Of all the basic maintenance your car needs, oil changes should be at the top of the list. Without it, your engine won’t stay lubricated, may get overheated and could experience more damage long-term.
Forgetting this basic procedure also results in more repairs and related costs down the line.
At its simplest, the procedure involves draining all the old motor oil out of your car and replacing it with new, cleaner fluid. The service technician may also decide to replace the oil filter.
How essential is oil? As with all of your car’s fluids, high temperatures cause the oil to break down. When this occurs, it fails to sufficiently lubricate your car and absorb enough heat. As a result, the engine components rub against each other, wear out and end up generating more heat at the same time. You need to change your oil before it breaks down to the point it affects your engine.
In addition, your oil contains acid-neutralizing additives and is able to absorb water, dust and combustion products. Yet, the longer you go without changing the fluid, the more these outside particles build up and at some point, the oil can’t hold any more. Once this occurs, leaving the oil in may cause your engine to corrode.
When to Change Your Oil
Everyone has an opinion about when to change your oil. Some say to do it every 3,000 miles but for newer cars, the standard is around every 10,000 miles. As a good rule of thumb, aim for the 5,000-mile mark or check the recommended figure in your owner’s manual.
Certain forces can place more stress and wear on your car and affects its oil quality in the process:
- How You Drive: If you do “jackrabbit” starts, make short trips, drive in stop-and-go traffic, drive slowly for long distances, accelerate quickly or regularly drive at high speeds, expect to change your oil more frequently.
- Climate: Extreme hot and cold climates place more stress on your car.
- Road Conditions: Dirt, dusty, muddy, sandy or salty roads expose your oil to more particles.
- Age: If your car has an older engine, expect it to burn oil more quickly.
- Towing: Carrying or towing heavy loads causes your engine to produce more heat, which affects your oil’s quality.
Additionally, as a preventative measure in between appointments, check your oil levels at home at least once a month.
Generally, your car only needs regular motor oil. However, a manufacturer may recommend a synthetic oil – a solution designed to resist breakdown and high temperatures and ultimately extend the life of your car’s engine. In these cases, standard motor oil might not heat up enough to burn out moisture and debris.
When might your car need synthetic?
- If you regularly make many short trips – for instance, with a delivery vehicle.
- You live in an area with very hot summers or cold winters.
- You use your vehicle for towing or hauling.
- If your engine regular has debris buildup, which can block the oil’s flow and quickly kill the engine.
Which other oil options do you have?
- High Mileage Oil: This solution is designed for cars with 75,000 or more miles on it and reduces oil burn-off, leaks and loss of compression to improve the car’s performance.
- Synthetic Blend Oil: This blend of synthetic and conventional oils offers the best of both solutions for improved performance in more extreme instances.
Does your dashboard tell you your car needs an oil change? Do the levels look low? Reach out to DaSilva’s for this and other routine car maintenance. To make an appointment, give us a call today.