(Angie's List) - Do you know how often you're supposed to get the oil changed in your car?

Not that long ago the answer was the same for everyone. But as we learn in this week's Angie's List Report, times have changed.

Annie Adams has the oil changed in her car every 3,000 miles.

She says, "My car is a fairly new car so it has a computer that tells me that it's time for the oil to be changed. It's pretty simple."

However... You may or may not need to change the oil in *your* car as often as Annie does.

Angie Hicks says, "Years ago the time to change your oil was really simple - every three months or 3,000 miles. With the improvements made to engine oil as well as cars you need to depend on your owner's manual for the best recommendation of how frequently your car may need an oil change. It could be 3,000, 7,000, even 10,000 miles."

In addition to the type of vehicle and type of oil used, where and how you drive your car can also play a role.

If you're in extreme climates or in stop and go traffic a lot, you may want to get your oil changed more frequently.

If you're in mild climates and do a lot of highway traveling, you may be able to go longer in between changes.

It's a crucial bit of maintenance, not something you should ignore all-together.

If you neglect to change the oil in your car two things will happen:

Dirt will accumulate in the oil, making it thick and abrasive, so it causes more wear.

And additives in the oil like detergents, rust-fighters and friction reducers will wear out so the oil won't lubricate as well as it should.

It all translates to more wear and tear on your engine... And worst case scenario... Total engine failure.

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