Most drivers are aware that the oil in the vehicle they're driving needs changing at some point, but just how knowledgeable they are about the reasons for needing to change the oil varies considerably. Here we're going to look at what engine oil does and the reasons for getting an oil change and how often you should be scheduling for an oil change service.
The first duty the oil in your vehicle performs is to lubricate the insides of your engine to reduce the friction and wear on the moving parts. Components such as the valves and pistons operate at very high speeds, and without proper lubrication they'll wear out much faster than they should and that will result in expensive repairs or a potentially catastrophic failure. Any oil will lubricate to some extent, but it's important to have the right grade for your particular engine so it works correctly under the type of circumstances your vehicle is designed to operate in. For example, an engine in a pickup truck towing a heavy trailer all the time is likely to need quite different oil to a sports car.
If moving parts in your engine are not properly lubricated there will be unwelcomed amounts of friction as they rub against each other, and this creates heat. Your engine is designed to run between certain tolerances of heat, so the oil helps keep the engine running within these boundaries and therefore prevents overheating.
Even if the moving parts in an engine are properly lubricated there will still be an element of friction, and over time, tiny particles of metal are worn away from those parts. These particles need to be removed to stop them getting in between parts and causing uneven wear and excessive friction, and the only way to do this is to change the oil as it suspends these particles so they can be removed. The longer you go between oil changes the more dirt and particles get suspended in the oil. This makes the oil sludgy and prevents it flowing as freely as it should and also inhibits its capability to do all of its jobs. Replacing dirty, sludgy oil with some clean new oil will keep your engine running the way it should by removing all the unwanted dirt and particulates.
Improving fuel economy
Running through mud is a lot harder than running normally, and if you don’t get regular oil changes you're effectively asking your engine components to run through mud. When engine components have to work extra hard to move at the required speed it means you'll be using more fuel than if the oil was clean and of the right viscosity.
Most vehicles will need their oil changed at least once a year, but those that cover more than the average 12,000-15,000 miles in a year will definitely need it changing more often. Be sure to consult the owner's manual for your vehicle to see how often the oil in your vehicle has to be changed with the amount of driving you’re doing.
Changing your oil on a regular basis will maintain your engine and make it last longer, and it will also help to avoid needing costly repairs to keep it on the road. For more information or to book an oil change near Courtenay, don't hesitate to get in touch with us here at Westview Ford today.