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When and Why to Get an Oil Change by Andrew Stratton

When and Why to Get an Oil Change by
Article Posted: 01/11/2011
Article Views: 137
Articles Written: 5522
Word Count: 625
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When and Why to Get an Oil Change

An oil change is an essential part of taking good care of your motor vehicle. Whether you choose to do your own maintenance or leave it up to a specialist at a service shop to do you need to know when you should change it and why you should change it.

When You Should Change Your Oil

The answer to the question of when is not the same for every vehicle, nor is it the same for every manufacturer. What you should always keep close at hand is your owner's manual. This manual was designed specifically for the type of vehicle you have and will let you know exactly when you will need to change the engine oil.

Most manuals will detail a schedule for normal maintenance as well as for severe service. Most individuals assume that if they only drive their cars a short distance to work and do not take it long distances on their days off that they fall into the normal service category. This is likely not the case. If you do not always drive at regular highway speeds and do a lot of driving in the city where you stop and start frequently then you are more inclined to fall into the severe category. This means that your oil may need to be changed every 3000 miles or as often as every three to four months. Your driving patterns play a very big role in how often your automobile requires an oil change.

The same scenario can be the case for a car that is used very lightly (such as going to the nearby mall once or twice a week) or one that sits in a garage or driveway for long stretches of time. Unburned fuel can necessitate more frequent oil changes, as can contaminants that get into the oil and condensation. All of these unfortunate elements can cause more wear and tear and can necessitate more frequent oil changes. The same can be said for someone who is hard on their car. The rougher you are with it and the more full-throttle starts you put it through the more often will you need to address the oil issue.

Why You Should Change Your Oil

Oil needs to be refreshed and topped up. There is no getting around it. An oil change is maintenance that every car needs. However what most drivers are not aware of is that oil does not actually wear out. That is not why it needs to be changed. Oil can be recycled and from there used time and time again. Instead it is the additive package of oil that gets used up (or worn down) over time. This is the additives that are combined with every quart of oil when it is manufactured and then bottled to sell.

Additives are a necessary component of motor oil. Their job is a very important one. They make sure that the internal engine of the car remains as clean as possible. They also make sure that carbon deposits, sludge and varnish do not build up in the engine and cause problems to occur. Once the additives are gone from the lubricant content there is nothing left to protect the bad things as described here, from taking over. While the oil itself will not grow old and wear out, it will become less effective at keeping dirt particles and contaminants at bay. What this means for your car's engine is a faster rate of wear and tear and a great deal more friction.

When they need an oil change, Lexington area residents can trust in the services of local professionals. To find a local garage to take care of your automotive maintenance needs, please visit

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