What You Should Know About Oil Changes for Your Car

What You Should Know About Oil Changes for Your Car

| By: Blair Jordan, Christian Brothers Automotive Spring

Regular maintenance lengthens the life and maximizes the efficiency of your vehicle. Oil changes are among the most frequent and inexpensive tasks which will help to maintain your car. Clean oil and a new filter ensure that all the moving parts of your engine run smoothly and with minimal heat and friction. The combination of heat and friction can warp the tight-fitting engine parts, and if you ignore your oil warning light long enough, the engine may fail completely. It's not worth it.

Which oil type to use and how often it should be changed depends on your vehicle, the manufacturer's recommendations can be found in your owner's manual. But there are some guidelines you can use to help you make good decisions regarding your oil changes. You can also ask the mechanics at Christian Brothers Automotive Spring if you have questions about oil changes, or other maintenance needs.

Conventional Oil

All motor oil comes from the same place -- oil wells, which pump crude oil from deep underground. Conventional oils are a crude oil product, processed into a cleaner substance so it can be used in engines. Despite processing, this type of oil has the shortest useful life in an engine, and is the least refined of the modern motor oil products. Conventional oil is less effective in cold weather, taking a long time to warm enough to properly lubricate your engine.

Semi-synthetic Oil

Semi-synthetic oils are further refined, and may contain additives to help extend engine parts. They have some of the benefits of synthetic oils, with a price closer to that of conventional oil. The life of semi-synthetic oil is generally longer than that of conventional oils, and most manufacturers' recent vehicle models recommend semi-synthetic or synthetic oils in order to extend engine life and maintain performance. While conventional oil generally requires replacement after 3,000 miles, semi-synthetics can last to 5,000 or more.

Synthetic Oil

Fully synthetic oil is almost always still refined from crude oil or its byproducts, but each manufacturer has its own method of refining and synthesizing. Regardless of the method, the effects are the same: a longer lasting, more refined, cleaner oil. Synthetic oil has the highest cost, but the increase in lifespan and quality generally make it a more economical choice over the long term.

Choosing the right oil for your vehicle is a critical part of vehicle maintenance. Clean oil ensures smooth movement and maximum engine life. For most people, a vehicle is one of their largest investments, and regular and proper oil changes are an inexpensive way to protect that investment.

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