Every 3,000 to 5,000 miles – depending on the type of car you drive – you (hopefully) get your oil changed. But have you ever wondered why you need it?
Having this service performed on a regular basis can prevent engine damage.
In this article we wrote, we talked about how a vehicle needs to be running on the right amount of oil. Otherwise, parts can’t be lubricated properly.
Some engine components operate off of oil pressure that is controlled by the vehicle’s computer and oil pressure solenoids. These parts can include variable valve timing and camshaft phasers, which adjust the timing of the camshaft and the engine’s operation. Sensors, such as oil pressure sensors, can also become clogged.
These aren’t the only reasons why oil changes are necessary.
Sludge build up
A Land Rover recently came in with a bad starter. While working on the repair, we realized that the engine had seized, which caused the starter to break.
One of our technicians ended up replacing the engine. When it was removed, you could see a significant amount of sludge that had accumulated as time went on.
Oil filter problems
Part of our oil change process includes putting in new oil and a new oil filter. (We also perform a digital inspection, look over the vehicle, and conduct a tire rotation. You can read more about what we do in our article “How Steve’s Auto Repair performs oil changes”.)
Problems can occur if the oil filter is in a car for too long. A while back, we worked on a car that had its oil filter collapse. This blocked the oil from running through the system.
Regular canister type oil filters have an oil bypass. So, when the filter gets clogged up, the oil won’t be forced through the filter material.
On these canister type oil filters, there’s so much suction that they can collapse, like this one did. Then, that oil is just bypassing the filter. Not only did it send contaminants to the engine, but it was left there for so long that pieces of the oil filter were being sucked up into the engine. This can plug small oil galleries and result in an engine failure.
Our maintenance recommendations
Taking care of your vehicle doesn’t just happen with one appointment at an auto repair shop, it needs to be maintained over a period of time.
Make sure to use a high quality oil filter and oil – there are many good brands. This can make a big difference in the longevity of your vehicle.
You can also protect your engine and ensure that it continues performing well by having BG MOA added after an oil change. This oil additive decreases sludge build up and can increase the fuel economy on an automobile.
Aside from having your car checked on a regular basis, it’s important to get to know your car, what it needs, and when it needs it. The owner’s manual is a great place to start. Have oil changes and other services performed based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Also, bring it to a mechanic or auto service center you trust. If you don’t understand something, ask questions.
Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.