How often to change synthetic oil?
Since its creation in the 1800s, engine oil has become an integral part of motor maintenance. Its major functions include lubrication of internal combustion engines in order to reduce wear on moving parts, as well as preventing rust or corrosion.
Engine oil is produced from a thicker and heavier petroleum hydrocarbon base stock, which is derived from crude oil. It is undoubtedly very crucial in increasing the life span of machines such as vehicles, motorcycles, engine generators, tractors, etc. It reduces the heat caused by friction (when two moving parts rub against each other) and helps to clean the engine.
Engine oil comes in different varieties and brands but they all perform the same functions mentioned above. In order to continually function properly, engine oils need to be replaced or changed periodically. The reason for this is that while inside the engine, the oil is exposed to some by-products of internal combustion, which is mostly in the form of tiny particles from black smoke residue that subsequently gather in the oil during operation. In addition, the friction of the metal parts of the engine produces some metallic debris, which could get into the oil and grind against the engine surfaces, thereby causing damages and wear.
When Should You Change Your Engine Oil?
The oil filter in the motor usually removes most of these damaging particles, but as time goes on, the oil filter itself can become congested or blocked if not cleaned out after a long period. How often the oil is changed largely depends on the distance the vehicle has travelled or based on how long it has been in use.
However, car service technicians have recommended that engine oil should be changed every three months or at an interval of 3,000 miles (about 4,800km), but some automobile manufacturers have insisted that this recommendation is quite unnecessary. In their opinion, certain brands of vehicles can travel well beyond 5,000 miles before needing oil change. In fact, some newer models of cars are now being manufactured with a light sensor or monitor that indicates when you should change your oil. This is believed to be a more accurate time to do your engine oil replacement, with some cars going as long as 8,000 miles before the indicator comes on.
As for car owners who don’t have the sensor that monitors their oil quality, they can check the oil quality by themselves. New engine oil is usually an amber color. When it has been used over a long period, the color changes to black. This is because of the dirt that gets into the oil from the engine due to heat and friction. Therefore, it is quite reasonable to check your oil at the 3,000 or even 4,000 miles mark if you don’t have a sensor.
Regardless of the objections raised by automobile manufacturers, service technicians still strongly advise that car owners should stick to the 3,000-mile rule because it is to the latter benefit if their vehicles are inspected regularly to prevent more problems from developing. Additionally, dirt or particles left in the engine oil for long periods can result in damages that may require a complete change of engine, which is quite costly.
Oil consumption is another major issue that can arise after long use if not monitored regularly. It is therefore advisable to check oil levels frequently to prevent long-term complications. Whether you choose to change your engine oil at the 3,000-mile mark or not, the frequency of your oil change boils down to your driving habits and the kind of car you drive. This means the interval at which you change your engine oil is a decision that could be made at your own discretion.
Advantages of Consulting Service Technicians for Engine Oil Replacement
Some of the benefits of going to a service technician to have your engine oil changed are that they usually inspect other parts of your vehicle like the air pressure in your tires, the washer fluid (plus a possible free top-up), grease joints, coolant condition, etc. If you are the type who finds it tedious or are too busy, the only time these vital areas of your car are monitored would be during an oil change appointment. This in essence means that having your engine oil changed regularly helps to ensure that your vehicle is in overall good working condition.
Another option to consider is synthetic oils. According to engine oil manufacturers, these types of oil can last up to 50,000 or 75,000 miles before needing replacement. One of the major advantages of synthetic oil is its ability to remain fluid even in extremely low temperature. Tests have also shown that it has superior service condition and performs for a longer period unlike conventional oil. While this may appear to be a better choice of engine oil, it is important to note that synthetic oil can be significantly more expensive and may not be exactly suitable for all engines. Having that in mind, you need to check with your car manufacturer or mechanic to know for certain if this type of oil is appropriate for your vehicle or not.
In conclusion, having your engine oil changed every 3,000 miles will not really do you any harm aside from costing you more money than is probably necessary. If you feel comfortable with changing your oil regularly, then, do so. However, if you take a moment to check how often you should actually be changing the oil and monitoring your oil levels, you will likely realize that you can save yourself some money if you simply do what is appropriate for your vehicle so that you can use it to its full capacity and for as long as possible. Also, bear in mind that regular oil change goes a long way to help keep your engine clean and prevent other avoidable problems like overheating. According to the popular saying, “Better safe than sorry.”
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