Every car requires regular oil changes, and with 250 million vehicles on the road in the United States, there are a lot of drivers who might have questions about what oil changes involve. Luckily, a trip to an auto repair shop can fix issues or complete any necessary car maintenance, but you might still experience some confusion before or after service. Here’s what you should know about oil changes.
A Brief Guide to Oil Changes
1. How often should oil be changed?
Each car’s needs vary, so it’s best to consult the vehicle’s user manual for your particular model’s requirements. Generally, oil changes are recommended every three months or 3,000 miles. Auto repair shops will also give you a sticker that provides a date or the mileage marker for your next oil change. Other signs that indicate it’s time for an oil change include the car running slower or the engine light popping up on the dashboard. However, these clues indicate an oil change is long overdue, so it’s crucial to stay on schedule.
2. What happens during an oil change?
While an oil change is a simple process, it’s not just about replacing oil. First, a professional will check the oil levels, which will help determine the car’s overall condition. If the oil levels are too low in relation to the last change, it might be cause for concern. Afterward, they’ll drain the old oil and replace the filter, which will likely be clogged or working at a diminished capacity. Finally, the new oil is poured in, and your car is good to go. Many auto repair shops also check and top off other necessary fluids during routine oil changes.
3. Which type of oil is best?
In a car’s user manual, you’ll also find the recommended type of oil based on the oil’s grade and weight. Some cars take conventional oil, while others require a synthetic blend, which depends on the car model, including the type of engine under the hood. It’s always helpful to know the kind of oil your car takes, but a professional at an auto repair shop will also know how to check which is best for your vehicle.
4. Why are oil changes necessary?
Essentially, a car can’t run without oil. An engine and its gears require a certain amount of lubrication to run properly since many systems involve metal components that rub against each other. Otherwise, a car’s parts will break down from friction, eroding over time until they require repair or replacement. Oil also helps with temperature control, cooling the car and preventing it from becoming overheated.
If your car is due for an oil change, visit the professionals at JL Tire & Auto Service in Chantilly, VA. They have served the Greater Washington metropolitan area since 2013. They are a full-service auto repair shop providing brake, engine, transmission, and tire work, as well as routine auto maintenance. Call (703) 327-4366 to schedule repairs, or visit them online for a list of vehicles they service.