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The Importance of Oil Change Maintenance

Posted at Fri, Apr 2, 2021 3:30 PM

Many people are unaware of the importance of oil change maintenance and allow the oil levels to drop or become dirty. Fortunately, changing your oil is not a costly auto maintenance service. Changing your oil regularly plays a major part in protecting your vehicle and saving you money in the long run.

The best time to change your oil is 3,000 to 7,500 miles after your last oil change. This may differ a little from vehicle to vehicle, so best to check in your vehicle manual or with your mechanic. 

Why is it Important to Change the Car Oil and the Number One Maintenance?

Oil changes are the number one vehicle maintenance requirement. Failure to do so regularly will damage your vehicle in the long run, causing higher repair expenses. Oil is necessary for the good health of your car so it's important to stick to your scheduled oil changes. Here are a few reasons to change your oil on a regular basis.

The quality of oil affects your gas mileage so consistently attending to your oil changes will increase your gas mileage. Poor engine lubrication increases your fuel consumption. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, routine changes with the correct oil type improves your gas mileage by 1-2%. That equals savings of a gallon of gas in a year.

Oil changes reduce and get rid of excess dirt that builds up in your engine from continual use, which reduces engine wear. Dirt particles are lethal for your engine. Over time, it causes corrosion, decreasing your engine's lifespan. Sludge is the result of congealed engine oil due to wear and tear. It deteriorates further when oxygen, moisture, and debris get into the oil. Aging oil can no longer prevent buildup in its liquid makeup and it increases the risk of clogging and contamination. This results in a thick, tar-like substance known as sludge. A clean engine is a smooth-running engine. 

Regular oil changes prolong the life of your engine, increasing the value of your car. Any routine maintenance increases the life of your vehicle. Dirty oil buildup causes the internal components of the engine to work harder, which will cause= problems in time. In addition, your car valuation improves for resale if it has been regularly maintained. 

Oil provides engine lubrication. Running your engine generates heat as the valves, pistons, and other parts function at high speed. Although this is normal, you don't want your engine to overheat. Without oil lubrication, your engine becomes prone to overheating. Keeping your oil clean and having enough oil in the engine is the solution to prevent friction and therefore over-heating. Refer to the vehicle manual to check which oil your car needs. Make sure that it is always kept at the recommended fill volume. 

What Happens If You Ignore Oil Change?

A pulled oil drain plug in a white pan with a closed-end wrench and work glove.

Image via Unsplash by Tim Mossholder

As already seen, the many moving parts of your engine could become damaged if you ignore oil changes. Oil in the engine does the important job of covering the movable parts as they function. When you drain the oil from your engine and replace it with fresh oil you avoid all the risks of something going wrong. Most of the time, you may not realize that a problem is forming; before you know it, your engine seizes. In summary, neglecting to change the oil in your vehicle is asking for trouble.

Why is it Important to Change the Oil Filter?

As dust, metal, carbon, and fuel contaminants enter your engine, they get caught by the engine's oil system. The oil filter removes these contaminants from your engine by catching them as the oil passes through. This keeps your engine clean and healthy. It's best to replace your oil filter whenever you change your oil. With time, the oil filter becomes clogged as it catches the contaminants. A clogged filter reduces the quantity of clean oil. Rather replace the filter before it becomes too clogged or dirty. Changing it for a new oil filter will protect your engine. 

How Often Should I Change My Oil?

Older cars still use a mileage-based system of planning when to change the oil. There are generally two maintenance schedules. The first is for vehicles driving under normal circumstances. The other is for cars in severe service. This includes driving short trips of less than five miles, driving in extreme temperatures or dusty climates, sustained stop-and-go driving, and carrying heavy loads. The severe service drivers need to be more vigilant with oil change maintenance.

Newer cars have monitoring systems that alert you when it's time to change your oil. The computer analyzes the operating conditions of your vehicle to identify when an oil change is necessary. It decreases the interval between oil changes when it picks up heavy-duty usage. When you have your oil changed, the service technician will reset the system. 

Because newer engines have less frequent oil changes, you need to check the oil level regularly and fill it when necessary. Each vehicle has slightly different needs. Keeping your oil full helps to avoid any repairs or damage. It's advisable to change your oil at least once or twice a year if you do not put a lot of mileage on your vehicle. Even though your oil may be fine, the moisture in your engine is a potential problem. Without regular driving, the engine won't burn off the moisture and your oil won't be as effective.

Is it Better to Go to the Dealer for an Oil Change?

There are many advantages of changing your oil at a dealership. Dealerships use professionally trained service technicians who will warranty their work. A dealership has good relationships with manufacturers and uses the best oil and parts for your car. Allowing a dealer to change your oil also protects your service warranty.

Proper maintenance avoids serious issues. It also maintains the value of your vehicle. Schedule your next oil change with Planet Ford Dallas and let our expert Ford Service techs get the job done for you.

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