Oil Change Information

Oil Change

Why Should I Change My Oil?

How Often?

Oil Change

It is pretty common knowledge that you need to regularly change the oil in your vehicle.  The oil is what keeps the metal parts from directly rubbing against each other and causing damage to those parts, and the rest of your car as well.  Without oil, the metal-on-metal friction creates so much heat that eventually the surfaces weld themselves together and the engine.


But there seems to be confusion, or minor disagreement anyway, on how often oil should be changed.  Car Manufacturers recommend any where from 3,000 to 10,000 miles as the optimum frequency. Our best average recommendation is every 5,000 miles, but this is not rigid rule.  There are several factors that can influence what is the right oil change frequency for you as a driver and for your vehicle. Some of these are:

  • How you drive (are you a lead foot, for example)

  • Age and condition of the engine, (older engines sometimes burn oil)

  • Weather (extreme hot or cold) and road conditions ( dirt roads, for example)  you commonly drive in

  • Stop-and-go versus largely highway driving


If you go an extra 1000 miles before changing your oil, it will most likely not cause any damage.  However, oil breaks down just due to the high temperatures of the engine, and it becomes less effective over time.  


Suppose your engine has plenty of oil, but you never change it. Two things will inevitably happen:


•    Dirt will accumulate in the oil. The filter will remove the dirt for a while, but eventually the filter will clog and the dirty oil will automatically bypass the filter through a relief valve. Dirty oil is thick and abrasive, so it causes more wear.


•    Additives in the oil like detergents, rust-fighters and friction reducers will wear out, so the oil won't lubricate as well as it should.


Eventually, as the oil gets dirtier and dirtier, it will stop lubricating and the engine will quickly wear and fail.

To avoid potential costly repairs, it is best to regularly change your oil.  Better a little time and inconvenience now than major repairs and costs later.


At American Auto Care, when we do an oil change and change your oil filter, we also do a no-cost 21-point inspection, looking for any other potential major issues.  Call us at 951-461-2507 to schedule an appointment, or Schedule An Appointment Online.

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