Your Oil Change Questions Answered
You can find any information you need about auto maintenance – as it pertains specifically to your vehicle – in your owner’s manual; including information like what type of oil you should use and how often to change it. To make life a little easier, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions about oil changes below.
1. What Type of Oil Should I Use?
This begs a deeper question – regular/conventional oil vs synthetic oil. Most vehicles can use either type of oil and even switch off between the two without consequence. However, there are a few factors to consider. Synthetic oil lasts much longer than conventional oil; which means more time in between oil changes. However, synthetic oil also cost much more than conventional oil. Synthetic oil provides other benefits too; like improved fuel/oil economy, lower emissions, increased engine protection, and more.
2. How Often Should I Get an Oil Change?
How often you should change your oil depends on what type of oil you are using. Conventional oil needs to be changed every 3,000 – 5,000 miles. Synthetic oil only needs to be changed every 7,500 – 10,000 miles. When you get your oil changed by a quick-lube service or auto repair shop, you’ll receive a sticker with the recommended mileage or date of your next oil change.
3. What Happens If I Don’t Change the Oil in My Car?
Skipping oil changes, especially long term, will have a major effect on your vehicle. Motor oil will become dirty and ineffective. It will no longer lubricate your engine and as a result, the heat in your engine will increase. Lack of lubrication plus high heat will cause parts to wear faster and eventually your engine as a whole will fail and need to be replaced. Engine replacement costs thousands of dollars. It would benefit you to keep up with regular oil changes instead.
4. My Dashboard Oil Light Is On – What Should I Do?
If your dashboard oil light is on, you need to stop as soon as possible to evaluate the cause. First, check your oil levels – low oil pressure will activate your dashboard oil light. Checking your oil levels is easy; simply check the dipstick under your hood. If the dipstick is dry or the oil level is low, add oil and consider making an appointment with an auto repair shop. Low oil pressure is often due to an engine burning oil quickly or a leak. If your oil levels are acceptable, it’s likely your dashboard light has failed.