How does an oil change affect a car’s performance?
Considering that oil is the heart and soul of your car engine, regularly changing your car’s oil is probably the single most important thing you can do to prolong your engine’s life and improve its performance. An oil change is relatively inexpensive and should be a part of your routine car care and maintenance to ensure that your car does not develop an otherwise avoidable (and expensive) fault.
What does an oil change mean? And why is it necessary?
We know, we know. It may seem elementary to some, but we will not be that presumptuous here. An oil change is simply a procedure in which the old and dirty oil is drained from the car, the old oil filter is replaced with a new one, and new oil is added.
To answer the question, “Why is oil change necessary?”, we need to define exactly what purpose oil serves in an engine.
Your engine oil lubricates all the moving metal parts of your car’s engine to reduce friction between these parts and prevent engine overheating. This allows your engine to run at its maximum capacity and help extend the life of the engine. However, over time, your car’s oil becomes contaminated with dust, metallic shavings, and antifreeze, which form a sludge that sticks to parts inside the engine. This can damage the internal components of the engine and cut down your car’s performance and efficiency dramatically.
You can see how harmful and detrimental unclean or broken-down oil can be to your engine’s health. That makes it very necessary indeed to change the oil on time. Keeping clean, fresh oil in your car is imperative to keep the engine running as it is designed to run. Doing regular oil changes on your car will prolong your engine’s life and provide you with many trouble-free years of good service.
How do you know if it is time for an oil change?
The first indicator might be that the engine light on your dashboard comes on. If this happens, get off the highway and check the oil as soon as you are able to. Running with low oil can cause serious damage to your engine, and if the oil gets too low, the engine can seize up and stop running.
Another sign might be oil leakage in your driveway or your garage. If you see oil spots under your car, you will want to have an auto technician check this as soon as possible. Chances are you may have a leak that needs to be repaired, or it could be that the oil filter wasn’t put on tight after your last oil change.
Also, if you see black smoke coming from your tailpipe, chances are you have a problem with the oil, and you may need to have an oil change to your car.
How often should you perform an oil change?
Well, in general terms, you should change your oil every 3000 to 5000 miles. Several factors will determine where your engine falls into this range. These include:
- a) the type of driving that you do, whether it be a lot of city driving or a lot of highway driving (city driving is a lot more demanding than highway driving), and
- b) whether you live in a particularly dusty area or one that is particularly cold or hot.
If your vehicle is operating under any of these extreme conditions, you should definitely use every 3000 miles as your guide.
Some car manufacturers have oil change intervals that exceed the ones mentioned above. For instance, Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota, and Porsche make a recommendation of changing your vehicle’s oil every 10,000 miles’ while BMW recommends up to 15,000 miles when synthetic oil is being used.
These long intervals are recommended during the period when the manufacturer is responsible for performing the oil changes. Obviously, you can see the problem with this approach. You can also see whose best interest is being served. So, for the long-term health of your engine and especially if you plan on keeping your vehicle after the manufacturer’s service promise has expired, perform oil changes more frequently.
Professional or DIY?
Having a mechanic do your oil change is a good idea if you do not have much experience with car engines or just do not have the time. A mechanic will change the oil in your car and check other areas that may need attention. He may check the belts for wear and tear, the cleanliness of your battery, and spark plugs. He may also fill the transmission fluid, steering and brake fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. Having these things checked at the same time will give you added peace of mind and keep your car running in top condition.
If you have some experience yourself, doing your own oil change can save you money. It is a good suggestion to check over all other items mentioned above to help keep your car running full capacity.
We hope you can see how important oil change is for your car’s life and performance. It is not only one of the most important things you can do for the health of your engine, it is also one of the easiest. Open your owner’s manual and find out what kind of oil is required. Stop by the auto parts store and pick up your oil, filter, and any other tools you may need. So, change that oil! You won’t regret it, and your engine will thank you with many years of service.
Aloha Auto Repair Is Your Trusted Mechanic Shop In Allen, Texas!
Regular oil changes are the single most important part of vehicle maintenance; they can save you money and add more years to the life of your car as well. Come to Aloha Auto Repair for an oil change to help protect your engine and improve your car’s performance.
Our oil change specialists are willing and able to assist you with any questions you might have. Please contact us today at 469-617-6121; we would love to hear from you! Also, don’t forget to visit our blog for more tips and insights on car care, maintenance, and repairs in Allen, Texas.