An oil change is one of the simplest maintenance procedure to keep your vehicle running well, but there are some important things to learn about preventing sludge and deposit buildup and keeping your engine well lubricated.
From heat, particulates, and pressure, motor oil starts to degrade, and will eventually turn into thick, sticky petroleum jelly. Sludge will clog up your oil passages and keep oil from reaching all of the important areas of your engine, causing parts to wear out prematurely or eventually fail catastrophically and damage your cylinder heads or even entire engine block beyond repair - usually necessitating an entire engine replacement, which can easily cost several thousand dollars.
That’s why you need to change your oil and oil filter as scheduled, to drain the old oil before it turns into sludge and sticks inside of your engine. Your owner’s manual should tell you how many miles you can go between oil changes, or how many months between recommended oil changes - whichever comes first. This is because detergents and other active molecules in your oil will also break down over time. It is also recommended that you always use the same type of oil, whether it is synthetic or regular.
How you drive can also have an effect on the life of your oil. Things like stop and go driving, short trips where your engine doesn’t have time to warm up completely, driving in extreme weather conditions, and heavy loads or towing can lead to your oil degrading faster, and you should adjust your maintenance schedule to compensate.
Many newer vehicles have a display on the dashboard that will tell you when it is time for an oil change. Otherwise, talk with one of our service advisors here at ExperTec Automotive in Costa Mesa about your vehicle and driving habits for a professional recommendation on when to take care of this crucial service. Our lube, oil, and filter service also includes steering and suspension component lubrication when necessary to keep your parts moving smoothly, performing better, and lasting longer.