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Why do I need to get my oil changed?

Posted by tom zoebelein on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 @ 09:07 AM

change oil

Owning a car means taking on quite a bit more responsibility, since they require insurance, gas, cleaning, and general maintenance.  Most of us know that you need to get your oil changed periodically, but how often should you do this?  And what is it for, exactly? 

Well, the general rule of thumb is that you should have your oil and filter changed every three months or 3,000 miles, depending on which happens first.  However, with today’s technology, some cars’ engines are able to withstand more time and mileage before they require an oil change.  To be certain, check your owner’s manual. 

Many cars these days even have indicator lights on the dashboard to let you know when you should change your oil.  Don’t try to go longer than your manufacturer recommends, because it could lead to serious problems!

What does engine oil do?
Engine oil lubricates every moving part inside your engine.  We think of it as the blood of the engine.  Not only does it lubricate the moving parts to keep them functioning properly, but it also cleans your engine.  So all the dirt and debris that gathers inside your engine instead gets pulled into the oil.

What happens if I don’t change your oil?
If your oil is dirty it can’t lubricate your engine as effectively and it can clog the oil galleys inside your engine.  Once this happens your engine is forced to work harder in order and you lose oil pressure.  If the situation gets bad enough, it could lead to mechanical failure.

What happens if my car runs out of oil?
Over time your oil level drops, so you could potentially run out of oil if you don’t replace it.  This can be very dangerous for your car, since you would have nothing to lubricate the moving parts of your engine.  Your engine will generate a great deal of heat and friction, which will lead to mechanical failure very quickly. 

oil leak

If you ever see oil leakage on the ground beneath your car, it’s very important to address this problem.  It’s also a good idea to check your oil level frequently if you know your car tends to burn through oil rapidly. 

How do I check my car’s oil level?
First, you’ll want to be sure to check your oil when your car has been sitting for at least 15 minutes, otherwise you’ll get an inaccurate reading.  Also be sure to check when your vehicle is on level ground.  You’ll need to locate the oil dip stick, pull it out, and clean it off.  Then re-insert the stick fully and pull it out again to check the level.  If you aren’t in the safe zone indicated on the stick, then you should add more oil.  Add the type that your manufacturer recommends (check your owner’s manual) and keep in mind that it usually takes about a quart of oil to go from the low point on your stick to the high point.

oil check

It’s important to note that adding more oil to your car doesn’t count as an oil change, so be sure to adhere to the recommended intervals for getting your oil and filter changed.

If you are looking for an autobody shop or an auto mechanic to service your vehicle in Harford County, Maryland, you have come to the right place.  Ward Automotive is a division of Bel Air Autobody, Inc, an autobody repair facility with a reputation for quality repair servicing the residents of Harford County for over twenty years.

Our mechanical division called Ward Automotive grew from a need to help our customers receive complete automotive car under one roof.  Our seasoned technicians are highly trained, and we possess the latest tools and equipment to service your car right.  Why not take your car to the shop that knows your car inside and out?

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Topics: Car repair Harford County, Harford county Mechanic, car repair Bel Air, basic car maintenance, getting your vehicle serviced, engine trouble, engine oil, oil change, oil filter change, oil leak