How Often Should I Get An Oil Change and Why?
Why do we get upset or surprised when we turn the key to our car’s ignition, and it won’t start? We use our cars to get to where we need to go daily and expect them to operate flawlessly to the end of time. We usually only think about our car’s health when something’s wrong. Are you proactive or reactive when it comes to your car? Getting an oil change is one of the most basic, fundamental routine maintenance tasks we should perform on our vehicles. Read on to learn how often we should get our car’s oil changed and why regular oil changes are essential.
Why Are Regular Oil Changes Important?
Most of us understand that getting a regular oil change is important. However, do we really understand why they’re essential?
What Purpose Does Oil Serve in a Vehicle?
Oil is like the “blood” of a car’s engine, and how long would we last without blood pumping through our bodies?
The main purpose of oil is lubrication. Oil is circulated throughout your car’s engine through a pump and a series of oil galleries leaving behind an oil film on every surface it contacts. This slippery surface allows all the moving parts in your car’s engine to move efficiently and effectively.
Your car’s oil also acts as an important heat transfer mechanism — absorbing heat and moving it away from the engine’s moving parts. As the oil is recirculated it cools by the time it is delivered back to the internal parts of the engine.
What Happens When a Car’s Oil Gets Old?
Through frequent usage, oil slowly becomes contaminated and loses its effectiveness. Dirty oil can cause a number of issues. First, it loses its lubricating properties and even experiences build-up by coagulating in certain parts of the engine. This will increase friction between the engine’s moving parts.
Additionally, its heat transfer properties will be compromised and it will allow the internal areas of your car’s engine to run hotter. If left unchecked, it will cause damage to your engine or lead to other costly repairs.
How Often Should I Get My Oil Changed?
This question doesn’t have just one, simple answer. How often you should change your car’s oil depends on a number of factors including the following.
- How many miles you drive
- City driving versus highway driving
- The manufacturer’s recommendation
- The type of motor oil your vehicle uses
- The age of your vehicle
As a rule of thumb, you want to change your oil every 3 months or every 3,000-5,000 miles if your car uses conventional oil versus a synthetic blend.
Some vehicles use synthetic oil that only requires a change every 10,000-15,000 miles. Additionally, as cars age, they require more frequent oil changes–regardless of manufacturer recommendations or the type of oil they use.
If most of your daily commuting consists of city driving when you’re frequently starting and stopping, you will need to get an oil change more often than those who spend most of their commuting via the highway.
In other words, 3,000 miles of city driving is not the same as 3,000 miles of highway driving when it comes to the health of your car’s oil. It’s always helpful to consult with your local mechanic. They know your vehicle and driving habits, so they can provide recommendations.
City Auto Repair Has Your Car’s Oil Change Needs Covered
It’s essential to protect your engine and keep up with regular maintenance through oil changes. At City Auto Repair, we’ve got you covered! If you live in Gainesville, FL, or the surrounding areas, reach out to us today to schedule an appointment for oil change services to save yourself from future costly repairs and to keep your car on the road!