Ignoring your oil change routine can have severe effects on your engine. When you neglect oil changes, the engine might dry out, causing the metal parts to grind against each other. As a result, your car will have excessive wear and tear, which is expensive to repair and causes overheating.
Most drivers need to understand the importance of having a proper maintenance routine. An oil change to keep your engine running smoothly is a key part of your routine. Proper maintenance also helps you save money on expensive repairs.
An oil change is necessary for most cars after 4,000 to 6,000 miles. While it is easy to forget about regular car maintenance, remember that fresh oil keeps your car healthy.
No matter which car you drive, all engines have moving parts, and an oil change is essential to keep them working efficiently.
How Often to Change Your Oil
If you need help with how frequently to change the oil, consult a professional mechanic, the manufacturer, or long-term drivers with similar vehicles. However, do not skip an oil change, no matter which maintenance routine you follow.
In most cases, you might need an oil change after 6 months or, if you are a frequent driver, every 6,000 miles.
If you drive in severe conditions, such as dusty off-road routes, you should increase the frequency of your oil change intervals. Ensure you change your oil filter during your oil change to keep the motor free from debris.
Signs That You Need an Oil Change
When it comes to vehicle maintenance, preventive measures are always best. However, there are a few signs you can watch out for to know when it is time for an oil change.
- Black and gritty oil: Regularly check your oil. Fresh oil may have a translucent amber hue with a smooth consistency. It may be time for an oil change if your oil looks dark and feels gritty.
- Strange engine noises: It is not normal for your engine to knock, roar, and rumble. If you hear any strange noises from your engine, inspect it and check your oil.
- Black smoke from the exhaust: If your car emits dark smoke from the exhaust pipe, you might have an oil leak. Get your engine checked and change the oil immediately.
Why Is an Oil Change Important?
So, why is it important to change your oil regularly? Let us find out:
Lubricates the Engine
Most of the engine parts are constantly moving. Oil lubricates the pistons, valves, and other parts, keeping them working properly. Regular oil changes keep these parts from grinding against each other, which causes wear and tear.
When the oil in your engine collects dirt and debris, it becomes impossible for the moving parts in the engine to work efficiently.
Keeps Everything Working
Over time, your engine oil collects dirt, debris, and other particulate matter. The oil also breaks down due to heat. While modern synthetic blends offer more stability when exposed to high heat, they also have limits and still need to be changed after some time.
Changing the engine oil keeps the moving parts lubricated and improves performance. None of the parts in your engine work efficiently if the oil is dirty.
Routine oil changes improve your car’s overall health by keeping all the parts in good working condition.
Extends Engine Life
As mentioned earlier, heat and friction diminish your engine’s efficiency. The moving parts in your engine result in high heat levels that damage its internal parts. With routine maintenance, your car could last up to 500,000 miles.
However, your vehicle will likely break down long before that mark without proper maintenance. It is worth noting that a significant portion of routine maintenance is ensuring your engine is properly lubricated.
Proper lubrication extends your engine’s life and keeps your car running smoothly for longer.
Improves Gas Mileage
Who wouldn’t want to improve their gas mileage with gas prices shooting up worldwide? Regularly changing your oil means that you get better gas mileage.
Your engine combusts fuel and captures the energy to move the car. The engine does this by converting potential energy found in fuel into mechanical energy. This energy is used to move parts in the engine and is passed through gears, shafts, and axles.
However, the engine can also lose power through heat. The more the engine heats up, the less efficient it is at capturing energy from fuel. More heat also means that your engine cannot efficiently convert energy fully, so you spend more on fuel.
Cleans the Engine
In addition, to lubricating your engine, oil also keeps it clean. Dirt, debris, and particulate matter are suspended in the oil and removed during an oil change.
The oil removes the dirt from the moving parts preventing abrasive damage. Frequent oil changes result in a cleaner, longer-lasting engine.
Regulates Engine Temperature
Engine oil also helps regulate temperature. It produces and absorbs heat typically caused by friction between the moving parts. However, over time, your engine oil loses the ability to regulate the temperature.
As a result, your engine may be at risk of overheating. Although most vehicles have a cooling system that helps with temperature regulation, clean engine oil also prevents expensive damage. A poorly lubricated engine burns hotter as a result of increased friction.
Changing your oil routinely goes a long way in preventing wear and tear and reducing harm to the moving components in the engine.
Impacts The Car’s Resale Value
When purchasing a secondhand car, buyers usually want to see the car’s maintenance history. Buyers want to purchase a car that has been well maintained with regular oil changes and other routines.
If you cannot provide proof of maintenance, the car’s resale value reduces drastically. A car that received shoddy maintenance will not serve long on the roads and is a bad investment for any buyer.
What Happens If You Wait Too Long for an Oil Change?
If you wait too long to get an oil change, your engine oil breaks down and becomes less effective at absorbing heat and lubricating the moving parts.
The oil will also turn dark and sludgy, causing the engine to work harder as it fights through the thick muck. Other issues you may experience include:
- Warped engine components
- Blown head gaskets.
- Inefficient fuel mileage
- Complete engine failure
In addition to the above issues, leaving your oil unchanged for too long may void your vehicle’s warranty. If you bought your car brand new, following the routine maintenance schedule indicated in the owner’s manual is essential.
Owners who regularly maintain their vehicles and change the oil can expect them to last longer. Routine maintenance prevents oil buildup, improves fuel efficiency, and lubricates the moving parts to prevent wear and tear.
If you do not regularly change your oil, your engine is forced to work too hard. As a result, your car will have a shorter life span. The vehicle will also have a lower resale value. Always ensure your car is regularly maintained and keep accurate records as proof.
You can do an oil change yourself or hire a professional mechanic. Contact your local dealership to find an experienced mechanic, or search “oil change near me” for a more convenient location.