Changing the oil in your car or truck serves several purposes, and they are all essential. Knowing when to change the oil, what oil to use in your engine, and the benefits of different oils are crucial to understanding why the oil change is so important to your vehicle.
Oil Change Intervals
Determining when to change the oil in your car is essential, and the information is easy to find. Every vehicle manufacturer includes an owner's manual with the vehicle when it is sold, and if you bought your car new, it is most likely in the glove compartment so that you can easily access it.
The owner's manual for your car contains information that will help you maintain the vehicle, and it includes the oil change interval for your engine. Traditionally, oil changes should happen around three thousand miles and then ever three thousand after that, but modern lubricants are changing that in some cases, so pull the book out, and verify the interval in it.
In some cases, that interval could be twice what the traditional one was, and with the right oil, that gap could get even larger. It is critical to verify it so that you know precisely when to start thinking about changing the oil and filter in your car.
The type of oil you use in your engine can be crucial to keep it running at its best. Vehicle manufacturers list the oil type for each car in the owner's manual, and it is also printed on the oil fill cap under the hood.
Heavyweight or thick oils do not work well in smaller displacement engines and can make the engine work harder than it needs to. Following the recommended oil type is the best way to protect the engine and ensure that it will get the proper lubrication in the correct places. Some cars will list optional oil types in the owner's manual, but if there isn't one listed, using the same weight and grade of oil listed is the best option.
Special Oil Blends
There are some blends of oil that you may want to consider for your next oil change if the car is older or has a lot of mileage on it. If you are going to change to a different oil, discuss it with your mechanic to be sure the blended oil is safe to use in your car.
High mileage oils often have additives in them that help to smooth scratches in the cylinder walls and bearings inside the engine. They are not a cure-all for worn or damaged engines, but they often reduce smoking, oil burning, and temperatures inside the engine and help extend the engine's life.