Pssst… Wanna know a secret? What’s the most important thing you can do to extend the life of your car’s engine? Lower the cost of car ownership? Minimize the possibility of breakdowns? And improve your car’s fuel economy and resale value?
The answer is: Change the oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles.
THE PURPOSE OF MOTOR OIL
Oil prevents metal parts from rubbing against each other and decreases engine wear, rust and corrosion. Oil also helps the engine to run more smoothly and at a cooler temperature.
Over time, debris accumulates in the engine. Tiny suspended particles, the by-products of combustion, contaminate the oil, reducing its viscosity and lubricating properties. As a result, there’s more friction and more heat, which can cause engine parts to fail prematurely.
THE IMPACT OF DRIVING CONDITIONS
Timely oil changes are especially important if you drive under “severe” conditions:
- Short or frequent trips of less than 10 miles
- Stop-and-go city driving
- Extensive idling in traffic
- Driving in extremely hot weather
- Driving when the temperature is below-freezing
- Towing or heavy loads
- Driving in a dusty or polluted environment
A car owner who says, “I don’t drive much — just to do errands around town,” might mistakenly believe those operating conditions are “normal” or “light”, and postpone oil changes. Deferred maintenance can have unfortunate consequences; contaminated oil increases the risk of engine failure or significant engine damage.
Always follow the manufacturer's specifications for the type and grade of oil to use in your car. This information is documented in the owner's manual.
Curious about the numerical grading system for motor oil? Here’s a brief explanation.
Viscosity is a fluid’s resistance to flow. For motor oil, viscosity is rated at 0° F (represented by the first number, which precedes “W" for Winter) and at 212° F (represented by the second number). So, 10W-30 oil is less viscous than 20W-50 at either end of the temperature range.
Oil thins as it heats and thickens as it cools. During frosty weather, oil has to resist thickening and continue to flow between moving parts in the engine. If oil becomes too thick, turning the crankshaft will take more energy. It’ll be harder to start the engine and your car’s fuel efficiency will suffer.
Once the engine is running, the oil heats up and thins out. In general, thicker oil maintains a better film of lubrication between moving parts to protect the engine.
The take-away lesson is that each car is built with particular tolerances; it’s critically important to use the viscosity of oil specified by the manufacturer.
CARING FOR THE PLANET
Concerned about the environmental impact of oil changes? You’ll be interested in knowing that oil filters, as well as 96% of the oil drained from motor vehicles, are recycled. Recycling conserves a natural resource
MORE THAN AN OIL CHANGE
Lastly, at Hillside Auto Repair, we do more than change the oil and replace the oil filter. When you bring your car to us for an oil change, we also:
- Lubricate the chassis
- Lubricate the suspension system
- Check the brake fluid
- Check the coolant
- Check the power steering fluid
- Check the windshield wiper fluid
Regular oil changes will give you years of trouble-free driving and boost your car’s gas mileage and resale value.
Call us or request an appointment online to get your car's oil changed.
Work long hours? Ask about our Early Bird/Late Owl Drop-off and Pick Up.
CHECK OUT OUR LATEST SPECIALS ON OIL CHANGES HERE.