Busting Eight Myths About Motor Oil
When it comes to your car’s maintenance and preservation, motor oil is perhaps the utmost responsibility. Oil is what allows the various parts of your engine to seamlessly and smoothly interact with as little friction as possible, leading to reduced wear, lower temperatures, and a nearly eradicated chance of seizing.
However, when it comes to oil, there’s a number of different myths and misconceptions that have either invaded general knowledge, or used to be true but no longer are. However they may have gotten there, it’s time to set the record straight. Here are eight of the most popular motor oil myths, and the truth about each of them.
1). Dark Oil Always Needs to Be Changed
False. Dark color is not a strong indication that your oil is dirty or no longer doing its job. In fact, some oils go dark quickly as the additives designed to clean your engine start working. However, gritty or grainy oil is dirty and needs to be changed ASAP.
2). You Have to Get Your Oil Changed Every 3,000 Miles
While the 3,000 miles is a good rule of thumb, this is not always true. Some cars using good-quality oil can go as much as 8,000 to 10,000 miles or more between oil changes. The best way to find out how often you should change yours: refer to your owner’s manual.
3). Once You Go Synthetic, You Can’t Go Back
We’re not even sure how this one started, and to be honest it’s total nonsense. Synthetic oil is one which has undergone more chemical manufacturing, but the truth is changing between synthetic and conventional is fairly normal. In fact, synthetic blend oils actually mix conventional and synthetic oils, and are fairly normal. Switching between the two is fine.
4). Synthetics Cause Oil Leaks
There was a time when this was true—when synthetic oils first came on the market back in the 1970s, they weren’t perfected and they could cause additional wear and tear to seals and gaskets in your car’s engine. Today, this is no longer the case. New formulas are designed to help your engine by protecting these important components, so actually most synthetic oils are better than conventional when it comes to protecting your engine.
5). All Oil Additives Are the Same
Not true at all! Oil additives are specifically engineered to help your engine in different ways. Some oil additives are designed to keep the oil performing under high pressure and heavy use, like in racing engines. Others are designed to help older, higher-mileage cars last longer by preserving seals. When an oil says it’s formulated for something special, there could be something to it.
6). Additives Improve Engine Performance
Make no mistake, additives can and do help your engine, but oil can’t add horsepower back to your engine, nor can it improve your gas mileage with a special formula. Any claims having to do with the performance of your car should be taken with a grain of salt.
7). I Changed My Filter Last Time; I Don’t Need To This Time
The oil filter is what’s responsible for removing a lot of the sludge, grime, and even dirt that can accumulate in your engine. As with any other filter, the more debris it removes, the worse it performs. Oil filters are generally only designed to last one oil cycle, so you need to change it every time you change out your oil.
8). Bulk Oil Is Lower Quality than Bottled Oil
When you buy your oil from an auto parts shop, you buy it in single quarts or five-quart containers. When you buy it from an auto repair facility, it comes from a bulk supply. One popular myth is that bulk oil is lower quality than what you get from bottles. This is absolutely false: if the oils are the same brand and formula, then they are exactly the same oil. What container it comes out of makes no difference.
About Christian Brothers Automotive
Christian Brothers Automotive provides more than just trustworthy auto repair and maintenance services from ASE-Certified professionals—we also offer a customer service experience that you won’t find anywhere else. We have over 190 locations nationwide serving communities in Texas, Georgia, Colorado, West Chicago, Tennessee, North Carolina and beyond. Search our interactive map here to find a location nearest you.
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