If there’s anyone one single aspect of auto care people rarely overlook it is most assuredly the oil change. This is a good thing too as fresh and adequate amounts of oil allow a car to continue functioning properly. Left neglected, forgoing regular oil changes carries serious consequences. Ignoring your engine’s need for new oil also costs a great deal more after engines seize, break down, and become irreparably damaged by a lack of clean oil.
Although many people have their vehicles oil changed as they should very few know exactly why oil must be changed at all. In this post we’ll explore a few of the more prominent reasons.
Caring For An Engine
Without a functional engine a car is little more than a 5000 lbs mass of useless metal. Automobile engines are comprised of many moving parts. These parts generate heat and accumulate debris over time. Automobile oil protects these moving parts from both the aforementioned heat and debris. It also allows them to do their jobs more efficiently with less effort and even increases their longevity. Over time however oil breaks down and becomes less effective at regulating engine temperature and protecting its many parts. Operating a vehicle with degraded oil can lead to overheating and compromise the rest of an engine as well.
When To Change Your Car’s Oil
Though many automobile manufacturers recommend owners have their car’s oil changed every 3000 miles, the truth is that every vehicle is different. There are a number of variables that can lower and extend the recommended number of miles. How often and how hard a vehicle is driven can dramatically necessitate the need for new oil as can city vs freeway driving. The harder a vehicle must work and the more it is driven, the more frequently its oil will need to be replaced. Different makes and models of cars also play a factor in how often you’ll need new oil. Perhaps more than anything else however, the type of oil a vehicle requires determines it’s frequency of care. Many of the cars manufactured after 2010 do not utilize traditional oil but instead make use of fully synthetic oils or at the very least a synthetic blend of some type. These types of “oils” last longer, protect better, and need to be changed far less frequently than do traditional types.
If you’re unsure how exactly when you need to change your car’s oil there are a number of things you can do to figure that out. The first is to check your vehicles dip stick (when the engine is at rest and cool). This simple check tell you exactly how much of your vehicles oil supply is left. It can also tell you about the health of the remaining oil by paying attention to it’s color. The darker the oil, the older and more worn it is. Secondly, refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual in order to determine what the manufacturer recommends. Lastly and when in doubt, take your car in for a professional inspection. Oil changes are inexpensive and go a long way in keeping your engine healthy. Take care of your car and it’ll take care of you.
Oh…and never ignore oil lights on your dashboard as that’s a recipe for disaster.
For all your Albany, CA auto maintenance Call 510-527-1938