October is Fall Car Care Month. It’s the perfect opportunity to take your car in for a routine oil change and multi-point inspection before the weather gets too cold. Check your owner’s manual for the service and replacement schedule of your vehicle’s fluids, air filters, and oil filter. If you plan on doing the work yourself, make sure to use the correct oil type for your car.
What Type Of Oil Should I Use
Gone are the days when engine oil was basically all the same stuff. Modern cars require more refined oils. High-performance engines, hybrids, and classic cars have different needs to consider. Auto manufacturers put a lot of research into your car’s components and the fluids that keep them operating flawlessly. Always follow the recommendations in your vehicle’s manual, especially if your vehicle is still under warranty.
Conventional oil is often the most economical option for engine oil. It is a less refined and less engineered petroleum-based oil variation. Conventional oils typically contain additives that reduce wear and help clean away sludge build-up. They are available in numerous viscosities and quality levels that must comply with industry standards. It is best suited for vehicles with simple engine designs, driven in normal (not severe) driving conditions.
Synthetic oil is a much more costly, chemically engineered engine oil. Petroleum molecules are broken down and rebuilt with a proprietary blend of additives and cleaning agents in a lab. Each brand of synthetic oil keeps its formula a trade secret. Pure synthetic oil performs better than conventional oil in extreme hot and cold conditions. Most newer cars now use synthetic oil, so you should continue to use it as recommended. Consult your service technician to see if synthetic oil is safe for your older model vehicle.
Synthetic Blend Oil
Synthetic Blend oils combine the benefits of both conventional oil and synthetic oil components to provide a higher level of performance but at a lower cost. They often grant a higher level of resistance to oxidation than conventional oils. The additives can vary widely, depending on the brand and manufacturer, so do your research before buying.
Most auto manufacturers recommend replacing the oil filter at the same time you have an oil change. A clean oil filter keeps contaminants out of your oil and engine, which is always a good thing.
A Multi-Point Inspection can vary quite a bit. Auto Service shops may offer a 10 to 40-point inspection with different areas of focus. Because of this, the fees for a multi-point inspection can also vary a great deal. Having a multi-point inspection done on your car once a year should be part of your routine maintenance. It is an excellent way to catch minor issues before they become major problems. Some key areas to inspect are:
- Battery, fuses, lights
- Fluids, filters, wipers
- Powertrain, engine, transmission
- Shocks, struts, suspension
- Tires, wheels, alignment, brakes
How Often Do I Need An Oil Change?
There is a lot of debate about oil change intervals these days. The truth is, there are a lot of factors that need to be analyzed to find the timing right for you and your vehicle. The standard 3 months/3,000 miles may be appropriate for some people with certain cars but completely wrong for others. A good rule of thumb is to follow the suggestions in your owner’s manual and fine-tune the timing as needed. Let’s take a look at some factors that may make a difference for you.
The type of car you drive often dictates how often you need an oil change. High-performance vehicles and heavy-duty work trucks may need more frequent oil changes because they work their engines harder than an economy car or a hybrid.
Age of Car
Modern cars have very different needs than cars did 30 or 40 years ago. Older vehicles that use conventional oil will need more frequent oil changes, say every 3,000 miles or so. Modern vehicles that use synthetic oil can go much longer between oil changes, anywhere from 5,000 – 10,000 miles or more.
Driving conditions play a huge role in determining how often an oil change is needed. Under normal conditions, stick with the manufacturer’s suggested schedule. But, if you engage in severe driving conditions, consider changing your oil more frequently. Severe driving conditions include:
- Frequent short trips of 5 miles or less
- Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
- Dusty, muddy, or sandy locations
- Stop-and-go traffic
- Long idle times
- Towing heavy loads
Benefits Of A Routine Oil Change
- Cleaner engine with less sludge
- You may get better gas mileage
- Your vehicle will produce fewer emissions
- Improved engine performance
Need AnOil Change in Temple Hills, MD?
We provide excellent auto repair services at Expert Auto & Tire, whether you drive a Dodge, Chevy, Mazda, or Ford vehicle. Our ASE-certified technicians are standing by and ready to help. We know how important your car is to you and how much you depend on it during your daily routine. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about the service needs of your car, truck, or SUV.
Schedule A Routine Oil Change Service
Give us a call at (888) 292-8784 or visit online to schedule your next oil change.