The blanket recommendation of oil changes every 3,000 miles simply does not apply to the modern vehicle. Advancements in lubrication technology has allowed vehicle manufacturers to extend their oil change intervals across the board. As a result, it is more important than ever to have your oil changed on a strict schedule personalized to your vehicle year, make, model and engine type. Utilize this guide to better understand why oil changes are important to the life of your vehicle – and when to acquire this service.
Importance of Timely Oil Changes
The crankshaft, camshafts and other moving parts within your engine rely on quality lubricant to protect their wear surfaces. Fresh motor oil adequately lubricates these internal parts to reduce friction and heat generation. With this level of protection, the parts lose far less material as they spin at high RPMs. The smoothly flowing oil also helps to flush debris, such as dirt and metal shavings, out of the engine with each oil change.
If you do not have timely oil changes performed, however, the oil tends to breakdown and lose its lubricant properties. The old motor oil can also thicken and fail to properly flow through the oil galleries and other small passageways in your engine. With help from your local auto shop, you can prevent these problems with timely maintenance services using the right motor oil.
Types of Oil Used in Vehicle
To support all engine types on the road today, oil comes in synthetic, synthetic blend and conventional formulas in a variety of weights. For older vehicles, you can find high-mileage motor oil formulas that help extend the life of tired engines. Most modern vehicles require a multi-viscosity oil, such as 10W-30, rather than a straight weight oil. With older vehicles, however, you may get away with using a straight weight oil, like 20W.
Car, truck and van manufacturers determine the optimal oil type and weight to use for each of their engines. You must follow these recommendations to ensure the motor oil can flow freely through the engine passageways and provide adequate protection for all moving parts.
How to Find Your Optimal Oil Change Schedule
You can work with your trusted auto tech to find the optimal oil change schedule for your vehicle year, make, model and engine type. Your auto tech will take your vehicle mileage into consideration as well. With a look at the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations, and the condition of your oil, your auto tech can inform you of your ideal oil change schedule. You can have an oil change performed at that time to reset the clock and commit to coming in on a regular maintenance schedule.