Posted by Zane Winberg on

Oil changes are an important and standard part of car ownership. They are regular and routine, so they are often easy to forget. Oil changes are often misunderstood by the average car owner, and it may seem like just an extra hassle, or a way for mechanics to take money from you. But actually oil changes are one critical way to keep your car running healthy. Do you fully understand the need for oil changes?

What is An Oil Change?

An oil change is when a mechanic flushes the existing oil in your engine, checks for leaks or friction, then replaces the oil with fresh and plentiful oil. They also do routine maintenance and checkups. Mechanics will look for worn belts, leaking radiators, aging brake pads, weak batteries, and any other indications that something is wrong with your engine.

Why Get an Oil Change?

The oil in your engine is designed to keep everything well-lubricated to decrease heat and friction. Having a properly lubricated engine will prevent unnecessary and dangerous wear-and-tear that can cause your engine to overheat, lose gas mileage, or even damage the engine permanently. Oil can leak out of your engine, or it can congeal and leave deposits. Oil will get dirty and ineffective over time, so regular oil changes keep your engine more clean and better lubricated, protecting you against these negative consequences.

How Often Should I Get an Oil Change?

Well, it depends. The first place you want to look is your owner’s manual for your specific make and model. See how often they suggest oil changes, and the recommended oil for your vehicle. Then you need to make a few judgement calls. If you drive the car a lot, or the miles are hard commuting or inefficient miles, you may want to increase your oil change frequency. If your car is older or has had a lot of issues, you may also want to increase the frequency of your oil changes, because it will keep your car in better condition and more quickly alert you to other problems. You may also want to consider upgrading to a higher quality oil or using an oil additive to really help your car operate at its highest level of efficiency.

If you can’t remember the last time you took your car for an oil change, it’s probably a good idea to take your car in this week. Set an appointment for the next oil change, or set a reminder in your phone or calendar. It’s well worth the effort to commit to regular oil changes. 

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