All the oil change information you need to know:
Where is the best place to get an oil change?
The best place to get an oil change is with an experienced automotive technician. You can save yourself some money by doing your own oil changes, of course, but that doesn’t mean you should skip a trip to your automotive technician. In many ways, skipping your oil change is like skipping a trip to the dentist. You can brush your teeth at home, but do you know what gum disease looks like and how to reverse it before it is too late? It’s the same idea with your regularly scheduled service. Auto techs can be found at auto repair shops and car dealerships.
By having a reputable automotive technician change your oil every 3,000 miles, you have a better chance of catching other potential issues that may cause damage to your vehicle. For example, your auto tech may be able to catch that you are burning more oil than normal, or that you have a coolant leak, early enough to prevent expensive engine damage.
What does engine oil do?
Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle’s engine as it provides three primary functions.
- Oil lubricates engine components to reduce friction and ensure they work together smoothly.
- Inside your internal combustion engine there are thousands of small, controlled detonations happening every minute. Oil helps to draw heat away from the combustion chamber and keep your engine from getting too hot.
- Oil prevents varnishes and carbon build-up from accumulating inside the engine.
Why is it important to change the oil in my vehicle?
If you don’t change your oil regularly, you risk carbon buildup and “sludge” caused by running old oil for too long. Rather than lubricating and cooling the engine, sludge can create a sticky situation that may hinder the movement of engine components and cause damage to important moving parts like your pistons and camshafts. Once it gets to this point, the only way to remove the buildup is by an expensive engine cleaning.
When do I need to get an oil change for my car?
Get an oil change every 3,000 miles without exception. Even if your owner’s manual says you can go 7,500 or 10,000 miles between oil changes, there is a risk that you will miss the opportunity for preventative maintenance, even in newer vehicles.
Should I use synthetic oil?
You can, but you don’t really need to if you keep up on your service. Running expensive synthetic oil in your engine will not stop your high-mileage vehicle from burning oil or your head gaskets from leaking. Overall, synthetic oil just costs more.
How often should I have my tires rotated?
It is good practice to rotate your tires at every other oil change (6,000 miles+/-) to ensure they are wearing evenly. Each tire on a car carries a different amount of weight, making them wear out at different times. Rotating your tires will help to extend the life of your tires by changing the weight distribution and the pressure points where the rubber meets the pavement.
See also: Top 5 Auto Maintenance Myths Debunked, Regularly Scheduled Service: Oil Changes