The oil in a car is very important because a car is a machine, made up of many parts. These parts move and rub together, causing a lot of friction. A lot of friction creates heat, heat is okay in moderation. Too much heat can result in your car catching on fire. The oil lubricates the moving parts, contains the heat, and minimizes the friction.
The oil needs to be changed as part of your car’s routine maintenance. Most professional mechanics will recommend that you get your oil changed every 3 months or 3,000 miles. Whatever you do, do not wait on your oil light to come onto your dashboard. At that point, it is as good as gone, and can do some serious damage.
Oil types are distinguished by their viscosity. Viscosity is another word for thickness, which is measured by temperature. After being cycled through the engine keeping everything well lubricated, oil loses its viscosity. Thin oil doesn’t perform its job as well. Therefore, you should get your oil changed before it loses its viscosity and messes up your engine. When the oil is too old, it gets really thin. This thinness, can cause a buildup of dirt and other particles, which are too small to be grabbed by the engine oil filter. Thus, speeding up the process of deterioration of the engine.
Why Oil Changes Are Important:
- Upholds the life of your car.
- Lubricates the engine.
- Prevents overheating.
- Improves gas mileage.
- Gets rid of dirt particles.
There are several different types of oils on the market, because there are several different types of cars on the market. To ensure that they all run as smoothly as they were envisioned, you have to put the correct kind of oil in your car. It is imperative that you only use the type of oil recommended for your car. You can find this information in your car’s owner’s manual, you can ask the service agent at the lube shop, or you can ask a representative at your dealership. Putting the wrong oil in your car, because it’s cheaper can be detrimental to your car’s engine life. Saving a few dollars on oil, is not worth it when you have to replace the entire engine.
Because viscosity is measured by temperature, that accounts for hot and cold. This is why there are 2 numbers on oil bottles to distinguish the grade type. The “W” signifies winter, the lower the number, the thinner the oil will be. The second number tells of how thick the oil is at normal temperature. If the second number is high, the oil will be thicker.
- Full synthetic
Synthetic motor oil is chemically made motor oil. Synthetic motor oil has fewer contaminations than conventional motor oil has. It has high performance at extremely high and low temperatures.
- Synthetic blend
Synthetic blend motor oil is a mix between the full synthetic and the conventional types. It has a high performance in particularly low temperatures.
- High mileage
High mileage motor oil should only be used for older cars, or cars that have over 75,000 miles on them. This formula helps to prevent oil leaks, and other issues associated with older cars.
Conventional motor oil is for cars with a basic engine. If you do not drive a lot or make your car do a lot of work, this is a good motor oil for you.
- Premium conventional
Premium conventional motor oil is specifically for turbo charged engines. This formula improves gas mileage, while reducing thickness. It is for people who drive a lot and pushes their engine.
Professional oil changes can cost anywhere from $35-$70, depending on the type of motor oil that your car requires. You may get lucky, and find a great deal out there or a coupon, but be prepared to pay full price just in case. In addition to your oil change, most places offer a free oil filter replacement and a tire rotation, with your purchase!
Most oil change/lube shops, will post a sticker in your window on the driver’s side, which denotes when your next oil change should be. Pay attention to the sticker, set a reminder in your phone or, write it down in your planner. The health of your vehicle depends on it. There is no real harm done by getting your car’s oil changed too often, but why fix what isn’t broken? Save yourself some time and some money, by only taking it in for routine maintenance when it’s due.