When To Get First Oil Change On a Brand New Car (Subaru, Toyota, Ford, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai)

When To Get First Oil Change On Brand New Car

Have you ever asked yourself or your friend when to get your first oil change on a brand new car? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

Owning a new vehicle is fantastic. With brand-new parts and no maintenance issues, the world is pretty much your oyster. However, it won’t be long before you need to start thinking about vehicle maintenance, and this may happen a lot sooner than you may think.

So, when to get your first oil change on a brand new car like Subaru, Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda, or Hyundai? At the very minimum, your first oil change should happen within the first year of ownership. However, if you look in the vehicle’s manual, it will likely recommend that you change the oil every 10,000 or so miles.

It is important that you change the car’s oil at whatever one of these points comes first. So, if you have owned your vehicle for 6-months and hit 10,000 miles, then your vehicle is due to an oil change.

Let’s go into a bit more depth on this, shall we? That way, you will know everything required of you.

When to get the first oil change on a brand new car?

When you purchase a new vehicle, you will be supplied with an owner’s manual. Inside the manual, you will find a wealth of information about your vehicle.

The most important information will be the maintenance schedule.

The maintenance schedule for your vehicle will tell you that you should always change the vehicle’s oil once every 12-months. it doesn’t matter how often you have used the vehicle.

If you have only driven in a couple of hundred miles, change the oil. 

However, that 12-months is not a hard and fast rule. It is just a guideline. Obviously, there are some people that will drive a lot more than others.

Therefore, in addition to recommending that you change your oil for Subaru, Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda, or Hyundai every 12-months, the maintenance schedule may recommend that you change your oil after a certain number of miles.

This will generally be around the 10,000-mile mark, but it can vary depending on the vehicle that you own.

Read also: How Long Does An Oil Change Take At Firestone (Updated Prices!)

Do manufacturers require an oil change?

Oddly enough, yes. They at least require that initial oil change.

When you purchase a vehicle, you will get a warranty on the vehicle. This means that you are going to be covered against any manufacturing defects, etc. Basically, an issue caused by the manufacturer of the vehicle.

However, buried deep inside of those terms and conditions, you will often notice that in order for you to be able to enjoy the warranty, your vehicle must have undergone at least one service in the required time frame highlighted in the owner’s manual.

If it has not, you may not be able to make a claim on the warranty.

Why? Well, because the manufacturers will be able to argue that if there are any issues with the vehicle, it was not their fault.

Instead, it was the fault of the owner of the vehicle for not getting it maintained as instructed.

Read also: How Much Does Jiffy Lube Charge for an Oil Change (Explained!)

Can you change the oil on a new car yourself?

Yes. However, it is not recommended.

As we said before, in most cases, your vehicle’s warranty is only going to start if you get an oil change carried out. However, this can’t just be any oil change, it must be a complete service.

While you may be able to perform an oil change in the comfort of your own home, you likely will not be able to perform the full service.

You should also remember that most vehicle manufacturers are likely only going to be recognizing a service that has been carried out by an expert i.e. it needs to have been carried out by an actual mechanic.

Most vehicle manufacturers will not require you to go to one of their service centers. You can go wherever you want, as long as you are dealing with a professional.

It is important to note that this is only going to matter for the very first service that you carry out. This means that any future oil changes, you will be able to do it yourself without any issues.

WHEN to do your FIRST oil change on a BRAND NEW CAR, and what TYPE of oil/filter to use >> Check out the video below:

Obviously, it is still recommended that you head to an expert to ensure that it is done properly, but the vehicle manufacturer is unlikely to require this. 

Remember, whenever you have a service carried out on your vehicle (and this applies to future services too), it is going to be written down in the service book that you got with your vehicle.

Not only is this book going to be important if you ever want to make a claim on your warranty, but if you are planning on selling your vehicle, it is also going to be important to show that you have kept up-to-date with any vehicle maintenance requirements. 

Read also: Can I Dispose of Used Motor Oil at Walmart? (The Truth!)

How do you know when your car’s oil needs to be replaced?

Chances are that during your first year of ownership of your vehicle, there are not going to be any telltale signs that your vehicle’s oil needs to be changed.

You just need to pay attention to the service requirements in the manual. Still, if you do leave it too long to get that oil changed, even new vehicles can display problems.

Your first warning sign will almost always be a check engine light on your dashboard. Don’t ignore it. If it isn’t your oil that needs to be changed, it is likely that there is something equally important inside of the vehicle that needs to be sorted out. 

You may also start to notice that your engine becomes a little louder. It may even knock a little bit.

For most people, taking a glance at the vehicle’s oil will give you a good idea that it needs to be changed.

If it is dark in color with a lot of things floating about in it, then you need to get that oil change carried out right away.


If you have a new vehicle, it is important that you get your oil changed within the first year.

You may need to get it changed a little bit quicker than this if you drive a lot of miles.

Check your vehicle’s manual for more information. 

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Jeff is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Reatta. Jeff has been creating written and video content about transportation, automotive, electric cars, future vehicles as well as new, used for more than 18 years. Jeff is based in Boulder, Colorado.

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