Why You Need to Change Your Oil
Oil is the lubrication your engine needs to run properly. Without it, all of the moving parts in your engine, large and small, wouldn’t work properly (or at all). All car mechanics recommend that you change your oil every 3,000 miles to avoid a wide range of problems. You can take it into an auto repair shop like Centennial Auto Repair for a quick, inexpensive change, or, if you fancy yourself a Do-It-Yourself grease monkey, you can change the oil on your own.
If you don’t regularly change your oil on schedule, you’ll start to sustain serious engine damage, which will cost you a fortune. There are many signs of engine damage your car will show when you’re way past your change oil time, including a loud engine, unfamiliar smells, persistent ‘Check Engine’ lights or oil lights on your dashboard, and more. Do yourself and your car a favor and make an oil change when you hit that 3,000-mile marker.
When you check your oil level, take a look at the oil itself (hard not to if you’ve got it on your dipstick, right?). Healthy engine oil should be honey brown and smooth, with no particles or grittiness. Old, overused oil will become gritty and full of particulates that will eventually overwhelm your oil filter. The oil filter is supposed to take out any fine debris from your engine’s oil, but if you haven’t changed the oil in over 3,000 miles, the filter can become clogged. The filter can’t do its job at this point, letting contaminants get into your engine and cause even more harm.
Car mechanics can communicate with cars by listening to the purr of their engine. Even if you don’t have an ear for the finer points of engine noise, listen for any changes in how your engine sounds when it’s running. Dirty oil can’t do its job properly, causing unusually loud, grinding, grating sounds. Stop the car and let it idle for a few minutes to pick up on any changes in how the engine behaves. Inordinate rumbling, grinding, excessive laboring sounds, and sluggishness are all signals your many moving parts are rubbing together, causing all kinds of more expensive problems.
Oil lubricates the many moving and combustible parts in your car’s engine. When your oil level falls, these many parts rub against each other and cause a whole new spectrum of problems. Make a habit of getting your oil level checked every time you take your car into the shop (many mechanics do this as a matter of course). Check it yourself often as well, especially as you get closer to that 3,000-mile mark.