Today I’d like to talk about the simple oil change. The oil change itself may be simple, but there’s some pretty important things to know about preventing oil sludge. Oil eventually turns into a jelly-like sludge. Now, sludge clogs up oil passages and keeps oil from getting to some areas of the engine, causing parts to wear out prematurely, and that means expensive engine repairs. That’s why you need to change your oil and oil filter on schedule, to get the old oil out before it turns to sludge.
Your manufacturer should have a recommendation for how many miles you can go between oil changes. They usually have a number of months between recommended oil change. That’s because detergents and other additives in the oil, break down over time. Many automakers are extending their oil change intervals. That makes it all the more important to use quality oil and oil filters in your vehicle. So, change the oil on the manufacturer’s recommended schedule. Simple, right? Well, it can be complicated. Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation for a time and mileage, but you need to remember that it’s based on using the recommended weight of oil. And if your vehicle came from the factory with synthetic oil, the recommended intervals assume you continue to use synthetic. What about how you drive? Does that affect your oil change interval? Yes, how you drive can have a big effect! Many owner’s manuals will have a list of driving conditions that are harder on your vehicle. Things like stop and go driving, shorter trips, driving in very hot (why don’t they just say Phoenix?) or very cold weather, heavy loads and towing. If some of your driving fits this, you may need to change your oil and do other maintenance on a shorter schedule. Some vehicles have an oil life calculator that takes all of these factors into account and tells you when you should change your oil. Talk to your Elite Service Advisor about how you drive and get his/her recommendation for when you should take care of your service. And with all of this talk about the oil, let’s not forget how important it is to install a quality oil filter when you get your oil changed. Finally, if any of the steering or suspension parts can be lubed, your technician will take care of that with a lube, oil and filter service. Schedule your next oil change with us today!