A recent study by the Car Care Council of the Be Car Care Aware campaign stated that 22% of vehicles have low or dirty engine oil. Being aware of when to change your vehicles' oil and filter is key to keeping it at its' best and for preventing costly repairs down the road.
Proper oil maintenance will help to extend the life of your vehicle. Even if you don't drive that often, contaminants can create sludge, and sludge is what leads to engine failure. When trying to decide when to change your oil, the first step should always be to check your owner's manual. This will tell you what type of oil your car needs and how much it takes.
Changing Your Oil
As mentioned above, if you are not sure what type of oil your vehicle takes, an online search or review of the owner's manual is recommended. This will help you avoid putting in too much, too little, or the wrong viscosity oil.
Changing your motor oil is a must for a variety of reasons and below we have highlighted some of the most important. Changing your oil is beneficial because it:
Maintains engine lubrication.
Your engine is comprised of many moving parts, pistons, valves, and other engine components that are moving at high rates of speed under the hood of the car. These components create heat and will wear down the engine dramatically without proper oil lubrication.
Cools engine components.
Moving parts create friction, which creates heat, and without proper lubrication those parts can be damaged. Maintaining clean and the proper amounts of oil prevent too much friction and over-heating of the engine.
Removes engine wear particles and sludge.
Dirt particles, grime, and sludge are deadly to engines. Over time, these contaminants can cause corrosion and decrease the life of an engine. As time goes on, oil breaks down and turns to sludge, eventually damaging the inner components of the engine. Routine oil and filter changes help remove particles and sludge and keep engines running at optimum condition.
Improves gas mileage.
Poor engine lubrication can lead to increased fuel use. The U.S. Department of Energy released a report that stated with routine changes and the right kind of oil, your fuel economy can be improved by 1-2%!
Promotes vehicle longevity.
To put it simply, routine maintenance makes your vehicle last longer. Buildup from dirt or various other contaminants robs a vehicle's fuel economy and power, and makes the internal components work harder. An engine that is working too hard will end up with worn & broken parts, as well as a shorter life span.
Oil Changing Tips From the Experts at Saddleback Automotive
- If the engine is cold, start it and warm the oil before beginning to change it. If it's hot, give it at least 30 minutes to avoid getting burned.
- Avoid using an adjustable wrench on the drain plug. Use the properly sized box-end wrench for the plug to avoid damage or mishaps.
- Be safe, always use jack stands.
- Use new oil to coat the oil filter gasket before attaching.
- Hand-tighten the filter.
Scheduling an oil changes can be a hassle, but it is a necessary task that must be done. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.