The concept of changing your vehicle's oil only once a year might sound appealing – fewer trips to the mechanic, less hassle, and potentially lower costs. However, when it comes to maintaining health and longevity, your engine doesn't think the same - let's see why.
Before We Start: What Does Engine Oil Do?
Engine oil serves as the lifeblood of your vehicle's engine, providing crucial lubrication to its moving parts, reducing friction, and dissipating heat. Over time, oil breaks down, becomes contaminated with debris, and loses its viscosity, compromising its ability to perform these vital functions. Regular oil changes are necessary to ensure that your engine continues to operate efficiently and reliably.
Oil Degradation and Contamination
Even if your vehicle spends most of its time parked, the oil inside the engine is still subject to degradation. Factors such as temperature fluctuations, moisture accumulation, and chemical reactions can cause the oil to break down over time. This breakdown leads to a decrease in its lubricating properties, which, in turn, can result in increased wear and tear on engine components.
Engines are not immune to the presence of contaminants. Combustion byproducts, dirt, dust, and metal particles can find their way into the oil, further compromising its effectiveness. These contaminants can lead to increased friction, reduced efficiency, and even cause damage to critical engine parts.
Viscosity refers to the oil's resistance to flow. As oil ages, it tends to lose viscosity, becoming thinner. This reduced viscosity means that the oil might not provide adequate lubrication, especially during high-stress conditions like rapid acceleration or towing. Regular oil changes help maintain the oil's viscosity within the optimal range, ensuring proper engine protection.
Vehicle manufacturers specify recommended oil change intervals for a reason. These recommendations are based on extensive research and testing to ensure that the engine operates at peak performance and longevity. Neglecting these recommendations can lead to premature engine wear, decreased fuel efficiency, and potentially costly repairs.
If this article changed your mind, make sure to visit us at Autoworks Of Issaquah! We will take your fluids, any overdue repairs, and everything else your vehicle might need - just give us a call!