The Importance of Oil Change Services
Replacing the oil in your vehicle is one of the inevitable services performed regularly for all car owners. Most car manufacturers suggest you do it every 3,000 miles (5,000 km) or so, which translates, on average, to about three to four times a year. Of course, factors like how you drive, the distance you drive each day, and the make and model of your car impacts the need for this service quite a bit. Because of the regularity and necessity of performing an oil change service on your vehicle, it is an area that we all would benefit from saving money on whenever possible. While there are some obvious methods of obtaining good deals, like using oil change coupons, there may be quite a few things you’re not yet aware of.
It is no secret that regular and scheduled oil and filter changes are a major part of everyone’s car maintenance routine, and is necessary for the overall longevity of the engine. As the vehicle’s oil becomes contaminated with soot and metal particles, along with other types of impurities over time, they accumulate and layer the internal components of the engine, resulting in significantly shortened engine life. Even with the introduction of new makes and models, and with cutting edge technologies advancing the industry by improving engines, along with engine oils, a regularly scheduled oil and filter change remains as vital as ever in preventative auto maintenance.
One method of cutting on your maintenance expenses is simply by becoming more familiar with your vehicle. The 3,000 miles per oil change rule is simply an estimate based on the average vehicle on the road, and the average driving habits of car owners. In fact, most modern cars can get you 5,000 miles without the need for an oil change. As long as you’re taking a peak under the hood every once in a while for any signs of residual buildup or wear, you could potentially cut your expenses down by 50%.
Another idea is to consider using synthetic oil which, barring the price tag at a glance, can save you money in the long run. Even though it is more expensive than regular oil, it gets you much farther between oils changes, reducing the frequency of this service. However, it’s best to consult your mechanic about what type of oil is most beneficial for your vehicle. Reach out to your local oil change service providers to find out how to best save you money, not just for today, but for long haul.
Even after discussing it in great lengths, the question of how often exactly do you need to change your engine oil can still be be unclear.
Changing Oil at Systematic Intervals
The old advice of changing your car oil every 3,000 miles is now becoming passé. These days, the car manufacturers typically recommend that oil changes occur at a range from 5,000 to 7,500, and sometimes even up to 10,000 miles when operated under ‘normal’ conditions. But before breathing a sigh of relief just yet, let’s take a look at the manufacturer’s definition of ‘normal’ driving conditions. These ideal conditions consist of 20 minutes of straight driving, typically at a medium speed with a steady throttle and, last but not least, in a rather clean environment. However, on the other end of the spectrum, requiring a change every 3,000 miles would mean you are driving under ‘severe’ conditions, which doesn’t usually apply to the average driver. These ‘severe’ driving conditions are described as such:
• Short distance driving almost regularly
• Frequent driving at low speeds
• Maximum usage of brakes
• Driving in heavy city traffic
• Driving in extreme heat such as 90 degrees F (32 degrees C)
• Driving in high humidity
• Driving in sandy or dusty areas
• Driving where corrosive materials, such as salt, are used
• Driving in wet, muddy areas
• Driving in hilly areas
Returning to the topic of synthetic oils, lets take a closer look into how they can extend the distance between oil change intervals. Many manufacturers of high-performance models, in particular, recommend synthetic oils because of the protection it offers. If you’re already spending a lot of money into a top of the line vehicle, you want to treat it right and keep it running smoothly. That being said, the synthetic additives in the oil also wear out over time, hence, it needs to be changed, as well. Regardless of if you’re running on synthetic or conventional oil, service intervals always depend on the conditions of which you drive.
Changing the oil plays a crucial role in lubricating the engine, and there are substantial advantages in doing so appropriately. Beyond lubrication, oil performs many other fundamental functions as the engine runs, keeping the engine clean, reducing pollution and sludge, as well as cooling down the vehicle.
Outlining the Benefits
First off, routinely changing your vehicle’s oil keeps it running clean and safe. In order for your engine to function correctly, it must be clean and well lubricated. Running on dirty oil is not only risky, it also leads to serious damage to the engine that can be astronomically expensive to repair. Be sure to change your oil within a reasonable timeframe based on your own driving habits and the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Secondly, proper oil change service at appropriate intervals extends the total life of the engine, and maintains performance throughout. The longer the oil change goes ignored, and the more mileage that is driven between, the lesser the total lifespan of the engine itself. An engine running on clean oil keeps it well lubricated, and prevents the various components from grinding and causing unexpected mechanical failure.
Another important note is that the fuel efficiency of the vehicle is maintained, if not increased. After all, a struggling engine requires more energy to push it along than a smooth, fully functional one. In that regard, cost saving don’t just come from preventing expensive repairs, you’ll also see them regularly at the fuel pump.
On top of all that, keeping your oil clean also keeps your engine cool, and prevents overheating the vehicle. With the intense heat created from all of the rapidly moving internal components of the engine, the oil runs through it and cools them internally.
Bringing your car in for a routine oil service allows experienced technicians to look at the oil level and create the necessary corrections before any serious harm is done. For any car owner looking to achieve the greatest lifespan, fuel efficiency, and performance from their vehicle, routine oil changes are a vital piece of the total picture. Both your vehicle and your wallet will thank you for it.