Whether you drive a gas or diesel vehicle, the oil in your car, truck, or SUV is vital. Just as you rely on blood, your vehicle needs motor oil to function. However, your vehicle’s motor oil will not last forever. It will need to be changed at regular intervals. Let’s explore motor oil and everything you need to know about an oil change. And if you need an oil change, contact ABS Unlimited Auto Repair in Fairfax, VA, today.
What Is Motor Oil?
Motor oil is the fluid used in your vehicle to reduce friction and wear between moving parts. Motor oil performs several roles and responsibilities, such as:
- Lubricates: The main purpose of motor oil is to lubricate moving parts in your engine, including bearings, pistons, and the camshaft. Without motor oil, the excessive heat and friction will cause your engine to self-destruct.
- Cools: By reducing friction and absorbing heat from engine parts, motor oil helps prevent it from overheating.
- Cleans: Motor oil features additives and detergents to keep your engine cleaner. It also helps prevent the build-up of deposits and sludge that can thwart performance.
- Seals: The thin film created by motor oil helps seal gaps and prevent leaks.
- Prevents corrosion: Motor oil contains anti-corrosion additives that protect engine components from rust and corrosion.
Why Is It Vital to Have an Oil Change?
As you can see, motor oil has several vital roles and functions to perform in your engine. Over time, the heat, oxidation, contaminants, and other factors will cause motor oil to degrade. Eventually, it will turn into sludge. The additives included in motor oil are consumed, rendering it useless. As such, it’s imperative to have regular oil changes as suggested by the manufacturer.
Motor oil is your vehicle’s protector. For starters, clean and fresh motor oil reduces friction and allows your engine to operate more efficiently to bolster overall performance and fuel efficiency. Most importantly, regular oil changes can extend the life of your engine by reducing wear and tear caused by contaminants and friction. If you do not have regular oil changes, it could void your warranty and lead to engine replacement.
How Do I Choose the Right Motor Oil?
Selecting the right motor oil for your vehicle is crucial. If you use the wrong oil or the wrong oil viscosity, it can decrease the longevity of your engine and hamper its performance. Oil viscosity is your motor oil’s thickness or resistance to flow. Motor oil viscosity is a critical property that determines how well the oil performs under various temperatures and how well it lubricates parts. The motor oil viscosity is one of the most critical factors when choosing the best oil for your vehicle. Fortunately, most manufacturers will suggest the best type of motor oil and viscosity to ensure optimum performance.
Synthetic vs. Conventional Motor Oil?
The two broad categories of motor oil are synthetic and conventional motor oil. Also called mineral oil, conventional motor oil is made from refined crude oil. Conventional motor oil is affordable but degrades faster under heavy use and high temperatures. Because of this, conventional motor oil requires more frequent oil changes.
In contrast, synthetic motor oil is man-made in a lab from chemically modified petroleum components. The manufacturing process of synthetic oil results in a more uniform, purer motor oil. Because of this, synthetic motor oil tends to offer an array of advantages over conventional motor oil, such as:
- Reduced engine friction
- Increased high-temperature stability
- Better engine cleanliness
- Enhanced fuel efficiency
Synthetic motor oil also flows more easily when temperatures drop in Fairfax, VA. While synthetic motor oil changes may be more expensive, it’s often more cost-efficient in the long run.
What Happens During an Oil Change?
Not all oil change services are equal. While quick lubes use inferior fluids and inexperienced technicians, all oil changes are performed by ASE-certified mechanics at ABS Unlimited Auto Repair. Here are a few steps in a conventional or synthetic oil change:
- Drain the old oil from your vehicle by using a lift.
- Remove the oil filter and replace it with a new oil filter
- We will inspect other components to gauge wear and tear. We will also check for leaks, loose belts, and other issues.
- Refill your vehicle with the manufacturer’s suggested oil.
- After we add the new oil, we will start your engine to allow the oil to circulate. Then, we will perform a level check to make sure it’s within the right range.
- Reset your oil change reminder and tighten your drain plug to prevent leaks.