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When Should I Change My Engine Oil?

In our vehicles today, our engines are highly complex and under extreme workloads, so the topic of changing your engine oil can be controversial and complicated. Let’s break it down so that you have the information you need to make the decision of when and how often to change your engine oil.

    As you know, the engine of your car is absolutely crucial to your car’s operation, so taking care of it is very important. The oil system pumps oil through screens and filters to keep it clear of dirt and debris, it passes through pathways between components to lubricate and keep them protected, then back through to continue the cycle. In short, engine oil keeps your engine functioning properly, keeping components of the engine lubricated to reduce friction, regulates temperature, helps to seal connection points, and cleans as it pumps through the system. 

 

However, we know that car manufacturers are in constant competition with other manufacturers to fight for the highest fuel economy possible while maintaining the lowest possible cost of owner maintenance. While having a good fuel economy is great, sometimes these changes have their drawbacks for car owners, like the continuing decrease in size of these oil passages, making the timing of when to change your engine oil more complicated. Although it may seem to be the easiest way to settle this choice, allowing your vehicle’s oil sensor to tell you when you’re in need of maintenance may not be the best idea. These monitoring systems take data from your vehicle’s computer about engine speed, engine oil, and your driving habits to make this determination, but do not consider other important factors, such as…  

 

  1. Is the oil filter still working or is it completely soiled?

  2. Color, smell, and viscosity of the oil

  3. Age of the oil

  4. Extreme environmental temperature changes

 

    Check back with us on Thursday to find out what these factors mean and how you can rely on your own determination to decide it’s time to change your oil. 

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