One of the simplest, most effective and inexpensive ways to help protect the life of your car, especially its engine, is to change the oil and the oil filter regularly.
Oil is the lifeblood of your engine. It reduces friction, lessens wear, provides lubrication, forms a seal between the pistons, rings and cylinder walls while helping to cool engine parts. Without the cleaning action of new oil, carbon and varnish buildup would be toxic to the engine. And engine oil even dampens the shock and noise of moving parts.
Most cars on the road today use multi-grade oil one that can work efficiently in cold and hot weather. A multi-grade oil is rated by two numbers, such as 5W-30.
About the oil classification system.
Each engine oil comes with a classification indicating its viscosity, which is its friction or resistance to flow. In a multi-grade oil, the first number indicates how the oil will flow when it is cold. The lower the number, the lighter the oil and the better it will perform at lower temperatures. The second number indicates the thickness of that same oil at high temperatures. For example, a 5W-30 oil will flow as a 5-weight oil at zero degrees Fahrenheit and as a 30-weight oil at 210 degrees Fahrenheit
Why viscosity is a concern.
During cold starting, only a small amount of oil is present in the upper parts of engines. To lessen the friction when upper engine parts, such as the valve train, pistons, overhead cam and cam bearings, scrub against each other, a lower viscosity allows the oil to reach the components more quickly.
Why 5W-30 and 5w-20 oils are so popular.
Many vehicles today leave the factory with 5W-30 or 5w-20 engine oil. Vehicle manufacturers recommend them because they are lighter oils that perform well in a range of temperatures and help improve gas mileage.
Not all motor engine oils are 100% petroleum. Synthetic oils, which are primarily chemically compounded lubricants, are also available. They can provide:
- Higher viscosity stability over a wider temperature range
- Reduced oil thickening
- Reduced wear and increased load-carrying ability.
Which oil is right for your car?
The simplest and safest way to find out is to check your owner’s manual or talk to your mechanic.
Oil filters are designed to trap foreign particles suspended in the oil and prevent them from getting to the engine bearings and other parts.
Your vehicle relies on a variety of fluids to operate its brake, steering, transmission, engine cooling and other systems. When these fluids become degraded or are at incorrect levels, damage to other components may occur so always follow the manufacturer-recommended service schedule.
Automatic Transmission Fluid
This is typically an oil-based fluid used in a transmission that lubricates and cools the transmission and provides hydraulic pressure to shift gears automatically.
This is the hydraulic fluid used to transmit pressure through the brake lines in a brake system providing stopping power and protecting hydraulic brake components from internal corrosion.
This is the mixture of water and antifreeze used in an engine cooling system to dissipate heat and maintain the engine’s temperature throughout its operating range.
Starting & Charging
The battery starts your car, powers on-board computers and supplies emergency power needs. A weakened battery causes stress on alternators and starters, especially during extreme temperatures.
Clean air filters can increase engine performance, boost fuel mileage and reduce engine wear. Cabin air filters can minimize airborne contaminants in the passenger compartment and improve heating/cooling efficiency.
Our courtesy check is fast, efficient and covers many items on your vehicle’s preventive maintenance schedule. We’ll conduct a visual check, looking inside, outside, under the hood and under the vehicle, then provide you with a written report.
Oil Change FAQs
Q: I don’t drive a lot. Do I still need an oil change?
A: Your owner’s manual should give you a recommended mileage interval and a recommended time interval for an oil change for example, it might say every 5,000 miles or every six months. To help keep your car in tip-top shape, follow whichever oil change interval comes first in your case, probably the time interval.
Q: Should I always use the same brand of oil in my car, or is it OK to change it up?
A: It’s okay to change the brand, but not necessarily the type (conventional, high-mileage, synthetic oil). Your service technician can help you find the right oil for your make and model.
Q: What does oil viscosity grade mean? Which one should I use?
A: Viscosity is the fancy word for the motor oil’s thickness. Your service technician can help you determine the right viscosity for your make and model. Not convenient to stop by? You can also check your owner’s manual or oil cap for manufacturer recommendations.
Q: Will my check engine light come on if I need an oil change?
A: Nope. If your Check Engine light comes on, it’s an indicator that something’s up, but don’t fret. It may be something small. Bring your vehicle in at your earliest convenience so we can take a look.
Q: Why is it bad for my car if I don’t change the oil regularly?
A: Oil lubricates the moving parts of your engine and keeps them cool by lowering friction and carrying heat away. It also keeps any grit or tiny particles from scratching tightly-fitted parts. Heat breaks down oil and can make the oil gummy or watery (or both), so that it doesn’t lubricate properly. And the longer it’s in the engine, the more contaminated it gets.
Q: Should I consider using synthetic oil?
A: Synthetic oil lubricates better than traditional motor oil, and it stands up to high heat better without turning into gel or getting watery. Some blends of synthetic oil are designed to keep high-mileage vehicles rolling longer. Others are meant for high-performance engines. Still others can help to improve your car’s fuel mileage.
Q: How often do I need to change my oil? I have always heard every 3,000 miles, but my car manual says every 7,000 miles?
A: Rules of thumb are great, but it’s always best to follow the manufacturer recommendations regarding oil changes as outlined in your owner’s manual.
Q: What is an oil pan, and what does it do?
A: In a nutshell, the oil pan is a reservoir located in the bottom of the engine’s crankcase. It holds additional oil for lubrication of the engine and also helps ensure that the engine does not run out of oil.