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Ten Reasons Why You Shouldn't Skip an Oil Change
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Ten Reasons Why You Shouldn't Skip an Oil Change

18/05/2022

A car’s maintenance schedule can be easy to forget about. Every day, we jump in and out of our automobiles and everything runs as it should. We take it for granted, until something bad happens.

Avoiding unpleasant surprises can be as simple as keeping up with regular oil changes. They’re fast and cheap and absolutely vital to ensuring the smooth operation of your vehicle.

They’re also easy to put off until later. 

But what if later never comes? Oil is an essential engine component that keeps the engine running by lubricating the heated, fast-moving metal parts to prevent them from seizing up. 

But motor oil isn’t formulated to last indefinitely. You need to change it on a regular basis. Depending on the car make and model and the quality of oil required, the interval between oil changes could be anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 miles.  

What happens if I skip an oil change? 

The short answer is this: you could damage your engine — or worse.  

You might get lucky and skip a scheduled oil change without any problems, but you'll be taking a big risk.  Every day you put it off, more gunk and dirt is collecting in your engine oil and making it less effective at doing its job. Wait too long and it will lose its viscosity entirely. Then you've got trouble. 

On the upside, regular oil changes help keep your car running smoothly and maximise your mileage. 

Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn't skip your next oil change. 

Protecting your engine 

The oil in your engine reduces friction and heat by lubricating the moving parts. When the oil is fresh, it lubricates at peak efficiency and minimises the daily wear and tear from simply running the engine. 

As oil gets older, dirt, dust, and tiny bits of engine debris can build up, so its ability to lubricate is diminished. The result: your engine parts slowly start to disintegrate. That starts a vicious cycle whereby more wear and tear adds more dirt and gunk in the oil, which makes wear & tear worse.  

Spending less on petrol 

No one likes spending money on petrol. Regular oil changes keep your car is running at peak efficiency. That means its runs at less effort and uses less fuel. 

As engine oil accumulates dirt and particles, the engine has to work harder to move and burns more gas per mile to make the same level of effort. The longer you wait between oil changes, the less your mileage will be. 

Enjoying a smoother ride 

If you’ve ever waited a long time between oil changes, you probably noticed a difference in how well the car performed after the oil change was complete. Simply put, with fresh new oil, your engine’s spinning parts can move smoothly and use less power to make their revolutions. 

Reducing your emissions 

An engine that runs efficiently also gives off less exhaust. Most new cars have an onboard computer that helps synchronize engine movements to get burn fuel cleanly and get the best mileage. When your oil is gunked up, with dirt & debris, those systems can’t work properly. You emit more exhaust as the engine burns more petrol than it should. 

Sustaining you warranty 

The manufacturer’s warranty for a new car can last as long as a decade — if you stick to its prescribed maintenance schedule. Skip too many oil changes and the terms of the warranty might render it void. If there’s ever a major repair it could cost you cost thousands more than it would have if the warranty was still valid. 

Better resale value 

Resale value probably isn't the first thing on your mind when you buy a car. Eventually, however, the day comes when you want to sell or trade in your car for a new one. 

Keeping to a schedule of regular oil changes will increase your car's resale value. On inspection or in a test drive the engine will perform noticeably better. Keep a detailed record of oil changes and other regular maintenance and you might even improve your sale price. 

Catching other problems early 

When you have an oil change done it gives the mechanic an opportunity to visually inspect your car under the bonnet. They'll see the battery, air filters, the brakes and whatever else they have on their standard list. That means they’ll be able to note any potential problems before they happen.  

It helps you keep to a schedule 

Every car has a suggested manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for regular servicing. Focusing on oil changes makes it easier to track the intervals and ensure you’re being seen by a mechanic at least once a year. Your mechanic will probably remind you about any upcoming scheduled maintenance in addition to the oil change, so you can book an appointment on the spot. 

Avoiding buildup of dirt & debris 

Over time your engine oil will naturally lose its viscosity, which means the engine starts to burn hotter. Wait too long to change the oil and it will turn into a thick, grimy sludge. This risks causing severe damage to the engine and other parts of the car connected to it. 

Stopping catastrophes from happening 

If your engine oil turns to sludge, it won't be able to lubricate anymore, and your car engine will seize up. That means the metal parts fuse together under the intense friction and heat. It's almost impossible to fix, probably requiring a new engine or even a write-off of the car.  

Don't neglect the simple things 

When you build good habits in one area of life, it has a knock-on effect elsewhere. Keeping to a regular oil change schedule can help you stay mindful of your car’s mechanical needs and its potential vulnerabilities. 

Making time for something as mundane as an oil change can seem like a nuisance, but they are vital to your car’s healthy operation. If you want your car to last a long time and to perform well, take the time to get the oil changed. If you don't, expect to spend more — even a lot more — further down the road. 

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