The oil in your car is like blood flowing in your body, and without it the engine won’t run. Oil is the lubricant that allows metal to go against metal without causing damage, and it’s responsible for lubricating the pistons as they move along the cylinders. If there’s no oil or it isn’t changed on a regular basis, the metals would generate friction and heat, welding the pieces and damaging the engine.
What Will Happen if You Don’t Change the Oil?
There’s no question that oil is important for your car so you put in the required amount, but what would happen if you don’t change it?
First of all dirt will build up in the oil. The filter can remove some of it but over time the filter is going to get clogged and the dirty oil will go through the filter via a relief valve. Also dirty oil is abrasive and thick, causing additional wear and tear, and additives like friction reducers rust fighters, dispersants and detergents wear off, limiting the oil’s ability to lubricate.
As the car oil gets dirtier, it will no longer be able to lubricate and lead to rapid wear and tear. This won’t happen overnight of course, and even if you miss out on the recommended change by a month it won’t lead to a dangerous situation. You’d need to miss on the manufacturer’s recommended oil change by thousands of miles before anything untoward happens, but why wait for that?
Importance of Oil Change
The point is this: there are a lot of things you need to maintain in your car, but oil change is probably the most important as far as routine maintenance is concerned. When changing the oil, it’s important that you completely remove the old oil and replace it with something that’s new and fresh. It’s also recommended you change the filter simultaneously with the oil although some drivers don’t.
No matter what car you drive, it won’t change the fact that the engine will have numerous moving parts, and the more powerful the engine is the more moving components it probably has. As explained earlier, these parts rub and move against each other and this movement produces heat.
The engine oil is capable of soaking in the heat generated by this movement only if it is clean, otherwise the internal components will overheat. Contrary to what some believe, even high grade oil loses its efficiency when it gets dirty. As a car owner your objective is to make sure that you change the oil before anything serious happens.
How Often Should You Change Car Oil?
If you ask a car mechanic you’ll probably be told to change it every 3,000 miles, but it’s better to check your manual and follow what’s recommended there, which should be around 5,000 to 8,000 miles. However, there are other factors to consider such as how often you drive, where you drive and the age of your engine.
It also depends on the kind of oil you use, with high grade oil needing longer intervals. For instance, synthetic high grade oil can last 10,000 miles before requiring a change. But if you use regular oil and drive the car to work, changing every 5,000 or 7,500 miles would be all right. However, you’ll need to change more often if the engine is old or you drive in very hot, cold or dusty places.
Finally, remember to follow your manual guide for changing the oil as it can vary from model to model, and you’ll also need a funnel, jacks, a new oil filter, wrenches, an oil pan and new oil ready.