricating themselves. 

And the grinding sound is a big indicator of a damaged engine. 

Final Thoughts 

As the engine technology significantly developed over years, a car or any other type of vehicle that runs on oil can run for nearly 5,000-7,500 miles without changing the oil. But if the vehicle runs using synthetic oil, it can run for about 10,000 miles to 15,000 miles without changing the oil.