Oil Change, the Unsung Hero


Oil Change, the Unsung Hero

As car owners, we are told that oil change is important, that we should have our vehicle get an oil change every 3000 miles if using conventional oil, and every 5000 miles if using full synthetic. But do we do it? When you get your car back from an oil change, there is usually a little sticker in the upper left corner of the windshield – it tells you when or at what mileage to get another oil change. Heed this advice.

The biggest value of an oil change is that it extends engine life. Over time, motor oil deteriorates – both due to passage of time and the high heat under which it operates. It’s chemical and mechanical properties change. As it circulates through the engine and the system, it also picks up all kinds of grime and impurities that form within the system, as metal parts move close to each other, plastics deteriorate, etc. Oil filter can only filter our bigger particles, rest of them cycle through the system causing premature deterioration of the engine.

With fresh engine oil, your engine is better lubricated, faces less friction, hence you not only extend engine longevity, but get a slightly better mileage as well. But the value of the oil change is in extending engine life, not in better mileage. Personally I used to be somewhat cavalier about oil changes – until I talked to a whole bunch of mechanics and realized that every one of them was darn near religious about timely oil change – if these guys do it, and they see thousands of cars every year, there must be something to it.


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