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.
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.
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.