Why Getting it done Right, MATTERS.
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Should vehicle owners be concerned about the facts of changing oil? Should they ensure they always get the right oil for their vehicles? Most would consider this matter as an unnecessary requirement which they shouldn’t be worried about. They would simply look at the oil monitor in their vehicle to understand whether an oil change is due or not. It must be mentioned that vehicle owners are probably confused about when is the right time for changing the oil on their vehicle. The fact that no interval has been provided for this essential requirement may also be compounding the matter.
When vehicles owners are questioned about the frequency of oil changes the most common answers which have been noted are 3000, 5000 or 7500 miles. Alternatively many have simply indicated that the oil monitor of the vehicle is the best guide which can be used for changing the oil and engine maintenance. Are these vehicle owners correct in their assumptions? Let us look at some of the facts to understand why vehicle owners should be concerned about oil changes.
Facts of An Oil Change
The engine is the primary component of a vehicle. Vehicle owners that want to ensure their vehicles run longer should be changing the oil as recommended by the manufacturer. However, it is also essential for them to consider some recommendations in order to determine the correct interval between oil changes. The interval should consider the operating conditions of the vehicle along with the habits of the driver.
Recommendations provided by the manufacturer usually apply to vehicles which are driven in ideal conditions. Drivers may consider their driving habits as well as operating conditions normal but are recommended to understand the fine print. There are exceptions to normal driving some of which have been mentioned below:
- Stop and go city traffic driving.
- Frequent short trips (fewer than 10 miles in cold weather.)
- Driving on gravel roads or in dusty conditions.
- Driving at high speeds during hot weather.
- Use for towing.
- Turbocharged or diesel engine.
The conditions mentioned above generally appear in the description of severe service driving. Advice has been provided by experts that the owners manual must be read to identify the correct interval for an oil change.
Should Oil Be Changed Every 3000 Miles?
The following facts may lead vehicle owners to believe differently:
- In order to prevent the buildup of sludge and to help prevent corrosion engine oil requires complex detergents and additives.
- The additives allow the oil to flow freely in extremely cold temperatures even as they provide protection under extremely hot conditions.
- Tests conducted have provided evidence that at 3000 miles the oil in the engine still has the capacity to lubricate. However, the depletion of additives that are critical may prevent the oil from offering the protection and benefits it was designed for.
- Changing oil at longer intervals may prove beneficial to the environment but may shorten the life of the engine.
- Re-refined oils may offer an alternative to vehicle owners who are concerned about the environment.
- Re-refined oils use the residual lubricating qualities of oil which have already been used by replacing the wasted additives to create oils which are similar to the quality of new oil.
What Should Vehicle Owners Be Doing To Extend The Life of the Vehicle?
Proper maintenance of the vehicle is perhaps the most important requirement for extending the life of the vehicle. The type of driving and usage of the vehicle may affect the maintenance intervals. Vehicle owners are advised to follow the manufacturer’s service schedule which best matches their vehicles operating conditions. The manufacturer’s service schedule may include the following recommendations:
- Changing the engine oil as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer at an interval which matches the vehicles operating conditions and driving habits of the driver.
- Checking the tire inflation pressure every month.
- Rotating the tires according to the vehicle manufacturers suggested service interval or every six months or 5000 miles.
- Changing the engine air filter every year or when the visibility is restricted.
- Inspecting the brake systems every year or at every 15,000 miles.
Can Vehicle Owners Benefit By Changing The Oil As Suggested?
Studies conducted by the Car Care Council have revealed that approximately 22% of vehicles on the roads are running on low or dirty engine oil. Changing the oil and even the oil filter can help the engine to function better and prevent expensive repairs for vehicle owners. The cost of maintaining the engine of a vehicle is far more expensive than simply indulging in an oil change. Given below are some of the reasons by which vehicle owners can benefit from regular oil and oil filter changes.
- The engine has numerous moving parts such as pistons, valves, and other parts which are moving at high speeds under the hood of the vehicle. An oil change can help to maintain engine lubrication. The moving parts have the potential to create heat and wear down the engine when proper oil lubrication is not available. It is strongly recommended that the vehicle owner refers to the owners manual to understand the specific grade and weight of oil needed by the vehicle and ensure it is maintained at the recommended fill volume.
- An oil change can cool engine components by providing the moving parts the lubrication they need to prevent friction which is the primary cause of heat. Therefore it is essential to maintain clean and the desired levels of oils to ensure the engine does not overheat.
- Oil changes can remove engine wear particles as well as sludge. Engine wear particles are detrimental to engines and dirt can cause corrosion resulting in the life of the engine being decreased. When the oil is not changed as recommended it can break down and turn into sludge. Regular changes of oil and filter will help to remove particles and sludge to keep the engine in prime condition.
- Improve the mileage of the vehicle. It is an established fact that fuel consumption increases when the engine does not have proper lubrication. It is believed that routine changes and by using the right variety of engine oil can improve the mileage of the vehicle by approximately 1 to 2%.
Perhaps the most important benefit vehicle owners can enjoy is the enhanced vehicle longevity by indulging in regular maintenance of their vehicle. They will be ensuring that the buildup from dirty oil does not rob them of fuel economy or make the internal components of the vehicle work harder. With such benefits available to the vehicle owner simply by regularly changing the oil it should not be considered as a hassle but an investment to improve the quality and the life of the vehicle.
Does It Matter Also To Get The Oil Right For the Vehicle?
Using the right oil ensures the smooth running of the engine. The right oil can stop the metal surfaces of the engine from grinding and wearing because it creates a separate oil film between them. The right oil can also disperse heat and protect the engine by reducing wear. Furthermore, good oil can prevent the buildup of dirt and deposits by keeping them suspended. Engine oil can even protect against sludge as it battles oxidation to keep the oil fresh and minimize acids which are the primary cause of corrosion.
Vehicle owners can decide either to use mineral oils or synthetic oils after considering their driving habits and operating conditions. It is essential for vehicle owners to get the oil right because it could mean a difference in the costs which they spend on an oil change.
Vehicle owners that are not subjecting their vehicles to excessive stress are suggested to use mineral oils which are made from crude oil that is processed in a refinery for separating the fractions and including essential lubrication properties. Mineral oils are free from unwanted components like waxes.
Vehicle owners who have turbocharged engines would benefit from synthetic oils because they can provide enhanced performance as they are manufactured by using an expensive chemical process than the one used in mineral oil production. Synthetic oils are more resistant to heat and are protected by antioxidant additives.
It is extremely important for vehicle owners to understand that it matters greatly to get the oil right for their vehicle. Using an engine oil unsuitable for their driving habits on operating conditions will expose them to any to all the concerns spoken about in this article. It can also mean expensive repairs for the vehicle which they could have prevented by understanding the facts and concerns of changing oil and getting it right from the very onset.
i dont understand why other people dont change their oil as often as possible. They always settle for the once a year check up before they have the oil changed. lol, let me tell ya once a year is a pretty low commitment but better commit to getting your oil changed than face the consequences.
Oil changing is such a fun way to bond with your sons. I have four boys and all of them are in their teens so it’s important to tell them something so basic as oil changing. And I completely agree with you that the synthetic use is great for highly modified cars and the ones that run really fast. before I would use the synthetic oil for my car, but I use my car for light driving only and mostly for bringing my kids to school and driving aorund the city. I guess it was too much for my car that when i brought it in for maintenance, they told me to just change it to crude oil. lesson learned!
One of the tricks that I learned from my father is using a stick to check the oil. He always says that the stick will tell you more than the mileage you run etc. He always says you have to listen to the engine and you have to feel how your car is doing. lol great memories. but even greater tips, nonetheless. Now I am sharing my own tips and the ones on your article to my son. He’s starting to pick up the habit of fixing cars, which is great!