14 Nov Oil, Lube & Filter Change
How Often Should You Change Your Oil?
Years ago it was a good idea to change the oil and filter frequently, such as every 3,000 miles, but because of advances in engine materials and tighter tolerances, as well as the oil that goes into engines, most manufacturers recommend intervals of 5-6,500 miles. However, it is one of the more cheaper preventative maintenance services offered and a good routine to get into having your car in for an inspection by our ASE Certified Master Technicians, who may spot other warning signs that could save you money in the long run.
The intervals vary by manufacturer and engines, for instance; Ford, Volkswagen, Porsche, Toyota and BMW may even have specific oil change intervals depending on the model of your car, van, SUV or light truck. However, the more luxury models may also specify the use of synthetic oil. It’s best to either consult your owner’s manual or stop in and talk with our Platinum Auto Service Advisor or Technicians to for a recommendation on how often to change the oil in your vehicle and what type of oil to use.
Manufacturers suggest you change oil more often for “severe” driving conditions, such as frequent trailer towing, extensive stop-go driving or idling in traffic, driving in extreme heat or cold, or frequent short-distance driving in which the engine doesn’t reach full operating temperature.
Some car companies, Ford and General Motors among them, equip most vehicles with oil life monitors that tell you when it’s time to change the oil based on vehicle speed, engine temperature, climate conditions, number of cold starts and other factors. If you’re nervous about going 6,000 miles or more between oil changes, then do it every six months, when you probably should also have yourtires rotated (also explained in your owner’s manual). GM says with longer recommended intervals between oil changes, it’s more important to check the oil level at least once a month to make sure you have enough.
The typical oil filter consists of a high-strength steel housing containing various types of filtering media. An anti-drainback valve prevents oil from running out of the filter when the engine is off. Today’s oil filters have a convenient spin-on design that makes removal and installation easy.
The oil filter sifts out contaminants, allowing the oil to flow through the engine unrestricted. Should the oil filter become restricted or clogged with contaminants, they will flow around the filter. This bypassing is a safety mechanism, but you never want to let oil and filter changes go so long that bypassing takes place.
For best results, consult your owner’s manual, but consider that your driving probably constitutes a severe maintenance schedule. Usually, this means oil and filter changes every 3,500 miles or 3 months. An oil change at your local shop: Sounds simple, but there’s some pretty important things to know about preventing oil sludge.
Oil eventually starts to turn into jelly. Literally – petroleum jelly. Sludge clogs up oil passages and keeps oil from getting to some areas of the engine, causing parts to wear out prematurely. And that means expensive engine repairs.
That’s why you need to change the oil and oil filter on schedule – to get the old oil out before it turns to sludge. Your manufacturer will have a recommendation for how many miles you can go between oil changes. They also usually have a number of months between recommended oil changes. That’s because the detergents and other additives in the oil break down over time.
Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation for time and mileage, but you need to remember that it’s based on using the recommended weight of oil. And if your vehicle came from the factory with synthetic oil, the recommended intervals assume you continue to use synthetic.
Also how you drive around in our suburban street can have a big effect. Most owner’s manuals will have a list of driving conditions that are harder on your vehicle. Things like stop and go driving, short trips or driving in very hot or very cold weather, heavy loads and towing. If some of your driving fits this, you may need to change your oil and do other maintenance on a shorter schedule.
This may sound complicated. Some vehicles have an oil life calculator that takes all of these factors into account and tells you when you should change your oil. Otherwise, talk with our Service Advisor about how you drive and get their recommendation for when to take care of your service.
Finally, if any of the steering or suspension parts can be lubed, our technicians will take care of that with a lube, oil and filter service.
It is Cheaper to Change Your Oil than to Change Your Engine!
The most important thing you can do to keep your vehicle running for a long time is to change your oil on schedule.With a full service oil change, your other fluids are checked and topped off so you don’t run into problems from low fluids. Your technician may see a developing problem and he’ll remind you of any other recommended maintenance