Sara isn’t a car expert. In fact, she doesn’t think much about how her car works at all. She bought an SUV because she likes the way it sits. She chose her make and model because of how it drives.
Sara is like a lot of people. They lead busy lives – who has time to think about auto mechanics? All that really matters is that the car goes. And when it doesn’t … that’s when the questions flood in.
Yet whether you’re like Sara, love to rebuild cars on your own, or sit somewhere in between, you understand maintenance is important to the health of your vehicle.
As Sara puts it, “I stick with high-quality gasoline. I watch my dashboard for lights. I pay attention to the way my car drives. But sometimes the advice is very confusing. When are you supposed to change the motor oil anyway?”
Oh, we get that. The concept of the “best motor oil” is subjective at best.
Go to one source, and they’ll tell you to change your motor oil every 3,000 miles. Another will tell you to stretch it towards 7,000.
And what should you use? Do different brands provide different results? Does any of this matter?
An overview of why motor oil matters to your car
Motor oil might not seem like a big deal, but it plays a crucial role in keeping your car humming happily down the road. Think of it as the lifeblood of your vehicle, much like a balanced diet is to your family.
Imagine your car’s engine as a symphony of moving parts, all working together in harmony. From the pistons going up and down to the crankshaft spinning around, there’s a lot of action under the hood. And all this action generates heat and friction – a bit like a mini wrestling match happening in your engine every time you drive.
That’s where motor oil swoops in as the hero. It’s a slippery, lubricating superstar, ensuring all these parts glide smoothly without turning into a screeching, hot mess. Without proper lubrication, those metal components would wear out quickly, leading to costly repairs.
With all that action, your car’s engine can get pretty hot – we’re talking hundreds of degrees hot. In addition to lubrication, motor oil helps to cool things down. It absorbs the heat generated by the engine, and then carries it to the oil pan, where it can cool off before starting the cycle again.
Over time, the engine generates gunk and grime. Imagine if you never cleaned your house – it would get pretty messy, right? Well, motor oil has your back here, too. It carries away those particles and deposits them in the oil filter, helping to keep your engine clean and free from sludge buildup.
It’s not just what’s happening inside your car. Using the right motor oil can help improve your car’s fuel efficiency and overall performance. A well-lubricated engine runs smoother and more efficiently, which means you can go further on each tank of gas, saving you money in the long run.
In a nutshell, motor oil isn’t just a mundane necessity; it’s your car’s unsung hero. It keeps everything running smoothly, cools things down, and even helps with your car’s overall performance.
Motor oil is the lifeblood … how do I know what to buy?
Shopping for motor oil isn’t like picking out your favorite cereal. Stare at an aisle of motor oil choices, and I bet you’ll have a hard time picking one out.
The best place to start is with your owner’s manual. Your car’s manufacturer built it; they understand the best motor oil to use.
Think of your car’s owner’s manual as a treasure map for your vehicle’s specific needs. Your car’s manufacturer knows your vehicle inside and out, and they’ve spent countless hours figuring out the best motor oil to use. So, when you’re in doubt, turn to the trusty manual. It’s a bit like asking your grandma for her secret recipe – they’ve got the inside scoop.
In your manual, you’ll find a section that tells you the recommended oil type and viscosity grade. You might see something like “5W-30” or “10W-40.” Don’t let those numbers intimidate you.
The first number (5W or 10W) represents the oil’s viscosity in cold temperatures. The lower the number, the better the oil flows in the cold. The second number (30 or 40) shows the viscosity at operating temperatures. It’s about how the oil performs when your engine is all warmed up.
But even with this in mind, you might not have the desire to shop for motor oil, bring it home, and do the change yourself.
How do you ensure you find a quality place to change your motor oil regularly?
First, ask around. Chat with friends, family, and co-workers about where they get their oil changes. Personal recommendations can be golden. Read online reviews, but take them with a grain of salt – people have all kinds of experiences. Look for trends, not just one or two reviews.
Look for people who care about what they do. Those chains might be flashy and advertise well, but if the staff turns over regularly, you’ll rarely get the same experience every time you drive in. By going with a smaller shop, you’ll find you get more customer service. You can get to know the certified technicians who will know your car’s needs like the back of their hand. If you have a question, you can ask it and know you’ll get a straight answer.
If you want the best motor oil, inquire about the type of motor oil they use and if it meets your car manufacturer’s recommendations. They should be more than happy to explain their process and show you they’ve got your car’s best interests at heart.
Remember, finding the right place to change your motor oil is more than just convenience; it’s about ensuring your car’s health.
We also feel this is a great way to get to know the shop a little better. Motor oil is quick – in and out. You can get a feel for how the place does business. When you have something bigger, you’ll have more trust. It won’t be as intimidating relying on their advice.
Looking for someone to trust with your car? Need to find the best motor oil for your vehicle? Stop by today. Let’s have a conversation.
We’re ready to speak with you.