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Will putting off an oil change hurt my car?

My 2011 Mercedes Benz c300 is calling for an oil change, but I want to drive down to North Carolina before doing it. Will this cause any harm to my car? – Derrick

According to the PDF from Mercedes-Benz Canada for the current generation prepaid maintenance programs, an oil change is due at least once a year or every 20,000 kilometres for gasoline-powered vehicles.

As there was no older model year information, I navigated to the Mercedes-Benz USA site for the 2011 maintenance brochure. It states once a year or 10,000 miles (approximately 16,000 kilometres).

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Synthetic oil technology has improved dramatically over the past decade; however, I am still skeptical with these high-interval oil changes. Regardless of my opinion on these ambitious intervals, one of my key reservations lies primarily within the human element.

I assume you will travel at least 1,200 to 1,500 kilometres to reach your sun-filled destination. I believe the saying goes something like, "Ask for an inch, take a mile."

Seeing as you have already arrived at your generous oil change mileage limitation, I just don't understand what you have to gain by pushing your luck. I can't imagine an oil change is that much cheaper in North Carolina.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail globedrive@globeandmail.com, placing "Lou's Garage" in the subject area.

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