The Many Benefits of Regular Oil Changes
Many motorists do not take the time to schedule regular oil changes, but did you know something as simple as a seasonal oil change can have multiple benefits on your vehicle’s performance and overall longevity? A simple seasonal oil change, when done every 3 months, or 3,000 to 6,000 miles depending on your vehicle, can keep your vehicle running more smoothly, and for much longer. Oil changes are the most inexpensive way to provide quality maintenance to your vehicle and prevent many common issues due to age and wear.
For example, an oil change will remove old, dirty oil, as well as replace the old filter, keeping the engine free from harmful dirt and debris. Small particles like dirt, road debris, and even air pollutants can get into the engine and begin to corrode away the moving parts. If engine oil is dirty, it will not properly lubricate and protect all of the constantly moving engine parts. Old engine oil also has a build up of these debris and dirt, so replacing the old, dirty oil will flush some of these harmful particles out of the engine.
Oil also acts as a coolant in the engine, but over time and with heat the oil begins to break down. The oil should be thick enough to keep heat and friction from destroying vital parts. It directs the heat away from the engine and cycles it through the entire system, displacing the heat so it cannot do any damage. In some newer vehicles, the oil is actually cooled off as it moves through, keeping the entire engine safer from harmful high temperatures.
Besides the obvious reasons of changing out old, dirty motor oil for clean oil to lubricate the moving parts, there are several other payoffs of regular oil changes that can be beneficial to both your wallet, and your vehicle. When the engine is properly lubricated, it will run at its peak performance, since there is not any sludge or debris adding extra strain on the vehicle. This in turn helps such factors as lower the emissions, boost gas mileage, and will result in a smoother ride. Regular oil changes will also increase the life of your vehicle. The engine will be protected against most of harm that normal wear and tear will cause, parts will stay cleaner with less corrosion, which means that with regular upkeep there will be less of a chance of damage or costly repairs.
Most mechanics also throw in other routine maintenance with your seasonal oil changes. Typically this is an opportune time for your mechanic to check or change out the air filter, top off your other fluids, and do a basic visual check for any signs of leaks or corrosion. Having any issues caught before they become major problems can end up saving you time, money, and the headache of any breakdowns in the long run.
As always, the best policy is to check with your mechanic or reference your vehicle’s owner’s manual to understand your specific engine’s needs. Some newer vehicles only require oil changes every 5,000- 7,500 miles, however the specifics on the oil may change as well. Understanding all of the benefits of regular oil changes, it is great preventative practice to keep them as frequent as possible for the performance, and longevity of your vehicle.