Oil Change Myths
This week, I’m back to talk about one of the most basic and common automotive maintenance procedures – the oil change. I’ll be explaining everything from common oil change myths to the function of motor oil, to why you need to change your oil and how often your vehicle’s motor oil should be changed, and finally why ExperTec Automotive in Huntington Beach is the best choice in the Orange County area to get your oil change!
So first, the basics – what is an oil change? Well, the entire process actually involves changing the car’s oil and oil filter. The old, used motor oil is drained from the engine and replaced with new oil, and the used filter is also removed and replaced with a new one. It may sound like a relatively simple process, and in fact for most cars it is, but there are some cars that are harder to operate on, and additionally there are several areas where it can easily go wrong, leading to much bigger problems.
Your car’s engine is a massively complex precision machine with hundreds or even thousands of parts, and the fact is that handling one of these parts incorrectly, especially something as critical and pervasive as the car’s motor oil, could potentially render your entire engine useless. It is not uncommon for somebody to try to change their own oil and put in the wrong kind, the wrong filter, forget to take off the old gasket, or even forget to put on the new filter, all of which could lead to extensive engine damage and in the worst case a destroyed engine.
Your car’s motor oil is exactly what it sounds like – a lubricant. Its function is simple: lubricate the moving parts of the engine so that they operate more smoothly and do not wear out as quickly. Without motor oil, an engine would only last a small fraction of the time that it is designed to, as the parts would grind and crash together and quickly fail.
Why does oil have to be changed? Motor oil, due to the high operating temperature of an engine, goes through thermal breakdown which makes it less effective as a lubricant. Motor oils also contain additives to neutralize acids, which get used up and are rendered ineffective over time. Finally, the oil absorbs water, dust, dirt, and metal particles from the engine’s operation, which, if the oil is not changed regularly, will remain in the engine and begin to cause corrosion.
Oil is critical to an engine’s performance and longevity, and clean oil performs its functions much more effectively than dirty oil. An oil change is relatively cheap, but the problems which can arise from using old motor oil can easily necessitate major repairs.
Just how often should you change your oil? Well, as with most components, every manufacturer has a different recommendation, but a good general rule is about every 5,000 miles. It is true that modern cars, with improved technology and more durable synthetic oils, may last longer – some people say 8,000 or even 10,000 miles or more – but you can’t go wrong changing it at least every 5,000 miles. Depending on your driving conditions, vehicle, and oil type, some people even recommend getting an oil change every 3,000 miles. In the end, you should consult your owner’s manual to see how often you should be getting an oil change.
In addition to regularly changing your oil, it is important to check your oil level every few hundred miles. If your car is rapidly losing oil, you may have an oil leak or your engine may be burning oil. In this case you should call us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment and diagnose the problem.
Here at ExperTec, we’re happy to help! We can change your oil quickly and at a reasonable price, and help you with any other problems you have with your engine’s motor oil. Our certified team of trained mechanics will work with you to keep your car running smoothly and on the road. Call us today at (714)-848-9222 to schedule an appointment. ExperTec Automotive – we pride ourselves in being Huntington Beach’s favorite AAA Approved Repair Shop!