If you drive a car, you’ve probably heard that you’re supposed to change your oil regularly hundreds of times. That is because changing your oil on a regular basis is the most important routine vehicle maintenance there is. Properly scheduled oil changes are crucial in keeping your car running properly. An oil change service is a great opportunity to have other areas of the vehicle checked out as well.
Here are 6 good reasons you should get oil changes done on time:
The most important reason the oil needs to be changed on time is so that all of the moving parts of the engine are well lubricated. Imagine all the moving parts, pistons, valves, and other engine parts moving at high rates of speed under the hood of a car. These components create heat and will wear down the engine dramatically without proper oil lubrication. It needs to be changed regularly in order to provide the lubrication the engine needs.
Oil keeps the many components of the engine working efficiently, and it helps reduce the accumulation of dust and other contaminants from collecting on the engine. Also, the engine can get very hot from the thousands of small explosions taking place every minute; oil helps pull the heat away from the combustion chamber essentially preventing the engine from blowing up. As oil collects heat, debris and carbons during the course of protecting and keeping the engine running smoothly, it eventually becomes less like liquid and more like sludge. No matter how good the oil is, eventually it degrades as the additives get used up. That’s when you should have your oil changed.
Over time, old oil breaks down due to exposure to heat. This causes it to loses its viscosity as well as its ability to lubricate the engine cylinder walls. Essentially, the dirtier the oil is, the harder it is to go where it needs to. That sludge begins to build up in areas blocking the flow to parts which need lubrication. Another function of oil is to draw heat from your parts of the engine. If they are covered with sludge, these parts stay hotter longer. Ultimately the engine will run less efficiently as its performance is robbed of both gas mileage and horsepower. A proper oil change restores the engine’s ability to produce the amount of power necessary to move the car with ease and get the highest possible fuel economy.
Inside your engine there are a many key components which make your engine run such as the crank shaft and the connecting rods. These rods control the pistons inside of your engine’s cylinders. There is also another piece called the camshaft which assists in opening and closing the vehicle’s exhaust valves. Making sure that you have clean oil in your vehicle’s engine is crucial in keeping these components well moving and running properly.
When a car’s engine remains cool for an extended period of time (such as when it sits unused or is only used for very short drives), condensation can build up in the engine. At a certain point this condensation can fall back into the oil pan and contaminate the oil. For this reason, experts recommend changing the oil more frequently (as often as every 1,000 miles or 12 months) for vehicles that are driven very little.
Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle. By making sure that you have your oil and filter changed according to your owner’s manual specifications, you will be keep your engine clean and protected, as well as saving time, money and stress. A regularly scheduled oil change is an investment that will help ensure that you will be driving around in your vehicle for years to come. Also, your car can command a higher value on the resale market if its maintenance is up to date.
Getting your car’s oil changed regularly is relatively inexpensive, considering the serious consequences that might follow if you don’t. But, you don’t necessarily need to change the oil more often than the manufacturer’s recommendation, unless you’re operating the car in some extreme conditions.
How often and what kind of oil should be used? For most vehicles oil change is necessary every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, but be sure to check your owner’s manual to see how often your car needs it. Pay attention to the odometer and how you’ve been driving your vehicle. Driving in extreme weather or towing a lot of weight behind your car will affect your oil too.