Oil Changes -- Are They As Important As Everyone Says?
You probably heard it from your dad years ago – “Get your oil changed regularly! It’s the best thing you can do for your car!” And he was right. Automotive technology has changed a lot in the last 50 years, but one thing that’s still true is that oil changes at regular intervals will insure that your car’s engine will last a long time.
Your engine’s moving parts, like pistons, bearings and valvetrain components, all operate on extremely close clearances with each other. Without the protective film of lubrication that motor oil provides, these parts would quickly overheat and weld to each other, seizing the engine. Oil helps reduce wear due to friction and dissipate heat. Along with friction, however, a great deal of heat is generated by the combustion process, along with carbon, acids and water vapor. These contaminants will always make their way into motor oil.
The detergents and other additives in motor oil will suspend particles so they can be trapped in the paper element of the oil filter, but when the oil filter is saturated they will start to accumulate as crusty or sludgy deposits on moving parts.
In the old days, drivers were advised to change their oil every 3,000 miles. Today’s conventional oil formulations have improved , and now a 5,000 mile interval is safe for engine protection. Synthetic-blend oil is available for high mileage engines, but manufacturers now recommend full-synthetic oil for all new vehicles. Synthetic oil outperforms conventional oil in engine protection; it won’t thicken in cold weather or thin out in extreme heat, helping it quickly circulate to upper engine parts during the crucial startup period.
How long has it been since your last oil change? If you can’t remember, just pop the hood and pull your oil dipstick. Clean motor oil should be honey-colored and translucent. Oil that’s a bit darker but still translucent can go for awhile longer, but oil that’s the color of black coffee and has an acrid smell should be changed right away. Is it time for an oil change? Make an appointment with us at United Tire & Service!