For the most part, the level of knowledge that people have about the vehicles that they drive is minimal. I've always felt that if you understand the basics of how something works, you can prevent a lot of issues down the road from things like misuse, abuse or neglect. That theory can be applied to just about anything and can definitely be applied to your car. So, in an effort to expand everyone's knowledge of their vehicles, I give you: Auto Education - a series of blog posts where I break down topics that I feel could use explanation or that most drivers should know when operating a vehicle.
For our first topic, let's discuss the concept of one of the most common things you'll have done to your vehicle: the oil change. I'm going to split this post into 2 parts: one about why it's important to change your oil in the first place, and the other about what you'll get from it. Let's get started.
There are a few reasons you should change your oil. There's the obvious one - because you drove 3000-5000 miles or so and now you have a service reminder staring you in the face whenever you get in the car. The vehicle is telling you that the oil in your engine isn’t able to do its job properly anymore. Why is that? Behold, the biggest reason you should change your oil regularly. Over time, motor oil breaks down. When it breaks down, its ability to protect and lubricate the engine properly is affected. Plus, any sort of contamination that’s worked its way in your oil, such as dust and dirt, or in some cases fuel or coolant leaks, can also affect the oil’s performance. There are other factors too, such as the oil’s age and the temperature range it was used in, but we don’t need to get into those right now.
Another big reason you should regularly change your oil is not even so much because of the oil. All vehicles have what's called a service schedule. It's a list of what parts should be inspected, serviced or replaced at various mileage intervals, as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. So, when you bring your vehicle in for an oil change, it's not just to change your oil, it's there to be serviced. Things like your air filter, tires, brakes, transmission fluid and more, all get looked over to make sure they're all up for another 3000 or 5000 miles or so of use. If you neglect changing your oil, the rest of your vehicle can suffer because of it.
Be sure to stop back for Part 2 of this post where we talk about what happens during an oil change and why where you go to get it done can matter so much. Be sure to like this post if you want to see more content like this. You can also keep up to date with us by following us on social media. And, If you have a topic you'd like to see us cover in a future blog post, you can use the submission form at the bottom of the page to send it to us. Thanks for reading!