Most car care and repair tasks performed on your vehicle require specialized training and skills. Otherwise, auto repair might be taught as part of basic driver’s education. Learning to drive quickly teaches you how vehicles require frequent mechanical attention, even if only via routine checkups and fluid changes.
The importance of regular maintenance services cannot go overlooked, especially when it comes to your finances and the lifespan and safety of your vehicle. Read ahead to learn how spending the small amounts of time and money maintaining your car can save you A LOT of money in the long run.
In car terminology, an oil change for a car can be compared to how humans cleanse their body with a detox routine. From both the car perspective and the human health perspective, both concepts serve to clean up vital operational systems.
What happens when you fail to take care of your body? The same concept applies to your car! When you fail to change the oil in your automobile, your vehicle will eventually be destroyed.
Oil changes are essential for the health of your car because, as your car runs every day, dirt and debris build up in the oil that is in your car over time. When this build up happens, the composition of the oil corrupts, causing the oil to fail at doing its job.
Oil also dries up over time, leading to the same problems as the oil getting dirty and corrupted, or worse. So, why is oil so important to your vehicle?
Having a new, clean batch of oil added to your car is important because it:
- Prevents formation of carbon and varnish buildups on your engine.
- Lubricates vital parts and components, including your engine.
- Necessary for your car to operate (engine block will crack without it, totaling your automobile).
It is possible to service oil change needs in a professional auto garage ($20 to $100) or as a DIY process ($25 to $40). This, of course, depends on the severity of the situation. Checking your oil levels at home is a fairly basic process if you have the skills or ambition to learn.
Begin by checking the oil either before starting your vehicle, or five to ten minutes after driving it. This ensures the full amount of oil is in the oil pan. Remove the dipstick, wipe off all oil with a sturdy paper towel or clean rag and reinsert the dipstick. Remove the dipstick a second time and locate where the oil level stops. An oil dipstick has low and high marker lines. A healthy oil level should always be between the two (albeit as close to “full” as possible).
Your car might be one or two quarts low on oil or it might be full. If low, make sure to add only the exact type required for your vehicle. If full, how close are you to needing an oil change? The recommended frequency to get a professional oil change is approximate:
- Every 3,000 to 5,000 miles (or 3-5 months) for older automobiles.
- Every 5,000 to 7,500 miles (or 6-12 months) for newer vehicle models.
- Every 7,500 to 10,000 miles (also every 6-12 months) for newer vehicle models with enhanced energy efficiency functions.