Oil Changes are something that we don’t give enough thought to. The lubrication system of your engine is one of the most important systems to keep your vehicle running smoothly over the long term. Engine oil serves many purposes as it moves through your engine. It lubricates moving parts, it helps to remove heat from engine components, and it traps contaminants; which helps to keep the engine clean. This lubrication system forces motor oil to high friction points between metal contact surfaces in the engine to protect them from damage. This oiling is critical to the engine service life and dependability. Without lubrication, friction between rapidly moving, heavily loaded parts would destroy an engine in a matter of minutes. Many engine parts would quickly overheat and become damaged or melt from this friction. Some of the parts that are lubricated by the engine oil are engine bearings, piston rings, cylinder walls, and valves among others.
Oil Viscosity, also called oil weight, is the thickness or ability of the engine oil to flow (move). High viscosity oil is very thick and resists flow, while low viscosity oil is thin and flows easily. Oil viscosity is indicated by the number on the label of the container. For example, typical oil weights will look like this, 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30, and so on. The two numbers indicate a range that the oil will perform at different temperatures, since as the seasons change, so does the outside temperature which puts additional stress on the engine oil. With engine oils, we have two main types to work with, such as the original formula which is refined from petroleum and synthetic oil which is manufactured by processing and blending crude mineral oils together with 25% more synthesized mineral oils. In some instances, such as extreme weather, synthetic oil can provide better performance than conventional motor oils because they also contain engine protecting additives. Synthetic oils can also provide longer service life, less friction, and better fuel economy than conventional oil. However, synthetic oil normally costs more than regular motor oil. To know what oil to use for your vehicle, start with your owner’s manual or call our Service Representative at Jammin’ J Auto and we will look up the manufacturer recommendation for your vehicle.
How to get the most of your oil change:
- Check your oil. Check it every time you get gas or at least every other time and add ASAP when needed. It helps to know what kind of oil your vehicle takes and to keep a quart in your trunk (see your owner’s manual or ask us at your next oil change)
- DON’T put off your oil changes. Standard oil change intervals of 3,000 miles for normal or synthetic blends of oil, 5,000 miles for full synthetic or oil changes that include an oil additive such as BG MOA that is designed to clean the engine while it lubricate *We have heard some people with newer cars saying that their car salesperson told them some newer cars can go up to 10,000 miles before an oil change. We don’t recommend this under any circumstances.
- Jammin J Auto & Tire recommends an Engine Performance Restoration (EPR) and Motor Oil Additive (MOA) kit! The EPR dissolves carbon build up. We pour it into the oil and run the engine in place on the rack for 30 minutes to help any loosen slow moving parts. Then we drain and change the oil and add the MOA to the new oil. The MOA additive has a cleaner and helps extend the life of the motor oil by preventing the build-up. This procedure should be done every 3rd oil change or sooner depending on the amount of oil the engine is consuming. This will be normal maintenance on cars with low tension piston rings (see blog post here).
- Don’t hop from quickest/cheapest oil change place to the next. We know it is tempting to just swing in to a quick change place when you are in a hurry. But, just like your physician or your dentist, you want to consistently go to the same place because they know you and your vehicle history. This will help keep your vehicle in good condition over the long term. When you visit the same place several times in a row for oil changes, they can help keep an eye on whether your oil level has been lower than usual when it comes in for servicing. If you go to a different place every time, there is no way for them to know what your car did last time.