When thinking about your next oil change, you may consider a popular rule of thumb such as every three months or when you hit a certain number of miles. You may not have considered whether these are accurate because everyone seems to use them. You may even skip an oil change here and there without thinking much about it. Here you will learn the importance of getting your oil changed and how often you should really be doing it.
Why Get an Oil Change?
Vehicle engines have a lot of moving parts and these parts need oil to keep them moving smoothly and without overheating. As oil is used, it becomes dirty. These impurities cause the oil to be less effective over time and if not changed, this can lead to engine trouble and even cause it to break down as the oil will not lubricate the engine parts as well and or absorb heat as well.
What Affects Oil Consumption and Impurities?
Your driving style can cause you to go through oil more quickly or more slowly. The more quickly you use up oil, the sooner you will need an oil change. When engine speed increases, for example, the amount of exhaust is increased and more oil is used. Your car’s engine design also plays into oil consumption. The amount of oil that can enter the engine depends on the clearance space between parts.
Recently made cars have engines with less clearance space, which means less oil will be consumed. Every time the piston reaches the top, a certain amount of oil will be used. Oil becomes dirty over time as it does burn a little along the cylinder walls. The impurities you see in the oil come from small pieces of metal that wear off the moving parts. The oil filter keeps a lot of the impurities from circulating back through the engine, but as impurities build up, it will be more difficult to do.
How Often to Get an Oil Change?
When you began driving, you were probably told that you should change you oil every 3,000 miles or every three months. Checking your oil on a regular basis, such as once a month during a routine trip to the gas station to fill up your gas tank, is a good way to know for sure if it needs to be changed. You’ll be able to see its darkened color and impurities.
You will also want to check car owner’s manual because it’s specific to your car and will be a better gauge than a general estimate. Use the oil that’s recommended for your car. While every 3,000 miles is generally a good rule for changing your oil, if it needs it sooner knowing for sure is better than guessing or putting it off too long.
Making sure to change your oil on a regular basis will help keep your car’s engine in its best running condition.