Oil Change FAQs Answered
March 14th, 2016
At Don Duncan’s All American Auto & Tire Centers in Birmingham, AL, we sometimes encounter questions about oil changes…what they are, how often they should be done, things like that. Today, we wanted to take a moment and go over a few of those FAQs:
Q: Why is motor oil so important?
A: Without motor oil, your engine would not be able to run at all. Motor oil provides a film of lubrication between moving parts, reducing friction and wear and helping to disperse heat. It also limits the moving parts’ exposure to oxygen; oxidization of parts will soon lead to rust. Without motor oil, the engine would soon self-destruct.
Q: How often should motor oil be changed?
A: Motor oil picks up carbon, tiny metal particles and other contaminants in normal use. For conventional motor oil, an oil change interval of 5-7,000 miles is usually advised. Synthetic motor oil can easily go 10-12,000 miles between oil changes. Always check your owner’s manual for manufacturer’s recommendations.
Q: Will a less-frequent oil change harm the engine?
A: Well, it doesn’t do it much good. Infrequent oil changes mean buildups of carbon and sludgy or crusty deposits on bearings, valve train components and other moving parts. While one oil change that goes a little long won’t do much harm, it isn’t a good habit to fall into.
Q: Do you always need to change the oil filter at the same time?
A: Absolutely. After several thousand miles, the old oil filter is saturated with the carbon, acids and gunk that were in the old motor oil that you just had changed. Leaving the old filter in place would immediately contaminate the fresh oil you just added.
Q: Should you get your oil changed more often for “extreme use” situations?
A: Yes. “Extreme use” would include situations such as:
• Towing or hauling heavy loads
• Cold weather – extended periods of less than 10 degrees
• Extreme heat – long periods of over 95 degrees
• Extensive idling
• Lots of trips of less than five miles, where the engine never gets a chance to completely warm up
Q: What’s involved with an oil change at Don Duncan’s All American Auto & Tire Centers in Montgomery, AL?
A: You can expect:
• Fresh oil and filter
• Check all fluids under hood, top off if needed
• Inspect engine for leaks
• Check belts and hoses
• Check exhaust and undercarriage for damage or corrosion
• Check tire pressure
• Check air filter
Oil changes at regular intervals are still your best bet for getting the most years and miles out of your car’s engine. How long has it been since yours was changed? Make an appointment with us at Don Duncan’s All American Auto & Tire Centers in Montgomery, AL and let us get your car taken care of!
Posted in: Auto Repair 101