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If you’re a vehicle owner, you likely know the importance of preventative maintenance, such as an oil change, when it comes to helping your car perform at its best. And, regular care can help it last longer. But, do you ever have questions about what maintenance is needed and when? If you’re like most vehicle owners, the answer is yes.

 

An oil change is one maintenance item that doesn’t cost very much but can pay serious dividends. Since oil is a necessary component for proper engine functioning, keeping it clean and at the right quantity goes a long way in preserving engine health. Here are a few other things to consider …

 

How often should I check my vehicle’s oil?

Having oil in your vehicle is a great start, but having the right quantity of oil is essential for proper engine function. Even newer vehicles may need to have oil added in between oil changes. This means that it is wise to check the oil level now and then to be sure that it is adequate. How often? Consumer Reports recommends doing an oil check once per month, and we agree. If there is any evidence of a leak, be sure to schedule service at your local auto repair shop right away.

 

When should I get an oil change?

Unfortunately, oil doesn’t last forever, and it certainly doesn’t stay clean forever. When you do your monthly oil check, pay attention to the quality of the oil as well as its quantity. If the color is anything other than black or brown, there may be a serious problem. Similarly, if the oil has debris in it, like metal particles, this could be a sign of engine damage. In either case, bring your vehicle in for service as soon as possible. The oil will need to be changed and other repairs may be needed.

 

How long can I go between oil changes?

In years gone by, the rule of thumb for oil change frequency used to be “every 3 months or 3,000 miles.” With newer, more technologically advanced engines and oils, however, this has changed. Now, you should consult your owner’s manual or ask your trusted auto mechanic for the time interval recommended for your particular make and model vehicle. Generally, however, most newer vehicles can go at least 7,500 miles or 6 months between oil changes.

 

What type of oil should I use?

The answer to this question is similar to the last – check your owner’s manual. Or, talk to your mechanic if you’re unsure. Your choices here are limited to conventional or synthetic motor oil, with various brands inside each category.

 

Standard oil works just fine for many vehicles. If you consistently drive short distances or under extreme conditions (i.e. very hot or cold temperatures, frequent towing, etc.), however, synthetic oil is preferred. It is specifically designed to last longer and withstand temperature extremes. It is also less likely to lead to sludge buildup, making for improved oil flow to the engine and ultimately, a happier, healthier engine.

 

Where should I go for an oil change?

Some people prefer to do oil changes on their vehicle themselves. If you’re not mechanically inclined, don’t know what type of oil to use, or simply don’t want to be bothered, however, scheduling service at your local auto repair shop is your best bet. They will be able to keep accurate records of your vehicle’s service, provide advice on your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule, and let you know of any repairs that might be needed.

 

Are you ready for an oil change NOW? Schedule an appointment today!