I'm sure that you know this already: Oil is essential to the health of your car's engine. It lubricates the different metal parts so that you car runs smoothly and efficiently. If you've ever wondered why changing the oil was important, then this article should help you to understand that better.
Wherever two or more pieces of metal rub together, that friction generates heat; and excessive heat can cause the parts of the engine to change shape, which will reduce its performance capability.
A good example is found in the pistons.
They are cylinders inside cylinders. The smaller, inner one, slides up and down inside the larger one, and by doing so generates the power needed to turn the wheels so the car can move forward or backward.
If there was no oil, then the pistons would expand inside of the cylinder and stop the engine altar. And this would be permanent, because the heat would literally fuse the one to the other.
But just changing the oil is not enough. It also has to be changed at regular and pre-determined intervals.
That's because heat also breaks down the viscosity of the oil. In other words, it loses its structure, that uniform thickness which enables it to act as a lubricant.
It's worth checking the quantity of oil in your car's crankcase at least once per month. Some cars leak a bit; others seem to use it. But you need to make sure that there's enough of it circulating in your car's engine to lubricate all of the parts that come in contact with the others.
Cars nowdays do not require oil changes as frequently as they once did. Instead of every 3,000 miles, as it once was, many can go for more than 7,000 miles between changes. A few are even higher, especially with the synthetic oils that are now available.
At a minimum, however, you should renew it every year. Even if you have not used your car very much in that time, it can still become dirty. When that happens, the particles can cause one piece of metal to scratch another.
In the cylinders, for example, the pistons or cylinder walls could be scratched, and that could compromise the seal between the piston and the cylinder within which it moves. Fuel could leak into the engine and, among other things, the overall power of the engine would be reduced.
And another thing
It's not enough to just change the oil. You have to replace the oil filter as well. Not only does it contain dirty oil, it also helps to remove the impurities that accumulate in it between changes.
And so, you can see that it's vital to the health of your vehicle to change your oil periodically. If you are unsure about how often you should do it, then consult your owner's manual.