Total car care experts offer the most important reasons to routinely change a vehicle’s oil. Engines are made up of many moving parts, and those parts need to be properly lubricated to avoid damage. Oil in the engine provides this vital function. Over time, that oil breaks down and becomes contaminated with dust, dirt and debris from the engine as well as the environment. When that happens, oil can’t properly do its job.
A recent study by the Car Care Council of the Be Car Care Aware campaign stated that 22% of vehicles have low or dirty engine oil. Proactively changing a vehicles’ oil and filter will help the engine continue to work at its best and prevent costly repairs to drivers down the road.
Maintains engine lubrication. Imagine all the moving parts, pistons, valves, and other engine parts moving at high rates of speed under the hood of a car. These components create heat and will wear down the engine dramatically without proper oil lubrication. Make sure to refer to the owner’s manual to see what specific weight and grade of oil the vehicle requires and ensure it is kept at the recommended fill volume.
Cools engine components. Moving parts that lack proper lubrication create friction, which in turn creates heat. Maintaining clean and sufficient amounts of oil is the perfect solution to prevent too much friction and over-heating of the engine.
Removes engine wear particles and sludge. Dirt particles are deadly to engines. Over time, dirt can cause corrosion and decrease the life of an engine. Also as time goes on, oil breaks down and turns to “sludge.” The name of the game is to keep the engine clean. Routine oil and filter changes help remove particles and sludge and keep engines at peak condition.
Improves gas mileage. Poor engine lubrication can lead to increased fuel consumption, so make sure there is enough clean oil in the engine. The U.S. Department of Energy says that with routine changes and the right kind of oil, gas mileage can be improved over time by 1-2%. That doesn’t sound like much of an improvement, but for the average car, it leads to savings of an entire gallon of gas for a year!
Promotes vehicle longevity. Plain and simple, routine maintenance makes your vehicle last longer. A buildup of dirty oil robs a vehicle’s fuel economy and power and makes internal components work harder. An engine that works too hard will end up having more problems down the road as well as a shorter lifespan.