Benefits of an Oil Change

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The Benefits of an Oil Change on a Car

By Toni Owen, eHow Contributor

The Benefits of an Oil Change on a Car
Oil lubricates the moving parts of your engine. It also stops corrosion, helps sealing, and keeps the engine cool. Clean oil helps keep an engine clean and running at maximum performance.

Aug 10, 2012 --  1) Signs of Trouble - Contamination in motor oil increases with use. Oil filters screen particles from the oil, but over time the additives are depleted, and the oil itself can oxidize or thicken, lose its effectiveness, and not protect your engine as effectively. The first sign of trouble may be your oil warning light, indicating a problem in the oil system. If the light goes on, pull over and stop as soon as it is safe. Driving with low oil pressure could do serious damage to your engine. Other trouble signs are smoke from your tail pipe or pools of oil under your car.

2) Organic Oil - Organic oil is still the industry standard. While cheaper than synthetic oil, it also breaks down faster. James Eischen, the auto mechanic from America's Car Show, doesn't advise leaving petroleum-based oil in an engine for 7,500 miles, as is recommended with newer engines. He recommends every 4,000 to 5,000 miles.

3) Synthetic Oil - According to Aamco, your car benefits from synthetic oil by having a cleaner engine, reduced wear and better engine protection at high temperatures, better gas mileage, and improved cold weather starts.
Synthetic oil is used by high-performance cars because of the demands put on them, but the benefits also apply to other vehicles and their drivers. Although more expensive, synthetic oils deliver benefits to offset the costs, including longer life.
Mr. Eischen suggests synthetic oil can last 5,000 to 7,000 miles between changes.

4) DIY or Mechanic? - Changing your own oil offers several benefits, including cost and convenience.
Doing it yourself saves you a mechanic's bill and lets you schedule it at your convenience. If you are mechanically inclined, another benefit is to give you the chance to check your engine for signs of wear.
On the other hand, if you don't like to get dirty or aren't engine savvy, you might put off changing the oil, and that could damage your engine. In addition, a mechanic will check fluid levels and other areas for problems while your car is up on the rack.
How Often

5) The standard to change oil used to be every 3,000 miles or three months, whichever came first. As regulations on emissions and fuel economy tightened, car engines ran hotter, and oils were designed to meet those conditions. The new rule of thumb is to change oil every 7,500 miles.
Your car's vehicle manual will recommend a schedule for normal driving. If you drive in bumper-to-bumper commuter traffic, haul heavy loads, or go off-road, you will need to change it more often.


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Last modified: May 16, 2014