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What Does Motor Oil do for Your Car?

Updated on November 23, 2011

Motor Oil Lubricates

Motor oil lubricates engine components. Lubrication is the main job of motor oil as it allows components to pass through each other with limited amounts of friction. Friction causes this process to slow down. Motor oil creates a small barrier or film between the parts in order to for them to slide past one another. The slippery portion of parts increases efficiency, power and performance. Bottom line: it reduces friction and saves gas.

It Cools

Motor oil cools the within the engine. Yes it is correct that antifreeze in your radiator is responsible for a lot of the cooling, however it is only responsible for the upper portion. Motor oil cools because it circulates while dissipating the heat throughout the journey. Motor oil also reduces heat by reducing friction.

It Cleans

Lastly Motor oil cleans. Motor oil is designed to pick up any debris between parts. If an engine does not stay clean it becomes less efficient. So in order for your engine to work more efficiently it must stay clean. The oil filter is a key player in keeping particles out of your engine.

How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

Many vehicle manufacturers recommend changing the oil every 7,500 miles in most passenger cars and small trucks. For diesel engines every 3,000 miles or every 6 months. 7,500 miles in ideal situations. A non-ideal situations would be regular stop and go traffic commutes.

Not changing oil regularly can dilute the oil. Oil dilution breaks down the oil which can cause more rapid engine wear and tear. This can result in a loss of performance, increased emissions, fuel economy and rapid oil consumption.


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