There is nothing that you can do for your engine that has more of an impact than to change the oil regularly. For most vehicles, that means scheduling an oil change service every five thousand miles or so, depending on the recommendation of your vehicle’s manufacturer. Without timely oil changes, your engine will likely not last long. At least, not as long as you might hope.
There are ways to extend the life of your oil, such as exchanging conventional motor oil for synthetic oil. Switching to synthetic is a great way to get more miles from your motor. But some manufacturers already include synthetic oil in their engines. That means you should not exceed their recommendation for oil change intervals – you can’t extend it further.
And even for those engines that come prefilled with conventional oil you should be wary of skipping oil changes, since repeatedly doing so can void your new car warranty. Besides, under driving conditions that most manufacturers consider “special” or “severe”, you should change the oil more frequently, even as often as every three thousand miles.
It really does not pay to miss oil changes anyways. After all, motor oil is considered the “lifeblood” of an engine. Here are five reasons you should do your best to keep up with the manufacturer’s recommended oil changes.
1. Removes engine deposits.
Over time, motor oil breaks down, largely due to the heat produced by the combustion process. Shearing forces from the moving parts inside your engine also contribute to this deterioration. When oil breaks down, it gets thicker than it should be; its viscosity is altered. Special additives designed to improve and modify the oil’s viscosity also wear out, as do other additives that do things like prevent corrosion and combat the buildup of acid.
When thermal breakdown occurs, some of the thick oil attaches itself to engine components like a coating of mud. It clogs tiny passageways. It collects dirt and other contaminants. Quality motor oil contains detergent additives that clean the inside of your engine, but they, too, wear out over time.
When you change your oil, you not only add back a lubricant that is capable of doing its job properly, you also include its fresh additives that will remove harmful engine deposits.
2. Restores proper lubrication
Of course, replacing your old oil with fresh oil also means restoring the lubrication that your engine needs.
Years ago, there were few choices when it came to the grade of oil needed in an engine. For a long time, 10W-30 and 5W-30 oils were standard, depending on the size of your engine. Today, however, there are not only many more viscosity grades (anywhere from 10W-40 on down to the ultra light weight 0W-08), but dozens of oil manufacturers offer products, each with its own formulation of additives touted to keep your engine working the way it should.
No longer can you stock up on bottles of 30-weight oil for all of your cars (most likely) and call it a day. Each engine has its own specifications for the type and weight of oil and its oil change interval.
3. Replaces the oil filter
Along with every oil change comes a filter change as well. Your engine’s oil filter is in place to clean out dirt and other particulates that are suspended in the oil. Some of these contaminants enter your engine through the air intake. Others are a result of the normal wear and tear of an internal combustion engine.
Whenever your engine is running, the oil pump circulates the lubricant throughout the engine. It may go through an oil cooler as well. It certainly will flow through the oil filter.
Naturally, the filter will collect enough contaminants that it will need to be replaced or else become clogged and unable to filter properly. The time to change your oil filter is with each oil change service.
4. Renews engine performance
Another reason to change your oil on time (though perhaps not as dramatically as some companies suggest) is improved engine performance. Quality motor oil, especially advanced products like Mobil 1™ synthetic oils, offer a range of benefits:
- Minimized friction
- Protection across extreme temperatures
- Excellent cold-weather startup
- Reduced engine deposits
Such benefits add up to longer engine life. But they also lead to improved fuel economy. Your engine will not miraculously start making fifty more horsepower simply because you changed its oil. But it will give you the benefit of more miles in the long run and better gas mileage in the meantime.
5. Rebuilds confidence in your car
Another less obvious, but still essential, reason to keep up with oil changes is what happens during an oil change service at a trusted repair shop. Yes, the oil is drained and the filter replaced before a technician adds fresh oil that is in line with the recommendations of your vehicle manufacturer. That is a given (at a trusted shop, anyways). The hidden benefit is that a technician will look over other parts of your car while the oil change is being done. Your tires, brakes, steering and suspension components, battery, and many other aspects of your vehicle will undergo an inspection. Any needed repairs or other suggestions will be made.
When you have a trained technician keeping an eye on the working parts of your vehicle every time you go in for an oil change, you can drive away confident that your car is in good working order – that you and your car are in good hands.
Columbia Auto Care & Car Wash | Author: Mike Ales | Copyright
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