Quick lube businesses and their employees have often been accused of recommending “unneeded” oil changes so they can make more money. That may be true for some businesses, but when we service a car, we only recommend services that we believe are necessary to keep your car running at its best. Here are some of the reasons why we encourage an oil change interval of 3,000 miles or every three months.
In recent years, many vehicle manufacturers have extended their recommended oil change intervals to 7,500 or 10,000 miles. They have good intentions of trying to help reduce the maintenance costs for car owners, but they have run into trouble. The Center for Auto Safety has gotten thousands of complaints from drivers who thought they were following the correct oil change intervals in their owners manuals but ended up with a crankcase full of sludge. Motor oil does more than just lubricate the engine. It also forms a film on surfaces that separates moving parts so they don’t rub against one another, reducing friction and wear. Oil also serves as a coolant for critical engine parts like the crankshaft and valve train. It also helps to prevent rust and corrosion from building up inside the engine and keeps surfaces clean by dissolving and carrying away dirt and deposits.
Extended oil change intervals of 7,500 to 10,000 miles are based on “ideal” operating conditions, not stop and go driving, or driving our cars for several short trips, like the majority of drivers do each day. So most drivers should be following a severe service schedule rather than a normal schedule to better protect their engines. Most experts still consider a 3,000 mile or six month oil change interval the best for “severe” drivers.
Customers at our shop have also told us that they think because motor oils are of a higher quality than they once were, they don’t need to change the oil as often. This would be a valid argument if oil filters had also improved in quality as well, but unfortunately they haven’t. An engines main line of defense against abrasion and the wear caused by it, is the oil filter. The oil filter’s job is to remove solid contaminants like dirt, carbon, and metal particles from the oil before they can damage surfaces in the engine. If your oil filter is clogged, it can’t do its job and unfiltered oil will enter the engine. Contaminants that find their way into the crankcase will be pumped through the engine and accelerate wear.
Although motor oils have been improved and are continuing to be improved, there hasn’t been much done to improve oil filters. The majority of oil filters still need to be replaced every 3,000 miles, so until the oil filters have been improved as well, we will continue to recommend a 3,000 mile or three month oil change interval.
For all of your Denver Auto Repair needs, trust Express Car Care. Call (303) 691-2760 or stop by our shop today.