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maintenance September 18, 2013

Oil Change- When & Why you should get it done

Getting your oil changed is necessary for keeping your car performing at its best. An oil change can be compared to a spring-cleaning. It may seem like a burden to take the time out of your schedule to do it but if left unattended, the junk will build up and you’ll be facing a much larger problem. Below we will explain to you why an oil change is so important, how often you should get one, and what will happen if you don’t. With any luck, this information will make getting an oil change a little less painful.

First off, let’s discuss why oil is such an important part of keeping your car in tip top shape. Oil is primarily responsible for lubricating the various parts of your car’s engine.  Secondly, it acts as a cooling agent and will keep your engine from overheating. As time goes on, exposure to heat, air, and moisture cause your oil to become less effective.  Oxidation of the oil will cause it to thicken and become sludge-like, making the oil effectively useless as it can no longer combat the dirt and metals that are moving around the engine.  This debris is very harsh on your engine, and as it continues to wear on your car’s parts, it will lead to very expensive repairs. However, for a just little bit of time and money this could all be avoided!

There are two major types of oil, conventional and synthetic.  The major distinction between the two is that the “base oil” used in synthetic oil is said to be more pure because the molecules that comprise this oil are all made to be an ideal weight and consistent size.  Synthetic oil has higher quality additives that allow it to perform more consistently in extreme weather conditions. Keep in mind how many miles are on your car and what type of climate you live in.  If you have over 75,000 miles on your car or live in an area with extreme temperatures, it is smart to consider getting synthetic oil during your next oil change, even though it is slightly more expensive.

So now the question you’ve all been wondering, how often should you get an oil change? There are some varying opinions, of course, but the popular school of thought is that conventional oil should be changed every 3,000-5,000 miles, and synthetic oil should be changed every 5,000-7,000 miles. We can’t stress enough though, that every car is different, and every climate is as well. Factors like weather, driving frequency, and car mileage should all be considered fully. The best bet is to check your owner’s manual, and consult us the next time you visit VA Tire.

Following your recommended oil change schedule is very important for the life of your vehicle. We’re all busy, and are going in ten directions at a time, usually our car is what we use to help us get there. Don’t take a minor inconvenience in your schedule and turn it into a major chunk of your wallet. Schedule an appointment for an oil change today at one of our 12 VA Tire and Auto locations located across Northern Virginia.

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