Have You Changed the Oil in Your Vehicle Lately?

Posted: March 13, 2018

Ask any Syracuse auto mechanic and they will tell you “old” oil can harm your engine.

New oil will penetrate all engine parts, avoiding — or at least reducing — friction between moving parts. It contains fresh, strong molecule chains that prevent active engine parts from scraping and eroding when the engine is in operation, and extreme heat is generated. Over time, however, these molecule chains break down into shorter chains, eventually splitting down until they no longer exist. You are left with “old” oil.

Although old, dirty oil is better than a bone-dry engine, new oil, enriched with strong molecule chains, work best to prevent moving engine parts from grinding against each other. In fact, you can visually see this molecular breakdown, as new oil (amber-colored) turns old (black-colored). The color of old oil is a product of both dirtiness and a breakdown in the molecular chains.

Benefits of Regular Oil Changes in Syracuse

An oil change by a reputable Syracuse mechanic will not only improve lubrication, but also:

  • Regulate engine temperature by absorbing engine heat;
  • Reduce engine wear; and
  • Prevent engine “sludge” — that is, gunk comprised of particulates, dirt and degraded oil — from accumulating and interfering with optimal engine performance.

Does the 3,000-mile rule of thumb still apply? It depends.

Advances in engine and oil technologies now allow some Syracuse car owners to drive up to 7,500 miles between oil changes, as opposed to the 3,000-mile benchmark of decades past. Of course, there is no hard and fast rule, so you should always consult the owner’s manual for your car. Even if you have not reached the mileage threshold in your owner’s manual, you may still need an oil change. When it comes to determining whether you need an oil change, the odometer — counting ever mile — does not tell everything. Some miles are more stressful on your engine than others, so if your daily commute is a “stop-and-go” experience, you may need an oil change sooner than your Thruway-driving counterpart.

Can Oil Changes Affect New Car Warranties?

New car warranties are sometimes complicated, but, according to the Federal Trade Commission, it is “illegal for manufacturers or dealers to claim that your warranty is void or to deny coverage under your warranty simply because someone other than the dealer” performed routine maintenance work. Routine maintenance can include oil changes, as well as tire rotations, belt replacement, fluid checks and flushes, new brake pads, and inspections. To play it safe, the Federal Trade Commission does urge car owners to read their warranty; be aware of the warranty period; service the vehicle at regular intervals; and keep all services records and receipts, regardless of who performs the service.

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