Sunday, May 31, 2009

Vehicle Maintenance (Part One) Oil Changes

Oil changes are vitally important for the smooth operation of your motor vehicle. Over time, oil breaks down and does not lubricate the important parts of the engine, which in turn can cause poor power, poor gas mileage, and overall harm to the moving parts of the engine. If not remedied what is left of the oil will evaporate, and not properly lubricate the engine, and you may have harmful byproducts in the engine, that will begin to cause problems in and with the engine, usually in the form of what may sound like sand rubbing on valves or a ticking sound, which is an indication of possible bent rods, damaged heads and other engine parts.
To prevent such events from happening, most manufacturers recommend that engine oil be changed every 3,000 miles. This is usually the life expectancy of oil for a couple of reasons. First of all the viscosity of the oil breaks down due to heat and cold, so when you get the oil changed in your vehicle, make sure that the proper viscosity i.e., 5w30, 10w30, or 5w20 oil, is used. The vehicle manufacturer will have the proper viscosity listed, somewhere in your owners manual.
Secondly, most oil filters are rated for 3,000 miles. If the oil is not changed at the proper intervals, the oil filter may not filter out contaminants. There are bypass valves in many oil filters and once the oil filter gets to dirty, the valve will close and for obvious reasons, the oil contaminants will not be pulled away for the engine parts. With this in mind, make sure that you are replacing the oil filter with every oil change.
Finally, once the oil change has been completed, make sure that the oil change reminder light is reset. That reminder light will come on approximately 2,500 miles into the last oil change as a reminder that it is getting close to time to change the oil. If you are not going to be changing the oil and filter yourself, choose a reliable mechanic/automotive technician, someone you trust, to do the work for you. Once you find that person, they can keep you up to date on what's happening with your vehicle.

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