If you look in your car’s owners manual, it will usually say something to the effect of “your car needs to have an oil change every 10,000 miles or 12 months, whichever occurs first”. Some newer cars might even have a longer interval between oil changes. Photo Credit It is important to note that although these are the car manufacturer’s recommended oil change (service) intervals, they should be considered as the absolute maximum intervals.
Those intervals might be OK for people who do mostly motorway mileage (sales reps, for example), but for most people who commute to work and back as well as doing the odd trip to town and back, they should get their oil changed more frequently. Here’s why:
- Oil wears down over time Car engines operate at extremely high temperatures, and after a while the oil begins to wear down; this is technically known as thermal breakdown. When this happens, crucial internal engine components such as valves and pistons are not lubricated as well as they should be, and they will eventually get damaged.
- Sludge starts to build up Sludge will eventually start to build up in your engine over time, and although some of that sludge is drained away when your car gets an oil change, there will still be some remaining inside of your engine. This sludge can play havoc with key components such as hydraulic lash adjusters (or “tappets” as some people call them).
- Debris starts to collect Apart from sludge, if any debris such as dirt or water enters your engine, it can cause your engine to corrode from the inside! By having regular oil changes, this debris will be drained away along with any sludge so that the corrosion process doesn’t have a chance to cause major internal damage to your engine.
- Irregular oil changes can cause leaks many people do not realize how important regular oil changes are to the longevity of a car engine! If you have old oil full of sludge inside your engine, you can cause oil seals to leak, and the increased pressure inside the combustion chamber can damage items such as the PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve.
- Oil filters are only effective with regular oil changes whenever an oil change is done on a car, the oil filter is also replaced at the same time. This inexpensive item (it only costs about a fiver) ensures that any oil that circulates within the engine is filtered from sludge and debris. If your car engine does not have regular oil and filter changes, the filter will become clogged up and unable to do its job properly.
- A car with a smooth-running engine will sell quicker If I want to sell my car top tips that I have been told by many people in the past include making sure that the engine is running smoothly for potential buyers. The best way to do this, of course, is to make sure that you have fresh oil flowing through the engine!