Low Price Oil Change
As a follow up on my previous article about “why your vehicle breaks down,” I’ll start with the first and most important maintenance item a new car requires, an oil change.
Just remove the oil plug, change the filter, reinstall the plug and fill it with oil every five to fifteen thousand miles. Right?
Sure you can do that and it may be what a manufacture recommends. Of coarse they don’t mind selling you a new car when the engine fails. If you internet search “how often should I change my oil” you’ll find all kinds of different answers. The thing I would like you to consider is why change the oil at all?
The common answer is because it gets “dirty” and it looses its viscosity (not as slippery) and everyone including me agrees. The problem with dirt or contaminants is that they act like the sand on sandpaper and scratch up all the moving parts inside your engine. The other bad thing contaminants do is stick to metal and build up like plack on teeth when you don’t clean them. This build up insulates your engine parts and wont let heat escape exasperating the problem of engine ware.
How often do you need to change oil? When it’s dirty! If it’s black it’s dirty and if it’s thick when it’s drained during your oil change you’re really accelerating engine ware. Ask if you can see it when it’s drained on your next oil change and check your dipstick for color, thickness and level from time to time. Don’t be afraid to change it at 1,000 or 2,000 if you’ve been doing short trips, stop and go driving or towing.
Conventional oils now are partially synthetic and do a great job. The viscosity problem has been solved with expensive synthetic oil which keeps its viscosity forever but the dirty contaminants still accumulate in all oils. Full synthetic gets dirty way before recommend change mileage so I’m not a big fan unless you’re into competitive racing.
Some articles on oil change intervals say changing your oil at 3,000 miles is a way for repair shops to make more money and that wasting all that oil is bad for the environment. Oil changes are not a high profit item at shops. They take 30 minutes if done properly, the overhead of an employee, a hoist, air compressors and other equipment, heat, rent, insurance and work comp makes it the least profitable service in the shop. And the “bad for the environment” argument is false also. All oil is recycled by law and is rerefined or clean burned in high temperature oil furnaces that must meet EPA standards. Frequent oil changes are much better for the environment and your finances than frequent engine repair or car replacements! The next article will cover what an oil change involves. And no it’s not just draining and refilling your crankcase.