When should I change my oil?

oil being poured into engine

Can you just add oil instead of changing it?

The motor in your vehicle requires oil or proper and smooth operation. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle determines the type and amount of oil needed. From time to time, an oil change is required based on the manufacturer’s recommendations and how you drive the vehicle. A vehicle that sits in a garage more than it is on the road won’t need an oil change as frequently as a car that is driven every day. 

Yes you can, and that is better than letting the vehicle run completely out of oil. However, mixing new and old oil will thin the oil down, reducing the interfacial tension of the oil and making unable to do the job that motor need to do for the motor. An oil change keeps the oil fresher throughout the engine and keeps everything running smooth.

Today, we live in at a fast pace, and our vehicle maintenance is often put on a back burner, so simply adding oil is faster than getting an oil change. By delaying the oil change and continuously adding new oil to the existing, the is the chance of overfilling, which can cause several issues, some that are costly.

Is it OK to change oil once a year?

A vehicle that isn’t driven much still needs fresh oil. Oil loses its effectiveness as it ages. When the engine doesn’t get started and warmed up, moisture forms in the engine that can’t be removed and takes a toll on the engine, shortening its lifespan. 

With the vehicles today, most automakers suggest an oil change every 7,500 to 10,000 miles. For the normal driver, this is typically twice a year. The older the car, the more frequent that oil change and filter change are needed. A good rule of thumb for a car that is over 5 years old, the oil change should be every 3,000 miles. 

How long can I really go without an oil change?

Vehicles older than ten years can to up to 7,500 miles before an oil change is needed, and if it uses a synthetic oil, you can safely drive it up to 15,000 miles before getting an oil change. After that point, you’re risking serious issues with the engine.  Here are some indications that you may need to get an oil change sooner than later:  

  • Color and consistency changes: Oil in your vehicle should be an amber color that is clear and translucent. As the oil works through the engine, it collects debris and become black and gritty. When the oil in your vehicle is black and gritty on the dipstick, it is time for an oil change. 
  • A burning smell: If you are noticing the smell of burning oil inside the vehicle, there is probably an oil leak. With an oil change, that may disappear for good or it may get better for a short time and then start again. Your mechanic can advise you accordingly whether an oil change is sufficient or if you have bigger problems with the engine.
  • Knocking noise: Oil keeps the parts moving in the engine without grinding against other parts, so without an oil change, the old oil is getting thinner and not properly lubricating the engine. This can lead to a loud knocking sound and is an indication that an oil change is needed soon before the engine becomes overheated and quits altogether.
  • Dashboard warning oil light: Vehicles have lights on the dashboard that signal when there is a problem, and one of those is an oil light. When the oil light comes on, it is telling you that you need an oil change or service is needed.  

What happens if you don’t change your oil?

When you don’t have the oil changed in your vehicle, a common problem is the engine parts get too hot and it becomes less efficiently. Over time, the components of the engine begin to warp and wear, leading to a complete shutdown which can lead to costly repairs or replacement.

oil cap on engine

Does oil go bad if you don’t drive?

Yes, it will begin to degrade and build up moisture, creating a sludge that won’t lubricate the engine as needed. Even if you don’t drive the mileage recommended between oil changes, a bi-annual oil change is recommended.

Can I get an oil change with my own oil?  Yes, absolutely, especially if you’re doing your own oil change.  Using your own oil at a service center may or may not be cheaper, it depends on the service center. Most oil change centers will not use a customer’s oil due to liability issues. 

As far as the mechanics of your vehicle, using your own oil is acceptable as long as it is within the specifications stated by the manufacturer, in regard to type and weight of oil used. Call 847-895-9131 today for an oil change.