Changing your oil on a regular basis is one of the most important things you can do to keep your car in good working order. Routine oil changes prolong your car’s life and prevent expensive car repair costs. Unfortunately, many drivers neglect to follow proper maintenance procedure and therefore significantly decrease the life of their vehicles. By changing your oil as part of a regular maintenance schedule, you can keep your car running smoothly and prevent accidents due to parts failure and malfunction.
Why Changing Your Oil is Necessary
By changing your oil, you extend the life of your car and its parts. An oil change:
- Reduces friction. An oil change helps to maximize lubrication in the engine, preventing it from overheating.
- Remove impurities. Your car’s oil becomes contaminated over time with dust, metallic shavings, and antifreeze, which form a sludge that sticks to parts inside the engine. This can cause the engine to run less efficiently, decrease gas mileage, and can even cause the engine to fail.
In addition, regular oil changes and other routine car maintenance plays an important part in accident prevention. In fact, a lack of vehicle maintenance plays a role in more than 5 percent of all vehicle accidents, resulting in thousands of injuries and deaths and costing billions in repairs each year.
Oil Change Basics
An oil change is a procedure in which the old oil is drained from the car, the old oil filter is replaced with a new one, and new oil is added. Many people who have a basic understanding of cars change their own oil, while most other people take their vehicle to a repair shop for the procedure.
- Check the level of your oil level every few hundred miles and add oil if necessary, being careful to never overfill.
- Many mechanics and vehicle manufacturers recommend changing your oil every three months or every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. However, check your owner’s manual for the specific recommendations for your vehicle. Certain vehicles need more frequent oil changes, while many others need an new oil less frequently.
- Be sure the oil is certified by the American Petroleum Institute (API). This certification proves that the oil meets the proper engine protection and fuel economy standards