Why You Should Change Engine Oil In Your Vehicle

What Oil Does And How It Benefits You

The most routine maintenance task for vehicles these days is to change engine oil. Most people are aware of this (I would hope), but most people don’t understand why it is important to change engine oil every 3,000 – 5,000 miles.

First, let’s identify what engine oil does for your car. Engine oil is the lifeblood of your engine and without it your engine will not function properly. The oil’s primary function is to minimize the friction between all the metal parts in the engine while at the same time moving heat away from the combustion cycle. Additionally, it cleans the engine by holding all of the bad combustion by-products. Lastly, the oil reduces the exposure to oxygen thus reducing the rate of oxidation that your vehicle engine experiences, which is a good thing in case you didn’t know.

Now that we know what it does let’s talk about why it’s important to change engine oil. First off, the combustion by-product gunk builds up in the engine oil over time the more miles the vehicle is driven. Thus, more and more ‘stuff’ begins to float around in the oil and the more it builds the less efficient the oil is at performing its other job functions. Eventually, if enough bad stuff builds up in the engine over time it will ‘freeze’ meaning that the oil fails and the engine breaks, most commonly from too much friction on one of the pistons. If you allow this to happen, you will have to purchase a new engine.

Like I stated earlier, it is crucial to change your oil every 3,000 – 5,000 miles depending on your vehicle. There are several benefits to doing this sooner rather than later:

  • Increase longevity of your vehicle – Your engine is the single most important (and expensive) part of the vehicle and by ensuring the engine oil is always well maintained will make sure your engine is always in good health
  • Increase your MPG – The older oil gets, the less efficient it becomes which slowly reduces your MPG over time. Newer oil gives you higher MPG and older oil gets lower MPG, it’s as simple as that.
  • Dampens engine noise – Since engine oil acts as a lubricant, the reduced friction will translate to a less noisy engine.

Some people like to change engine oil for their car themselves and I feel that’s fine because it is a relatively simple task once you know the ropes. I’ll save the ‘how-to’ for another article. Thanks, and happy driving!

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Comments 2 comments

QualityS profile image

QualityS 6 years ago from Prairie Village Kansas

You make good points. I spent 25 years in the industry. One thing to mention is that oil accounts for part of the cooling of the engine. Thick oil does not dissapate heat as well.


unik12 profile image

unik12 5 years ago from NYC

Concise and informative, nice hub.

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