An Easy Way To Protect Your Engine: The Importance Of Regular Oil Changes

Posted on: 14 August 2015


There are many reasons to change your car's oil on a regular basis, but one reason stands out above all others: regular oil changes can help the engine stay clean. By changing your oil regularly, you'll avoid the engine-damaging consequences of contaminated oil. If you want better engine performance and longer life, don't skimp on the oil changes. Read on to learn more about motor oil and about how it's used inside the engine.

The Breakdown of Motor Oil

Engine oil is relatively temperamental. It's slick one minute, but can turn to sludge without much effort. Let's examine what happens inside the engine while the car is in use.

  • Motor oil degrades over time. Constant exposure to air, moisture and heat lead to oxidation, and oil thickens and causes corrosive wear. All of these elements can damage the engine, but they can be avoided with regular oil changes.
  • Oil additives become depleted. When the oil's additives are gone, the oil can't handle the metal shavings and dirt inside the engine, and sludge is the result. Old oil can't protect the engine against wear and corrosion, and expensive repairs can be the result. However, scheduled oil changes can replenish the engine and keep it protected.

Oil's Travels Through the Engine

Motor oil should travel through the engine smoothly. It's pumped through small passageways, lubricating moving parts and reducing engine heat. Below is a list of the parts protected by engine oil:

  • Moving parts such as rod bearings, piston rings, cylinder walls and the valve train all need proper lubrication to prevent excessive friction
  • The oil pan collects oil as it's waiting for uptake by the oil pump. Once the oil starts circulating, it is pushed through the engine, lubricating parts and gradually working its way back toward the oil pan.
  • The oil pump creates the pressure necessary to push oil throughout the engine. Without it, the oil wouldn't come out of the pan—and your engine wouldn't last long.
  • Your car's oil filter prevents internal damage by grabbing debris as it circulates through the engine, and it needs to stay in good condition in order to do its job.

Your oil change schedule can differ from the manufacturer's recommended interval. The owner's manual lists two oil change schedules: one for severe and one for normal conditions. Be sure to pay attention to the differences between the two, as severe conditions can greatly shorten the life of your motor oil. When your oil notification light comes on, it may be time to bring your car in for an oil change.

For more information, contact a company like Covey's Auto.