We’re often reminded about that all-important motor oil change, but less often explained why it’s so vital. Our gearhead readers will no doubt already know everything we have to say in this post, but not everyone is so well informed. So read on for our oil change FAQ!
What does motor oil do, exactly?
The oil’s main job is to lubricate the engine. It allows parts to move through each other without causing friction, which increase efficiency, power, and performance. Its other jobs involve cooling (by spreading heat) and cleaning the engine (by picking up debris between parts).
What will happen if I don’t change it?
The oil will become increasingly contaminated by various substances like dust, metallic shavings, and even antifreeze. Eventually, even the oil’s additive package will break down and become a contaminant. All of this leads to the formation of sludge, which can permanently damage the engine and eventually cause it to fail entirely.
Should I also change the oil filter?
Absolutely! The filter is responsible for keeping the oil free of contaminants (though it’s impossible to filter them all). If it becomes full or clogged, the engine becomes in danger of not receiving the oil it needs, so it bypasses the filter entirely. This is better than having no oil but very unideal in the long term, so you should make sure never to let your filter get to that point.
How often should I change my motor oil?
That depends on the car, how often you drive, and the conditions in which you usually drive. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to change it every 3,000 miles or three months, whichever comes first. At Pfeiffer Plainfield Used Cars, we recommend checking the owner’s manual.