All You Need to Know About Oil Changes
Your car has quite a few systems that use oil, but the one you’ll become most familiar with throughout your ownership is engine oil, also called motor oil. Keeping a sufficient level of clean engine oil through regular oil changes is one of the most important parts of car maintenance and is essential for its health — without it, your engine would become damaged and inoperable.
But what’s the difference between synthetic oil and conventional oil? How often should you change your engine oil? Unless you’re a mechanic, you likely have these questions, and City Auto Repair is here to help.
The Benefits of Regular Oil Changes
Your engine needs lubricant to keep its parts moving and the engine cool. The engine parts that rely on oil include bearings, cylinder bores, pistons, and valve stems.
Engine oil also performs the following functions for your car.
Keeps the Engine Clean
Over time, your engine oil accumulates dirt and dust debris that becomes trapped after being transported to the oil filter. If it weren’t for the oil filter, these contaminants could make their way to the engine, damaging it and leading to its breakdown.
Cools the Engine
Your engine’s components and the heat generated by their friction can damage your engine if the heat build-up isn’t reduced properly. When oil makes its way around the engine, the created heat is moved to cooler engine parts to maintain a regulated temperature.
Oxidation of your engine leads to corrosion, and engine oil contains additives that help reduce the occurrence of oxidation by neutralizing acids. Oil also forms a protective barrier of chemicals that repels moisture from your engine’s metal parts to prevent corrosion.
Improves Fuel Efficiency
If your engine parts are dry, it takes more force to move them, but if they are properly lubricated and less friction created, your engine has to make less effort to perform. This energy savings results in improved fuel economy.
What Are the Different Types of Oil?
There are different types of motor oil that vary according to formula and function.
Synthetic vs. Conventional vs. Synthetic Blend
Synthetic oil is made from artificial chemical compounds. At its base, it is distilled crude oil that other lubricants such as petroleum have been added to for viscosity. Meanwhile, conventional oil is formed from crude oil and is designed to withstand extreme temperatures. Its natural properties clean your engine and encourage chemical stability even at very high temperatures. A synthetic blend is a combination of conventional and synthetic oils blended into crude oil.
How Often Should I Get Oil Changes?
Typically, your car’s oil should be changed every 6 months or every 3k-5k miles, whichever comes first. This is just a general estimate, and your mechanic can more accurately tell you the best schedule for your particular vehicle, driving habits, and oil usage. If your car is a newer model, you may be able to wait longer between oil changes.
What Are the Signs I Need an Oil Change?
There are some obvious signs that you’ll start to notice when your car is overdue for an oil change. If you notice any of these signs, bring your car to City Auto Repair immediately.
These signs include the following:
- The check engine light comes on.
- You hear noise or knocking from the engine.
- You notice your oil is dark colored or dirty.
- You smell oil from the car’s interior.
- The translucent exhaust from your pipes turns to smoke.
City Auto Repair Keeps You on the Road
Knowing how crucial engine oil is to your car, ensure you have the proper amount and that it’s clean. Trust the knowledgeable mechanic team at City Auto Repair. We’ll advise you on the best oil to use for your specific car and expertly change your oil when needed. Contact us today to schedule your oil change and get back on the road confidently!