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Why are oil changes important? The cost of replacing an engine starts at around $4,000 and goes up from there depending on your vehicle.
If you aren’t regularly changing your oil, replacing an engine is just one of the problems you could face. And since oil changes are significantly cheaper and easier than replacing an engine, it makes sense to do them.
Keep reading as we dig deeper into the importance of oil changes and what they do for your vehicle.
Why Are Oil Changes Important?
To understand why oil changes are so important, we have to look at what they do for your vehicle. There are two main purposes of engine oil.
The most important role engine oil has is lubrication. Your engine has moving parts that create heat and friction. When these parts are lubricated, it greatly reduces the amount of friction and, therefore, heat that is generated.
A well-lubricated engine runs more smoothly and won’t over-heat. This protects the components of your engine individually and your engine as a whole. An engine running without oil will wear out quickly which could leave you needing to replace the entire thing.
Another danger to engine components is dirt. When dirt particles get into your engine, they can corrode parts and increase friction and heat. That’s why the second role of oil is to keep dirt out of these parts.
As engine oil circulates through your engine, it naturally picks up dirt particles and anything else that shouldn’t be in your engine. That’s what causes oil to go from a light amber color to black over time.
To get the dirt completely out of your engine, you have to change your oil. This also prevents oil from breaking down into what’s known as “sludge.” Sludge can also damage your engine if left in for a long period of time.
Benefits of Getting an Oil Change
Now let’s get into some of the many benefits of getting an oil change.
The biggest advantage of changing your car’s oil on time is that you’ll save money. As we mentioned before, replacing your engine costs thousands of dollars. Compared to the hundreds you’ll spend on oil changes over a few years,… they more than pay for themselves.
Get Better Gas Mileage
When your engine is running as smoothly as possible with new oil, it takes less gas to keep it running. This means you don’t have to fill your tank as often and you can save money on gas, too.
Although you won’t save enough on gas to notice a difference, the savings add up over time and this is just one of many benefits of getting regular oil changes.
Increase Vehicle’s Lifespan
As you can imagine, when your engine is running smoothly, the individual parts and engine as a whole will both last longer. You then allow your vehicle to run for far longer than it would if you never changed the oil.
Once again, this shows that small investments in oil changes will help you save tons of money in the long run. In this case, it allows you to put off purchasing a new car until you’re ready.
Maintain Your Warranty
If your car breaks down while under the manufacturer’s warranty, you can get it fixed for free, provided you have upheld your end of the bargain. Otherwise, you’ll be fully responsible for repair costs.
When you get a warranty for your vehicle, be sure to read it over carefully to see what you have to do. In many cases, you will be expected to perform regular maintenance on your vehicle which includes oil changes.
Have a Checkup for Your Vehicle
How often does your vehicle get carefully checked over? In many cases, there are early warning signs that something needs to be done that you can miss because you’re simply not paying close attention to your car.
Although you should be doing this when doing your own oil changes and certainly can, if you don’t know much about vehicle maintenance, you should take your car to a professional for an oil change.
When you take your car to a professional, they will give your car a full checkup so they can catch a small issue before it becomes a huge problem. You may also end up saving money on your oil change by going to a dealership.
How to Know When Your Car Needs an Oil Change
You need to make sure you change your oil every six months or every 7,500 miles, whichever comes first.
This rule applies to Ford vehicles from 2008 and beyond. If your car was made before 2008, then you should plan on changing the oil every 5,000 miles or every six months.
However, there are some indications that your oil needs to be changed sooner than that. These include:
- Check oil or check engine light lit up on your dashboard
- Loud engine or knocking sounds coming from the engine
- Engine over-heating
- Smoke coming from the exhaust pipe
- The smell of burning oil inside your car while driving
Whenever you encounter one of these, immediately check your oil to see if it’s dirty.
Checking Your Oil
To check your oil, open your hood while the engine is cool. A hot engine could spew hot oil at you, so always do this after the car has been sitting for at least a few minutes. Wait even longer if your engine has been over-heating.
Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, and insert it back into its spot. Then, carefully remove it again and look closely at the oil.
Engine oil should be transparent enough that you can see the dipstick through it. If you can’t, it’s time to get an oil change. If the oil appears light enough, then you’ll want to make sure there’s enough oil in your engine.
Need a Professional Oil Change?
Now you know the answer to the question, “Why are oil changes important?” You can also see there are many benefits and that it’s easy to know when it’s time to take your vehicle in for one.
Having your oil changed by a professional has numerous benefits. To reap them, contact us today. We would be more than happy to change your car’s oil and ensure it’s in good working condition.