Having an oil change is one of the most important car maintenance routines every car owner and driver must do. There is no service that your car will need as frequently and regularly as an oil change. What’s important to understand is that oil is an essential part of your car’s health, just like water is a vital part of keeping one’s body healthy. The oil of your vehicle keeps the components that make up your car’s engine running smoothly.
Most vehicles need an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, but the specific requirement for every car can be found in the owner's manual. Your manufacturer had tested your specific car and had concluded the best intervals to wait between maintenance.
Don’t make assumptions on the interval needed for that oil change based solely on past experiences or from the coaxing or guidance of mechanics who profit from the service because the truth is that timing has already evolved over the years.
Some modern vehicles can actually go up to 10,000 miles between oil changes. Usually an oil change is recommended every three months but it’s better to keep track of the miles ran instead because life of the oil depends more on that than how much time has passed.
Many modern vehicles already have a complex monitoring system that could evaluate driving habits and numerous aspects of your oil to determine how long your oil could last before another oil change is due. One factor that also needs to be considered is the type of oil your vehicle is using because this could also determine how often you need oil change.
Before looking into the importance of doing regular oil change let’s take a closer look at the different types of oil a car has:
1. Conventional Oil
This oil type is petroleum-based and is made out of refined crude oil coming from the underground. They may cost less but they have more sensitivity to temperature changes. This property that they possess causes them to easily thicken in colder temperatures and just as easily thin out when it’s warm. They are also more predisposed to create sludge, which is the dreaded tar-like deposit that builds up within the engine. The thickening of oil, carbons and other contaminants creates this sludge.
2. Full Synthetic Oil
This type of oil is also made from crude oil but has already been purified and broken down into basic molecules that are tailored to meet the requirements of modern vehicle engines. They also possess enhanced additives synthetically created. Obviously compared to conventional oils they are more expensive but they have better lubricating properties and they are able to remove more impurities. They also last longer because the molecules are smaller and more refined. This type of oil does not break down as easily as the conventional type and is more resistant to heat. And because it contains less impurities they are more resistant to sludge build up, and are not usually affected by changes in temperature. Overall, this helps the engine consume less oil.
If your vehicle manufacturer recommends synthetic oil, or if you decide to make the switch, it is estimated that you could go for as much 10,000 miles or more between oil changes because it performs better than regular oil, and is also said to be better for the environment.
There’s an ongoing debate however if upgrading is always worth it. While some experts recommend doing the switch in most circumstances, Consumer Reports says that overall you shouldn't upgrade to synthetic if your car doesn't need it. Some instances when it may actually benefit you is when you frequently tow heavy loads because synthetic oil helps ease the extra strain on your engine. Also if you happen to own a vehicle prone to sludge issues switching to synthetic oil may well be more than worth the price as it helps alleviate that issue. You will be saving much more as it could prolong the life of your engine.
3. Synthetic Blend
This type of oil is a combination of both the Full Synthetic Oil and Conventional oil. It has better performance compared to the conventional oil providing more lubrication and protection for your car’s internal parts. They also last longer because they do not break down as easily compared to conventional oils and are obviously better at resisting heat. Their price is in between the price range of conventional and full synthetic oils.
4. High Mileage Blend
High-Mileage Synthetic Blend as apparent in its name are oils for vehicles that have already run 75,000 miles or more. With improvement in the vehicle manufacturing industry cars and trucks are lasting longer so a high-mileage synthetic blend oil has become a necessity. This oil has all the properties of synthetic blend oils but has improved additives and detergents to better protect high-mileage vehicles from sludge build up, extreme temperatures and wear.
The additives help extend the life of higher-mileage engines by adding more protection to the seals and making them more pliable to avoid leaks. They also provide added protection for the piston rings. The antioxidants added to the oil prevents the degradation of oil as a consequence of oxidation, while detergents aid to keep the engine clean by removing sludge. This type of oil lasts longer than conventional petroleum and also costs less than a full synthetic oil.
5. European Oils
Lastly, European oils which as the name suggests are used for European produced vehicles and with luxury vehicles. They have the same features with full synthetic oils but they also contain special additives for stricter emissions. Each oil differs according to the manufacturer’s recommendation on weight or additives. This type of oil is the most expensive available but the need for oil change is seldom than most.
So what are the benefits of doing an OIL CHANGE?
An oil change helps remove engine sludge and engine wear particles.
One important process done during an oil change is the draining of the old oil, which in turn also removes dirt particles and sludge that could be deadly to your vehicle’s engine, and replacing it with new and fresh oil. Sludge is formed as oil breaks down over time. When these pollutants are not removed they build up over the miles and can gunk up the moving parts of the motor. The dirt can also cause corrosion on your engine. The debris could also get caught in the oil filter and when the oil filter gets clogged up it will reduce oil flow through the engine causing a whole new different set of potential problems. Oil filters will also be replaced during a standard oil change.
An oil change reduces engine heat
While it’s the job of the cooling system to keep the operation of the engine going, it is fresh oil that helps lessen the temperature of the engine in places that the coolant can’t reach. The moving parts without proper lubrication creates friction, which in turn creates heat. So it is the job of clean and sufficient oil to reduce friction and prevent the engine from overheating as it operates.
An oil change maintains engine lubrication
Picture all your car’s moving engine parts working and moving at a vigorous speed. Imagine all the harsh metal on metal action without proper engine lubrication. You can only expect major damage without maintaining sufficient engine lubrication. So oil changes are one of the best ways to keep your engine working at its peak.
It is a hard fact that Oil Change is IMPORTANT but what are the specific outcomes to expect with a timely Oil Change.
Longer Engine Life
When properly lubricated by clean and sufficient oil the engine and its critical parts are protected from premature wear and tear. Without sufficient lubrication your car components will be working much harder and eventually warp. The damage will inevitably cause your engine to have a shorter life span. A regularly scheduled oil change may be an investment some may find costly but in the end what it does is save you from the stress of car troubles. It ensures that you will be driving your vehicle for many years to come and at the end it really saves you time and money.
Better Gas Mileage
Finding a car that is good on gas is a priority to all car owners. But overall the miles per gallon are not only affected by what car you have but also by a number of aspects including the kinds of roads you’re driving on, the environment, personal driving habits and of course your vehicle maintenance.
You have to change your oil more often if you have a habit of driving at high speeds. The same is true if you have an older engine or if you live in an area that is mostly cold, hot or dusty.
Without regular oil change you are left with nothing but old oil running through your engines and over time the old oil breaks down due to exposure to heat. This would cause the oil to lose its viscosity as well as its ability to lubricate the engine cylinder walls. As mentioned above the oil could turn into a sludge. And also the dirtier the oil is the harder it is to go where it needs to.
That sludge then begins to build up in areas blocking the flow to parts that need lubrication. Your engine components will not be working as properly and as efficiently as it should which could hinder you from getting the best possible engine performance and gas mileage.
Pass Your Vehicle Emissions Test & also in turn Protect The Environment
Vehicle Emissions Testing is being done to reduce the amount of pollution created by automobiles that are hitting the road each day. Most states in the US have at least some counties where testing is made mandatory, but it’s more commonly implemented in areas with higher populations and not as much implemented in rural areas.
During an emission test your vehicle is screened by how many hydrocarbon particles it’s spraying out into the atmosphere. And if you fail to change your oil on time and on a regular basis that dirty oil is what causes that hydrocarbon to build up inside areas of your engine’s crankcase. These particles get burned up and more of them are released into the air through the vehicle’s exhaust. While the emission test may not be mandatory in your city, not contributing to the GLOBAL WARMING is more than enough reason to do that oil change.
Pollutants emitted by automobiles is one of the major causes of global warming. According to the EPA, motor vehicles as a whole cause 75 percent of carbon monoxide pollution in the U.S. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) also estimates that on-road vehicles contribute to the air pollution that creates smog in the US by 33 percent while transportation contributes by 27 percent of the greenhouse gas emission. Greenhouse gases are responsible for trapping heat in the atmosphere, which causes the worldwide temperatures to rise.
Fortunately, getting your oil changed is one of the least expensive maintenance services your car would ever need. However, it is important to keep in mind that despite it being relatively inexpensive doing it regularly and on time is critical in preserving your vehicle. If you neglect to do this much needed service maintenance thinking you don’t have the time or the money to do it and you would rather wait then think again.
Think about all the hassles of a dirty oil running through your car, all the sludge building up clogging your engine, or any one of the filters, valves or sensors. Remember that engines are particularly expensive to clean and replacing worn-out car parts whatever they cost is not a bill you want to receive. So do not wait for the check engine light to come before getting that oil change.