Three months or 3,000 miles – you probably already know that’s the general timeline on how often you should have your car’s oil changed. And while there may be some exceptions to the rule based on your vehicle type and the brand you drive, it’s also worth noting that this type of routine maintenance is arguably the most important thing you can do to maintain your car’s engine.
Why? Because putting off, or skipping oil changes altogether, has proven to greatly shorten the engine life of your vehicle.
Oil: The Key Cog in Your Car’s Engine
Oil cleans, lubricates, and helps carry heat away from the engine. But its most important role is that it reduces friction. Fresh clean oil is better able to flow to all the different parts of the vehicle’s engine to ensure smooth operation. Dirt and contaminants can mix in with the engine oil over time – and these contaminants will lead to excess friction as the different components come together. The more friction present, the faster those components will wear out.
If you put off or skip an oil change, your engine will likely run hotter than it should, thereby operating less efficiently. Components are also more likely to wear out due to the increased friction. Worst case scenario, the engine will completely shut down and require complete replacement – a service that often runs several thousand dollars.
Drivers who operate in more demanding conditions (i.e. regular short trips, cold starts, carrying heavy loads, operating in hot weather, etc.) should consider having the oil changed more often, as more demanding conditions can shorten the service interval by up to 40 percent.
Don’t Skip an Oil Change
Oil changes aren’t something that should be put off or skipped. So pay attention to that little sticker in the upper left-hand corner of your windshield telling you when to get your car serviced, and keep close watch on any dashboard maintenance reminders that are built in to your vehicle. Spending a few minutes, and a few dollars, every three months or 3,000 miles sure beats the hassle of spending a lot more money when the engine fails.
Every three months or 3,000 miles – stick to it to maintain a healthy, long-lasting engine.