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The Importance of Regular Oil Change Service
Most of us are already aware that regular oil and filter changes are a vital part of the routine maintenance necessary for vehicle longevity. Between changes, the oil in your vehicles engine becomes contaminated with foreign bodies such as soot and metal particles. As your miles increase, so does that contamination. There are also additives in engine oils that help them to lubricate the parts of you car's engine properly. These additives break down with time and use.
Eventually the oil becomes too contaminated or uses too many additives to be as effective as designed. This is when you run the risk of causing damage to the internal components of your engine. The easiest method to combat this potential damage is regularly changing your engine oil and filter.
Much debate surrounds the recommended intervals for the changing of oil. While there have been many advances in both the chemical makeup of oil and the physical structure of engines, we still recommend a 3000 mile interval with regular oil and a 5000 mile interval with synthetic.
Many manufacturers have published recommended intervals of 5000 plus miles in "Normal" driving conditions. The following are some examples of what vehicle manufacturers consider "Severe" conditions and are the reason we still recommend the 3000 mile interval:
As you can see from the above, meeting the requirements for "Normal" driving conditions is very difficult to do. With the volume of traffic we regularly experience you might even call it impossible.
Many people claim that changing your filter along with your oil is not necessary at every oil change. We couldn't agree less! The very contaminants that cause your oil to need to be replaced clog that filter and reduce the flow of your engine oil. That reason alone is good enough to lead us to recommending that it be changed with every oil change.
The options for oil changes come into play with the type of oil you use. Some vehicles require synthetic oils per the specifications of the manufacturer. All vehicles require specific grades of oil.
The grade refers to the ability of the oil to lubricate within a specific temperature range. The engineers that designed the engine determine the requisite grade.
The advantage of full synthetic oils like Mobil 1 over conventional oils is their extra additives, which allow it to combat the temperatures, and contaminates of the engine for longer than conventional oils. These extra additives help it to lubricate longer.
Sometimes the thought of what is involved in a correct oil change or not knowing what should be can deter people from bringing their vehicles in for service. An oil change should include the following at minimum:
While the list is very basic and most places do much more, you should ensure that those minimum requirements are met each time.
There are many vehicles on the road today that have oil change lights. While some of these vehicles have systems that are able to test the effectiveness of the oil and determine when it should be changed, there are still many that are based upon the mileage the vehicle has driven. These mileage-based lights do not factor for operating conditions or environments, which limits their effectiveness.
While much debate surrounds this service, it still remains one of the most critical items on your vehicles maintenance checklist. The best thing to do is to remember that your engine cannot have its oil changed too much and that ensuring it is changed regularly will prolong the life of the engine.