Recheck Oil Change Service Intervals For Proper Maintenance

by Don Elliott on June 19, 2012

Generally, manufacturers and service shops have recommended changing your car’s oil every 3000 miles. While there is nothing wrong with this frequent oil change schedule, it might not be necessary based on today’s oil technology, filter options and manufacturers recommended maintenance schedules.

Manufacturer’s Recommendations

First and most important, while your car us under the manufacturer’s new car warranty period, any changes to the recommended oil change schedule might invalidate the warranty should something go wrong with the engine. Stick to the schedule in your owner’s manual to avoid problems with the warranty.

Driving Conditions

The job of the oil is to lubricate the moving parts inside of your car’s engine. Specifically, the viscosity of oil provides a slight separation between the moving metal parts, allowing them to slide by one another with a minimum amount of friction for maximum efficiency. Oil also helps cool the engine by transferring heat to the engine block and eventually to the outside air. The usable life of the oil will change depending on when and where you drive. Short trips, frequent cold starts, hot weather and towing a vehicle make it necessary to change the oil more often.

Oil Type

Oil choices include petroleum, synthetic, and blended oil types. Synthetic motor oils cost more but don’t break down a fast as petroleum motor oils. Blended oils include varying ratios of synthetic and blended motor oils. Oils also vary by viscosity, or “slipperiness.” The Society of Automotive Engineers provides numerical guidelines to identify the viscosity of oil specified for your car. The SAE rating is shown as a number like “SAE 10W-30.” Depending on your car and driving habits, the correct oil type can make your engine run more efficiently, save gasoline and prolong the engine’s life.

Filtration

Oil filters are designed to capture the particulate matter gathered up by the motor oil as it moves through the engine. Some filters are more efficient than others. Using the correct filter based on your oil change interval is critical to maintaining your used car value. Change the filter every time that you change your oil. A good oil filter costs only a few dollars, a great investment considering its purpose to help maintain your engine’s performance.

Whether you change your own oil, use a “quick change” service, or have your auto repair shop do the work, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals and oil type whenever possible.

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