Regular Oil Changes: Saving Your Engine and Your Wallet
It's time to get your car serviced again. You've either remembered it yourself or received a postcard in the mail. An important part of every routine maintenance visit is your car's oil change. At some point, it may have crossed your mind that taking your car in on schedule might be a waste of money. After all, you reason, today's engines are much more efficient and you don't drive your vehicle hard like other people you know.
Today's engines are more efficient. Why Oil Change?
It's an incredibly bad idea. While today's engines are more efficient, they also work harder. If you want to keep your car in running order, oil changes on a regular basis are a necessity if you don't want your vehicle to be the latest addition to the scrap yard.
New Oil Works Like Detergents!
Motor oil does a few basic things for your car: it lubricates the engine and it carries heat away from the engine. When your oil is new, it's at peak performance with other additives usually added in, such as detergents, friction reducers and rust fighters. But the more the oil cycles through your engine, the quicker the oil and its additives begin to break down.
Don’t wait for an expensive lesson...
Eventually, you end up with a sludge that doesn't lubricate your car's engine at all. Dirt accumulates in the oil, and the additives no longer work. Old oil actually winds up causing more problems because it becomes abrasive, and in addition to dirt, actually contains small pieces of debris from the engine. Your engine will begin to run hotter and less efficiently, and engine parts may start to warp. If the oil is left unchanged for too long, the engine will simply seize up, and your car will become a very expensive lesson in the importance of proper car maintenance.
It's not just about the oil
When your oil is changed, the oil filter is also changed. This small cylinder filters the oil and keeps it clean, but like all filters, it must be replaced after a certain amount of time. If it isn't, the oil breaks down even faster, causing even more damage.
Oil Change is the Best Time to See Further Problems
This is also the time for a good lube technician to get a look at the underside of your car. While we pay attention to the top of the car, we very rarely take the time to look underneath the vehicle. If you take your car to a reputable shop, a well-trained lube tech will replace the oil filter, change the oil, and also look for other problems while they're under the car. You might have parts which are broken, loose or torn, and an oil change is the perfect time for the technician to see any potential problems and let you know before they become serious.
It's tempting to do the oil change later instead of on schedule. But regular oil changes can prolong the life of your car and help you catch other problems as well. A small cost of money and time now can save you repair costs or even a new car purchase later.