If you only have time and money for one maintenance routine for your car or truck, it should be having your oil changed on a regular basis. Most mechanics and car manufacturers define "regularly" as once every three months or once every 5,000 miles (whichever benchmark comes first.) You might want to get your oil changed more frequently if you live in an extremely hot or cold climate, if you tend to drive using jack-rabbit starts, if you live on or frequently travel on dirt roads and/or if your engine is older and tends to burn oil.
What happens during an oil change
When you have your oil changed, the technician does a number of things. He or she doesn't simply empty your oil reservoir and replace the oil with new motor oil, although that, of course, is a part of the procedure. The mechanic also changes the oil filter and checks your other vehicle fluid levels (such as your brake fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield washer fluid).
Benefits of an oil change
Having your oil changed helps keep your vehicle well-lubricated and helps prevent the moving parts from rubbing against one another and corroding. Good lubrication also helps keep your engine's parts from overheating. Motor oil also absorbs moisture, dirt, and combustion by products that can compromise your engine's performance. After a while, the oil becomes saturated with these substances and is not able to absorb any more.
If left too long between oil changes, your car's motor oil will turn acquire the consistency of sludge and make your engine have to work harder to combat the resistance this causes. Having to work harder also uses more energy, which can affect your vehicle's gas mileage and cost you more money at the gas pump. Regular oil changes help to extend the lifespan of your vehicle and can even help prevent accidents. According to autos.com, five percent of accidents in the United States are caused by poor maintenance.
Although taking your car or truck in to the garage for an oil change may seem like a task and expense you can get away with postponing, having your oil changed regularly can extend the life of your vehicle, help keep your engine parts from over-heating and/or corroding, and can even lessen the likelihood of your being in an accident. Make sure to add this relatively inexpensive maintenance task to your monthly or quarterly household budget. For more information, visit sites like http://www.pdrauto.com/.