If there’s one part of caring for your car that is the most consistently neglected and frequently misunderstood, it is getting your oil changed. Although there are many things that should be done regularly to make sure your car is running in top form, getting your oil changed is one of the simplest and most effective. A brand new car can benefit from an oil change to ensure the maximum working lifespan of the engine, while making sure to regularly change the oil in a used car that’s been around for a while can make sure that the engine doesn’t fail. But why do we even need to bother changing the oil in a car? What exactly happens during the oil change and why is it important for the car’s health?
Cars need oil to lubricate many of the moving parts within the engine. The pistons, for example, consist of rapidly pumping metal parts that move against one another. Without the oil to lubricate these parts, the friction caused by the metal parts rubbing against one another could cause enough heat for the engine parts to weld themselves together which would result in a dead engine.
But why can’t you just keep the same oil in your car? For starters, after a while dirt will accumulate in the oil. The oil filter will help keep the oil clean for a while, but eventually the filter will clog and dirt will be able to pass through the relief filter. Having oil full of dirt or sediment will cause wear and deterioration in the engine. Since the filter is typically replaced with an oil change, every oil change ensures that the oil will continue to be relatively dirt free.
Additionally, many of the positive additives in the oil such as detergents and friction reducers wear out after a while. Once they start to wear out, the oil won’t lubricate as well as it should. The oil can also breakdown over time due to high temperatures, making it less effective.
Most experts agree that any car, whether a new car or used car, should have its oil changed roughly every 5000 miles. This number, however, can vary depending on a number of different variables. If you live in a climate that is extremely hot or cold, like, say, the summer temperatures of New Orleans, you might consider getting your oil changed more often. Similarly, if you use a truck to regularly carry heavy loads, a more frequent oil change schedule is recommended. Older cars that burn oil will also need their oil changed more often.
Getting your oil changed is typically quick and convenient. With many car dealerships offering oil changes, as well as most car maintenance locations, there is likely someplace nearby your home or work that can do it for you. Now that you’re well informed, there’s no excuse not to get it done!by