A Complete Guide to Oil Changes: How Often You Need Them & Why They Matter

A Complete Guide to Oil Changes: How Often You Need Them & Why They Matter

FOLLOW A MAINTENANCE PROGRAM

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SEARCH FOR A TRUSTED MECHANIC

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CHECK THE AIR PRESSURE IN YOUR TIRES

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REVIEW YOUR SUSPENSION FREQUENTLY

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SERVICE YOUR VEHICLE AS REGULARLY AS POSIBLE

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CONCLUSION

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Oil changes are one of the most commonly occurring car maintenance responsibilities. While most people know that getting them is essential, not everyone understands why. However, having good baseline knowledge will ensure you know how to care for your vehicle properly. Here’s a quick introductory guide into oil changes and everything the standard vehicle owner should know.

Oil Changes are Important! Here’s Why.

When you have a busy week ahead of you, the last thing most people want to worry about is an oil change. As a result, it may feel tempting to push the service off to a more convenient time. However, we strongly advise against procrastinating on your oil changes since they are paramount to the well-being of your car. Regular oil changes should be a part of your regular car maintenance checklist.

Motor oil reduces friction and cools moving parts within the engine, directly affecting its performance. Regular oil changes allow for optimal gas mileage and lubricate each moving part. However, low levels or old fluids could cause your engine to overheat, increase friction, and cause an engine failure. As a result, this mistake would cost you a lot more time and money than if you were to get an oil change in the first place.

Can I Change My Car’s Oil On My Own?

We recommend visiting an auto repair shop for an oil change instead of doing it independently. Every car is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. There are also several different types of oil, and every vehicle needs a specific kind to function successfully. Attempting to change your oil on your own and messing up could lead to costly repairs, and even simple mistakes could result in a significant problem. 

Experienced mechanics know what your car needs to operate at its best. Based on your vehicle's make, model, and age, they can provide recommendations to ensure it has the type of oil it needs to perform optimally. Additionally, oil changes are relatively quick and straightforward services, so seeking professional support won't take too much time out of your day.

How Often Should I Get My Oil Changed?

The frequency at which an oil change is necessary varies depending on several factors, and there is no definitive answer to this question. We recommend following the guidelines provided by your car's manufacturer to get an accurate time and mileage interval.

However, you can always seek the help of an experienced auto repair shop if you are still unsure. Their mechanics will have the most up-to-date industry knowledge and can assist you in locating the necessary information in your owner’s manual to keep you informed.

Other Factors to Consider

While following your manufacturer’s guidelines is a great place to start when it comes to maintaining your vehicle’s oil, there are other factors you should also consider. For instance, getting your oil changed before heading on a long-distance trip is advisable. This preventative service will ensure your engine is ready for rigorous work and can perform well under the given conditions. 

Additionally, environmental factors such as extreme weather, excessive dust, humidity, or salt in the air can strain your engine and cause your oil to degrade. Therefore, changing your oil more frequently may be necessary. Your driving habits are another crucial factor to keep in mind. For example, stop-and-go traffic can be more taxing on your vehicle than highway driving, influencing how often you need to visit an auto repair shop for an oil change.

Physical Signs It’s Time for an Oil Change

At times, your vehicle may even let you know it's time for an oil change through physical indicators. One of the most common is the check engine light illuminating your dashboard. It may be red, orange, or yellow, with the outline of an engine. Some vehicles may include the words “CHECK” or “CHECK ENGINE” as well. 

Other physical signs may include noises, such as knocking from your engine, exhaust smoke from your car’s tailpipe, or decreased fuel efficiency and performance. These are all indicators that your vehicle is overdue for an oil change, and you should visit your preferred auto repair shop as soon as possible. 

Do Frequently Unused Cars Still Need Oil Changes?

If you haven't driven your vehicle in a while, you might think the oil is still good because your car hasn't used it. However, this is not the case. Your vehicle still needs regular oil changes, even if it sits idly in your garage. 

Oil ages over time and loses its ability to lubricate moving parts. Letting it stay in your car for long periods and then trying to drive could damage your engine. We recommend following your vehicle’s manufacturing timeframe guidelines rather than mileage and getting your oil changed based on that. 

We also encourage you to take your car out for weekly drives, even if it's not your daily driver, to keep your engine in great shape. (This practice is also great for your car battery, brakes, and more!) Occasional drives lubricate moving pieces and regenerate your battery, saving you from damaged parts in the long run.

Oil Change Services at TRUE Automotive

We are happy to assist you at TRUE Automotive if you're ready for an oil change. We have several locations across Colorado and Georgia and can perform oil changes for any make or model. Plus, our shops are judgment-free zones, and our team is ready to answer any questions you may have while we service your vehicle. Click the button below to reserve your appointment time today!

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