The Dirty Secret That Kills Your Cars Lifespan And Performance And How To Fix It

When we buy our cars we all hope they run flawlessly, have amazing performance and last forever. But then we neglect the one thing that we have 100% control of and flush our automotive dreams down the loo.

Few other elements under your control will affect your car’s longevity and performance more than that of your oil.

Some might think that it would be the way they drive, and yes, that does have a great effect on your engine life. But in truth, if you have a quality car it can handle most of your driving requirements if it’s thoroughly lubricated.

Below we will discuss how and why frequent oil changes can make a massive difference in the performance and lifespan of your vehicle.

How Engine Oil Affects Engine Life And Wear

As oil ages or goes through repetitive heat cycles it begins to break down and lose its viscosity. Usually, when viscosity is defined it’s put into terms that in truth are not all that easy to comprehend. A really easy way to understand viscosity is to think of oil thickness as reducing flow or speed of flow.

Let’s compare it to maple syrup that you’re pouring over your pancakes in the morning. You want a really thick maple syrup so that it clings to the pancake and a lot of it stays on top of the stack instead of running down to the plate. That thickness is measured as viscosity by a viscometer. When you heat maple syrup or oil they get thinner and have less viscosity. As oil gets heated repeatedly and ages it loses too much of this viscosity and simply becomes too thin or runny to stick to the auto parts so it can lubricate them.

Once this happens you don’t have an adequate barrier of oil between your parts and they wear much faster.

Changing your oil more often than is recommended helps ensure you’re using your oil at or near its peak viscosity levels which dramatically helps minimize parts wear and extend engine life.

Clean engine oil being poured into an engine

Fresh Oil Is Keeping It Cool

Your engine oil is responsible for a very large part of the cooling of your engine. In fact, your radiator system only cools the upper portions of your engine.

Your oil is responsible for cooling the crankshaft, camshaft, timing gears, pistons, main and connecting rod bearings and too many other critical engine components to even list here.

As oil ages and loses its viscosity it also loses its ability to cool your engine. This extra heat can break down your motor very quickly and even lead to total engine failure or engine fire.

If your car doesn’t have one yet, installing an oil temperature gauge is a really good idea. If you don’t have one then keeping your engine oil fresh is the best thing you can do to ensure it will keep your engine cool and you out of hot water.

Your Oil Filter Is A Big Deal

Dirty oil is like sandpaper to your engine parts. A dirty oil filter makes it hard to pump the oil around the engine, thus putting a strain on not only the pump but greatly reducing the oil flow, due to clogging.

Replacing your oil filter is just as necessary as changing your oil. Because why change the oil with a dirty filter so now your pump can’t pump it to where it’s supposed to go?

Be sure to look at your driving patterns. If you tow anything, drive in stop and start traffic or like to drive fast you should change your engine oil even more often than we have talked about above.

Changing your oil is not a big expense, but it can sure help prevent them later on.

About Chad Ina



  1. Avatar

    Just bought a new 2015 Ford Escape. Under normal conditions it is recommended changing the oil every 10,000 miles. The computer keeps track of the cycles the oil goes through and sends message if the oil needs changing sooner.
    I do not believe in such long millage and will be changing at no more than 5,000 miles

  2. Avatar

    Good advice, I have a 1988 Volvo 745 Turbo Diesel (210,000 miles) Oil/Filter changed at 5000 miles religiously.
    Result, I have never had any mechanical (engine) issues to date.
    My VW Sharan (2004) currently on 112000 miles has the same treatment, no issues to date.
    Sound advice.

  3. Avatar

    All your tips and advice are very helpfull
    and I am sure they will save me money in the long run
    Kind regards

  4. Avatar

    Very interesting and informative.

  5. Avatar

    hi verry interesting reading keep it up

  6. Avatar

    I had an opel astra mark1 and it lasted 31years and used it every day i send it for scrap with aperfect engine but i use to replace oil every six months!!!!!!

  7. Avatar
    Abubaker Benmuftah

    Thank you
    Your tips very helpful

  8. Avatar

    Hello, I am the owner of Chevrolet Alero 2.4l of 15 years, it runs marvelously and the maintenances are regularly made, that is every 5000 miles. I live in Europe, and just a problem: parts are difficult to find (oil filter, air filter) An idea for me? Thank you.

  9. Avatar
    George Mavrantonis

    Very Informative, great stuff.
    A cheap insurance for longevity of your car engine:
    Cars of today are more sophisticated and reliable. However, the big “killer” is short trips, start/stop driving for the internal combustion engine. Under these conditions, important to change engine oil and oil filter at six (6) months interval regardless! Or 5000 miles (approx 8,000 Km) using good quality engine oil of suitable grade, example: Mobile 1 or Castrol start/stop magnetic.

  10. Avatar

    Oil and filter should be changed every 3 to 5000 miles. I have done this with all my vehicles and I have been driving since 1973. I buy new and drive until it drops and have never had an engine failure.

  11. Avatar

    thanks, information is very useful

  12. Avatar

    Good advice is always welcome. Oil is the life blood of the engine. Do not forget an additive it lubricates the rubber valve seals and all oil seals. Do not forget to flush your radiator and use good quality antifreeze .DO NOT BUY CHEAP OIL.

  13. Avatar

    Very good worth while practical tips keep them coming nice work.

  14. Avatar

    I have a 15 year old Subaru Impreza removed the valve covers recently to replace seals,inside looks like new; that oil change advice is good advice.

  15. Avatar

    very good advice

  16. Avatar

    As we were always told in the days when I started my apprenticeship 1974. If you are low on funds at service time then the thing you never leave out is CHANGE THE OIL the single kindest thing you can do for the Engine

  17. Avatar

    Thank you for the eBook the tips , guidelines , technical terminology are excellent .
    Would be interesting to hear what lady drivers think

  18. Avatar

    Can’t agree more 3000 to 5000 miles is my range for oil change.
    04 MDX 350000 and going strong
    01 Volvo 270000 and going strong
    06 TL 200000 going strong
    91 Accord 310000 before I scraped it
    Maintenance is the key stay on top of it.

  19. Avatar
    Maurice Couzens

    maintainance is the word, change the oil every 5to6000 miles and a good inspection every three months,
    will keep it running for over 300,000 plus miles.
    lets see some good books on car van electrics.o

    • Avatar

      Now that’s a toughy. I hate leccy stuff. I do have a very close mate who’s a leccy daddy. Works in motorsport, ex-F1 geezer. Might give him a shout to give me a hand!

  20. Avatar

    I worked for a haulage company that used to send there oil to be analysed and saved hundreds of pounds by doing this as thy would have been throwing oil away that had thousand of miles left in it.I no what you are saying but if you have two or three hundred trucks its a big saving. not only that oil is a lot better than it was twenty years ago. But having said that I am a big believer in changing oils in my maim point I do every two years is change brake fluid that is just as important.

  21. Avatar

    My old boss in the plant hire business changed hisncar engine oil every month because he had the facilities and his 6 cylinder engine sounded factory fresh after 120,000 miles. The low revving excavators we had never saw an oil change however severe their conditions and for whatever reason just went on and on. Strange old world.

  22. Avatar

    I believe in frequent oil and filter changes. An ED Falcon station wagon I am still driving has 493,000 klms on it and bottom end is original. Changes are done at 5,000 klm intervals.

  23. Avatar

    Good advice is always welcome,well your vehicle will treat you the way you treat him.Have an 2000 model Mitsubishi l200 since new,done all the service intervals myself stands on 288000km and never had to open the engine and they are very fragile when it comes to heat.But up to date flashing radiator and oil regularly on time and never goes over 3000 rpm if not necessary.she will last another 18 years if the body dont rust away.
    Thanks for the good advice and keep it up.

    • Avatar

      That’s great on your vehicle lifespan without serious issues! Timely preventative maintenance does help a lot.

  24. Avatar

    This is really well done. May I share some of your writings with my customers via my social media?

  25. Avatar

    Regarding oil changes and other maintenance issues;

    I have not driven my vehicle for 6 months. I mostly walk most places for my shopping and other errands. I do run the engine for 30 minutes every month to keep the battery charged. I am concerned that not driving the vehicle very often may have undesirable effects. How would a vehicle’s oil change intervals and other maintenance issues be affected if the vehicle is idle for long periods? Thank you.


    • Avatar

      Hi Dan, thank you for your comment. Starting the car monthly is helpful for keeping the battery, fluids and engine components lubricated and moving. You may want to take it for a quick spin around the block to help with the suspension parts from getting some movement, especially tires as they could develop flat spots from sitting too long in the same position. We have a helpful article you can find here on long-term car storage that will provide additional information and best practices.

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