When should you change the oil in your vehicle?
Oil changes are an essential part of regular auto maintenance if you want to keep your vehicle in good condition for as long as possible. The longstanding rule of thumb is to get an oil change every 5,000 kilometers. But in practice, the frequency may vary as a result of several different factors, including the age of the vehicle, its use and the environment, among others.
So every case is unique! Below, you’ll find a more detailed explanation to help you understand things a little better.
Why are regular oil changes necessary?
To answer this question, you must first understand the primary role of motor oil. Below are some of the things it does to ensure that your engine works efficiently:
- Lubricates engine components, reducing friction, thereby preventing unnecessary wear
- Protects metallic parts from corrosion
- Cleans the engine by dislodging deposits and carrying them to the filter
- Cools the engine by lubricating it and absorbing the heat generated by the moving parts
By reducing friction and keeping the engine components from overheating, the oil prevents energy loss, increasing fuel efficiency in the process. And since the oil protects the parts, good, clean oil will also help you prolong the useful life of your engine.
Don’t forget about the filter!
Generally, the oil filter is changed at the same time as the oil. The filter also plays a role in protecting your motor oil and your engine by eliminating metal filings, sludge and other impurities.
When should you change your oil?
There’s no universal rule. It all depends on the type of vehicle you have and the way in which you use it. Even in the case of two vehicles of the same make, maintenance may vary according to a number of factors, such as the model, year and type of engine, among other things.
The best approach is to carefully read the recommendations found in the vehicle’s Owner Manual. Depending on the circumstances, your vehicle may need an oil change anywhere from every three months to every six months. If you drive in extreme weather, you may need to change the oil more often.
What’s the price of an oil change?
Like the frequency, the cost of an oil change will vary, depending on the type of oil used (mineral, synthetic or semisynthetic) and other considerations. Generally, a mechanic will charge anywhere from $50 to $100 for an oil change. Each type of oil has its own specific viscosity index. So it’s very important to choose the proper kind of oil for your specific vehicle, as failure to do so could end up voiding the manufacturer warranty.
Should you change your oil yourself, take your vehicle to a garage or take it to the dealer?
Changing your oil yourself will save you money and it isn’t difficult as long as you know the steps to follow. But if your vehicle is still under warranty, in order to ensure that the warranty remains valid, you’ll need to update the maintenance logs, including any invoices for original parts. In this sense, there’s nothing stopping you from taking your vehicle to an independent garage, rather than taking it to the dealership.
Trans-Mico Automotive: specializing in transmissions and auto maintenance
Are you looking for a reliable, experienced mechanic to perform an oil change, fix a problem with your transmission or provide other general mechanical services? You can entrust our team of rigorous professionals with the repairs and maintenance of your vehicle, regardless of the make and model. Contact our certified technicians today, and they’ll be happy to give you all the help you need!