Everything you need to know about oil change services

Everything you need to know about oil change services

An oil change is done when used engine oil in a car is replaced with fresh oil and oil filters. It is a simple process that does not take too long, taking half an hour at the most. However, remember that this depends on the condition of the vehicle and at times can take up to 1 and a half hours. While you can always get a professional to do it, it is a simple enough process that you can do it yourself. Read on to know more about oil change services.

Oil change options
Many people perform oil changes themselves because oil change is not that difficult. Moreover, choosing this method of oil changing will cost only about $35 for five quarts of engine oil and $10 for a fresh oil filter. You need to make sure that you are choosing the right type of oil filter for your car. To successfully complete an oil change, you need to have tools such as a socket wrench, funnel and drain pan. Furthermore, note that the type of engine oil you buy depends on the manufacturer’s specifications and the climate.

Opting for professional oil change services can cost you anywhere between $40 and $70. Moreover, this depends on the size and engine of your vehicle. For instance, oil change services for bigger and powerful vehicles are costlier, as they require more oil. General oil change services included lubrication of fittings, fluid checking, leakage inspection, tire pressure check, and undercarriage inspection. These services can vary from one automotive shop to another.

Different types of oils
There are essentially five types of oils; conventional, full synthetic, synthetic blend, high mileage blend, and European oils. Conventional oil is petroleum-based, costs less, but is prone to temperature changes. Full synthetic oil is derived from crude oil, is better for the environment, and costlier than conventional oil. A synthetic blend is a combination of conventional oil and full synthetic. High mileage blend oil is for cars that have covered more than 75,000 miles. The oil has enhanced features compared to the previous three. European oils are for luxury cars manufactured in Europe.

Why are oil change services critical?
According to a survey, more than 20% of vehicles in the country run on dirty engine oil, making them susceptible to a host of problems. In fact, ensuring proper oil changes can help you save 30 times more, increasing your savings and the longevity of your vehicle. Hence, oil change services should not be taken lightly as they are beneficial for the health of your car. Here are five primary reasons why you should do timely oil changes for your vehicle.

  • Component cooling
    One of the main reasons why oil change services are important is because it ensures component cooling. The cooling system present in the vehicle needs fresh oil to regulate and maintain the temperature of the engine. Moreover, there are certain places where the cooling system cannot reach. Timely oil changes guarantee that the temperature of the engine is maintained, avoiding unnecessary heating up of engine parts, reducing heat from friction. This helps prevent overheating of the engine, which can shorten the life of the vehicle.
  • Improves mileage
    According to the U.S. Department of Energy routinely changes oil with proper oil according to the type of vehicle and can improve a vehicle’s gas mileage. Improvements of anywhere between 1% and 2% can be expected. Although this sounds like a small amount, it equates to a gallon of gas being saved for a normal car. Without an oil change, there isn’t proper engine lubrication, resulting in higher fuel consumption.
  • Engine lubrication
    Oil lubrication is needed to ensure that various moving parts in the vehicle work efficiently. These include valves and pistons that are part of the engine. When they work at the right speed, they create a lot of heat. If oil lubrication is not present, then the engine is prone to faster wear and tear. This can cause a lot of damage to the engine. Therefore, oil change services are important to ensure that the engine is working optimally at all times.
  • Increases a vehicle’s lifespan
    Ensuring routine oil and oil filter change will not only ensure that your vehicle will last longer but also guarantee that you get a high resale value. When dirt accumulates in a vehicle’s engine due to lack of service and maintenance, including oil change, it leads to the components working harder than necessary. This can affect not only the performance of the car but also its fuel economy. This will lead to a range of problems in the vehicle. Moreover, if you maintain your vehicle well by ensuring routine oil change, then it will provide optimum performance, ensuring that the vehicle is valued higher when you decide to sell it.
  • Ensure proper engine condition
    Dirt particles, including dust, are not good for an engine. This is why oil change services are vital. Accumulation of dirt and dust in the engine leads to corrosion. This can decrease the lifespan of the engine. If the oil is not changed on time, then old oil breaks down to sludge over time. During an oil change, filter change also occurs. This ensures that the accumulated dust and dirt particles are removed. This ensures that the engine is always working in optimal condition.

Signs that your car needs an oil change service
Here are signs to look out for that indicate your vehicle needs oil change services.

  • Overheating
    One of the common signs that indicate an oil problem is overheating. When you notice that your vehicle is overheating, then it is time to change the oil. Engine heats up when the oil hasn’t been changed for a long period or if there is insufficient oil in the engine.
  • Burnt oil smell
    You know you need to opt for oil change services when you smell burnt oil. This will be most noticeable in the interior of the car. This means that an oil leak has occurred, leading to the oil reaching various engine parts. You should ensure you get the leak fixed first and then get the oil changed.
  • Resistance in the gearbox
    In an automatic car, you can easily shift gears without any resistance. However, if you experience resistance shifting gears, then it indicates that you need to change the oil in your vehicle. It also could mean that you need to replace oil filters too. In such cases, it is better to ask a mechanic to check your car.
  • Exhaust smoke
    Emission of gray-colored or blue-colored smoke from the exhaust is a clear indication of requiring oil change service. This indicates the possibility of an oil leak and is most noticeable in cold areas. This is generally accompanied by a burnt oil smell. This occurs because the engine is not lubricated enough, causing a leak.
  • Dark oil
    When dirt particles get trapped in the engine, then the oil becomes extremely dark in color. This is when you know that you should change the oil. If the shade becomes slightly dirty colored brown, then it is time for a top-up. It is best to check engine oil on a regular basis to know the time to change the oil.
  • Poor fuel economy
    Deteriorating gas mileage is a clear indication that your vehicle requires oil change services. When the engine is not lubricated enough, then various parts of the vehicle, such as the pistons and gears, have to work harder and are pushed to the limit. This results in your vehicle consuming more fuel.
  • Strange noises
    If you hear sounds such as metal clanging on metal, then it is time to change your engine oil. There is a reason why manufacturers recommend that you change the engine oil periodically after driving certain miles. It is because engine oil gets old, impure, and dirty, choking the exhaust and causing leakage. This leads to the engine’s components not performing to an optimum level, leading to engine inefficiency.
  • Troubles starting engine
    You will need oil change services when you are unable or facing difficulties in starting the engine of your car. You might experience a hesitation in the engine before your car starts. Moreover, you might even notice that the dashboard lights are dimmer than usual. This indicates engine oil problems and warrants a visit to the garage.
  • Car stalls
    Car stalling is one of the most common signs that you need to opt for an oil change service. If your car stalls often on long drives, then there is a problem in your car’s engine, including requiring an oil change. In such cases, experts recommend that a complete tune-up can help fix the problem. One of the reasons could be a clogged fuel filter, which can be easily replaced in a tune-up.

How often should you change the oil in the vehicle?
It is often tricky to understand when a car needs oil change services because sometimes the vehicle does not exhibit any signs of breakdown. Read on to know how often your vehicle needs an oil change.
Firstly, know that experts recommend that oil change should occur every six months or 3,000 miles, depending on which of the two comes first. But this doesn’t hold true anymore because of the robustness of new vehicles. Now, experts say that oil change should occur when you drive 5,000 miles without problems. However, this can still depend on many factors, such as the environment, wear and tear, and manufacturer advice.

In extreme operating conditions, you should opt to change oil every 1,000 miles or up to 3,000 miles if you have been using your car for a while. For newer vehicles, experts suggest that vehicles’ oil should be changed as specified in the owner’s manual. It is important to understand what extreme operating conditions mean. They include driving in hot weather. If you are driving in any region which has dirt and dust, then it is considered extreme. Furthermore, extreme operating conditions also include stopping the vehicle often because of traffic or not using your car for a long time, leading to engine cooling down. Also, driving your car at high speed is considered extreme operating conditions.

When it comes to oil change services in optimal operating conditions, the scenario is different. In such cases, experts suggest that you change the oil when you reach 7,500 miles or more. This is because of the motor oil’s increased efficiency. But still, some manufacturers suggest that you can change it every 5,000 miles or after a six months period, whichever comes earlier. Some people who drive for longer hours daily can feel that they don’t need to change the oil that often. However, it is best not to delay oil change services to more than the specified period mentioned in the owner’s manual.

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