Routine car maintenance makes all the difference when it comes to the health of your vehicle. The most vital of these maintenance tasks is the good old oil change. Most of us know that oil changes are important, but why? Here are the top reasons why you should get your routine oil changes.
The oil in your engine lubricates and allows all the moving parts to pass against each other smoothly. When your oil ages, it gets dirty and decreases in volume. Under these conditions, the oil fails at its job and doesn’t properly lubricate the inner workings of the engine. There is a lot of friction and heat produced that wears on the engine and shortens its life. When you change your oil regularly you are catching it before it gets too dirty, you are keeping your oil clean and engine healthy.
Condensation in the Moving Parts
While all the insides of the engine, the pistons, valves, and the crankshaft assembly are all moving around, condensation can build up and cause damage and corrosion to these parts. Keeping the oil changed and fresh reduces the condensation and the damage from it.
As oil ages, it loses its lubrication. When the engine functions without proper lubrication, burning occurs called internal combustion. The oil becomes less viscous and forms an oil sludge. Enough damage to the engine will require a replacement of the engine.
As soon as you replace the oil from a fresh oil change, the oil starts burning off, and the levels of oil drop. It is important to keep the oil level in mind by checking the dipstick under the hood of your car. Once the oil level is low, it is needed to be replaced soon before any damage occurs in your engine.
Debris in the Oil
As the oil in your engine ages and loses viscosity, it results in friction of the moving parts in your engine. The friction results in metal shavings coming off the engine parts and going into the oil. These specs of metal result in further damage in your engine. Frequent oil changes reduce or prevent damage due to the metal particles in the oil.
If your system has a leak, the oil levels will drop as it leaks from your vehicle. Changing your oil will help to identify leaks or repair the issues before they become a problem.
When your oil is changed regularly, you will see the difference in your fuel economy. When your car’s oil is fresh, your vehicle’s engine is able to both reduce the gasoline it needs as well as using it more efficiently. Improved gas mileage means less that you will need to spend at the pump refilling.
Longer Life for your Vehicle
Reducing the friction in your engine means longer engine life, but it also means fewer problems arising from repairs related to your engine. Less service appointments, less money spent, and less time committed towards resolving problems all add up.
When the oil running through your engine is refreshed more frequently, there are fewer things that burn off and contribute to your exhaust. So, when you keep up with your oil changes, you have cleaner emissions.
When Should You Change Your Oil?
Now that you know why you should change your oil frequently, let’s discuss how to know when to change your vehicle’s oil. The easiest and best way to know when to change your oil is by consulting your vehicle’s manual and seeing what they recommend. They will typically recommend that you have your vehicle’s oil changed every 3,000 – 5,000 miles driven. When a shop changes your oil for you, they will put a sticker in your car indicates what mileage you should watch out for to plan your next oil change. However, if you don’t pay attention to the mileage, forget, or miss an oil change, here are the big signs that your oil needs to be changed. Most are signs that you are past the point, and you should prioritize getting it done.
Vehicle’s Dashboard Lights
Depending on what vehicle you drive, either the check engine light will come on, or there will be a specialty notification on your dash that your oil’s life is coming to an end.
If you are hearing sounds coming from your engine that sound like pieces of metal knocking against each other, then your engine is experiencing too much friction, and it’s time to change the oil.
Oil’s Color is Dark
It’s a good idea to routinely check the dipstick under the hood of your vehicle to ensure the levels of the oil are good as well as the color of the oil is correct. Fresh oil is light yellow and translucent. Spent oil is very dark in color. If it looks dirty, it’s time to change your oil.
If you are smelling burnt oil when running your vehicle, then you might be experiencing an oil leak. This is a sign it’s time to check in with your service provider.
Smoke Coming from Exhaust
If you are experiencing smoke coming from the exhaust pipe of your vehicle, that’s a warning that your oil needs to be changed.
When it’s time for you to change your oil or perform any routine maintenance on your vehicle, seek out someone you can trust. Auto Alternative Service & Sales in Nicholasville, KY, can help you out. Let us know how we can help, give us a call, or contact us for an appointment.