Why is an oil change important?
Why is regular bathing important? It keeps you clean. Same goes for motor oil: it gets “worn” during its lifecycle. Regularly scheduled oil changes will help keep your engine clean and avoid the potentially engine-damaging effects contaminated oil can inflict. If you want to maximize engine performance, and most importantly, engine life, don’t skimp on your engine’s most vital lubricant.
How does motor oil breakdown?
Motor oil is pretty temperamental. One second it is slick, but then, before you know it, slick mutates into ‘ick.’ Let’s take a look at what’s going on in that engine of yours while you’re out cruising around.
Motor oil becomes less effective over time. Constant exposure to heat, moisture and air leads to motor oil degradation (oxidation). The end result? Oil thickening, sludge, deposit formation and corrosive wear. Sounds awful, right? Well it is, and all these nasty elements can take a toll on your engine. You don’t want those troublemakers knocking around your engine parts.
Oil additives depleted, oil life finished. When motor oil additives are completely exhausted, oil can no longer handle the dirt and metals that are freely floating around, causing the oxidation that creates sludge. Most importantly, old oil can no longer protect your engine against corrosion and wear when it breaks down.
Picture your motor oil trying to work its way through hard and sticky sludge that’s clogged up oil passageways in your engine. Doesn’t sound very effective, does it? (Not to mention all the havoc these added barriers can inflict on your engine.) Leaving motor oil in your engine well past the recommended oil change date can result in disastrous conditions and expensive repairs.
Changing your oil on schedule will remove contaminated oil and replenish your engine with fresh oil. Proper lubrication provides the best protection.
How does oil travel through my engine?
Very smoothly. Oil is pumped through small engine passageways lubricating all moving parts while acting as a cooling agent to reduce engine heat. Talk about a pretty important job. Your engine’s survival is counting on it. Sit back and relax. We’ll show you how it works:
What are all the parts involved in making sure the oil pumps through the engine effectively?
The Moving Parts: Valve train, main and rod bearings, piston rings and cylinder walls all need lubrication in order to prevent metal on metal friction in the engine.
The Oil Pan: This is where your motor oil chillaxes, waiting to be propelled into action by the oil pump. Once the pump gets the oil moving, the oil travels through tiny oil passage ways, lubricating all the functioning parts and then finally dropping back down to the oil pan. Cycle complete.
The Oil Pump: This part is crucial to engine lubrication. The oil pump is responsible for creating the pressure that pushes your motor oil throughout your engine parts. Without it, your oil would just sit in the pan. And that’s not very useful.
The Oil Filter: The oil filter captures any harmful debris, metal or dirt that’s entered your oil system. The better condition your oil filter is in, the better protected your engine will be. A dirty filter is as useful as a dirty napkin. And the only use for that is in the trash bin.
What happens if I don’t get an oil change?
Don’t play with fire, because that’s exactly what you’re doing with the life of your car if you wait too long to change your oil. Skipping oil changes, exceeding mileage or going long periods of time before your next oil change can accelerate the wear on the vital parts that keep your car running smoothly, eventually leading to premature engine breakdown.
Repairing engine damage can be a big hit to your wallet, so don’t wait to get an oil change. You might regret it.
What is the best type of oil for my car?
The best type of oil is usually the one listed in your vehicle owner’s manual. However, if you have a high performance vehicle, do a lot of towing or live in extremely hot or cold climates, your car can benefit greatly from a synthetic blend or full synthetic oil.
Quick Tip: Factor in the age of your vehicle when selecting your motor oil. When your car hits 75,000 miles, your engine may require a high mileage oil designed to maintain and preserve your engine for the long haul. All in the name of keeping your baby purring to its fullest potential.
What do different oil grades (SAE 5W-20) mean?
Caution: As always, check with your owner’s manual and your oil tech before you make any adjustments to the oil grade you use in your engine. Pour in the wrong oil type and very damaging effects can occur.
Now Let’s decode life’s biggest mystery:
SAE = Society of Automotive Engineers.The SAE designation describes the viscosity grade of oil commonly used for passenger cars, vans, SUV’s, and light-duty trucks, etc.
W is for Winter. And the number before the W lets you know how easily this oil will pump at low temperatures.
0W is for very low temperatures, while higher numbers (10W) are designed for milder winter weather.
The last number stands for ‘summer.’ While the first number is associated with the winter temperatures, the last number determines the oil thickness at 100°C. High numbers (50) are thicker than lower numbers (20) at that temperature.
Thicker oils form a thicker file for better the high temperature protection. Heavier viscosity (thicker) oils provide superior protection at high temperatures, during towing and transporting heavy loads (engine generates more heat under these operating conditions). When oil heats up, it thins out. If you drive under extreme conditions, thicker oil will perform better in your engine as it thins out under extreme temperatures.
Thinner oils makes it easier to start your car in the winter. It’s the dead of winter; do you know the importance of your ‘W’? Well it plays a big role in whether or not your car will start ease or, potentially, not at all. Lower numbers (0W) will perform the best in cold winter while higher (20W) numbers are designed for milder winter weather. Check with us to make sure you have the right oil for your region.
Warning: Never switch oil types based on instincts or guesstimates. Check your owner’s manual first, but also check with one of our oil experts to determine the ideal oil grade based on your driving conditions and vehicle specifications.
Quick fact: Multigrade oils (10W-30) can be used over a wider temperature range than single grade oils.
What is a valve train?
The valve train controls multiple parts in order to manage the amount of air and fuel that enters the combustion chamber at all times.
What are main and rod bearings?
Main and rod bearings are half cylinder metal fittings that are lubricated so that the crankshaft, connecting rods and engine block function smoothly and avoid friction.
What are piston rings?
Piston rings are typically a set of three rings that: provide seals for the combustion chambers, transfer piston heat and manage engine oil consumption.
What are cylinder walls?
Inside each cylinder are walls in which the pistons travel between. These walls must remain lubricated with oil at all times to ensure the pistons don’t create friction inside any of your vehicle’s cylinders.
What is a crankshaft?
The crankshaft is connected to the pistons, providing precise and accurate piston rotation inside your vehicle’s cylinders. The crankshaft should always remain lubricated as it rotates inside the main and rod bearings.
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