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If you drive a new vehicle, the old days of putting a small sticker on the inside of your windshield as a reminder of when your vehicle is due for an oil change are over. Many newer automobiles have a system to track the "oil life" and notify the owner when it is time for an oil change.

Some automobile manufacturers equip their vehicles with mileage or condition-based reminder systems. An on-board computer keeps track of the miles driven or engine operating conditions since the last maintenance service was performed and turns on a reminder light when the next maintenance is due. These manufacturers want their customers to be aware of the recommended oil drain interval and rely on a reminder system and the owner's manuals to provide this information.

The oil change intervals recommended by the vehicle manufacturer are also based on the use of the proper engine oil. It's vitally important that the correct type (conventional or synthetic) and grade of oil be installed. For vehicles driven minimally, the time since the last service should be used rather than the mileage recommendations.