Of all the advice you can receive for your car, there is probably nothing more disputed than when you should get your oil changed. Everyone, from garages to DIY’s, seems to have an opinion on what oil should be used, and when you should have your oil replaced. So, us here at Master Tech figured we could weigh in on the topic.
Engine oil is responsible for keeping many of the components in your engine running efficiently. While helping heat dissipate from your engine, it also plays a role on keeping acid, soot, corrosion, carbon and sludge away from collecting on your engine. Regardless of the oil quality, all engine oil degrades over time and can put your engine at risk.
While the old standard is every 3 months or 3,000 miles, there are a few factors that can cause this statement to be false. Driving in stop and go traffic, cold starts, trips that are less than 4 miles, aggressive driving , and extreme weather can cause your oil to lose its ability to care for your engine. Take note of your driving habits when you are trying to gauge when to change your oil. Also keep in mind that miles are much more important than the time that has passed since your last oil change. Many commuters can reach 3,000 miles long before 3 months has passed.
Many people rely on the oil light on their dashboard to alert them to the fact that they need an oil change. It should be noted that this gauge is based on oil pressure and not the level of oil in the engine. By the time this light comes on, your engine is already dangerously low on oil. Oil should be checked every 500 miles. An easy way to remember this is to simply check your oil level every other time you stop for gas. By keeping an old rag and a cheap pair of gloves in your trunk, this can become a simple task. After opening your hood, look for your dipstick, which should be clearly marked and usually has a yellow handle. Make sure you wipe off the tip of the dipstick before placing it back in the engine and removing it again to check the level.
Most dip stick will be equipped with two holes. The high hole is to indicate the fill line, and the low to indicate that you are a quart low on oil. It should be noted that having too much oil in your engine can cause issues as well. Too much oil can result in foam, which is much less effective at dissipating heat from the engine than oil is.
If you do think that it’s time to get your oil changed, call us and make an appointment. We would be glad to get your started on one of our systematic maintenance routines. All of the Master Tech Auto Repair technicians are ASE Certified Master Technicians. You will not find a more talented group of highly motivated auto repair professionals anywhere in Santa Fe, NM. We are your dealership alternative. Our shop is 100% powered by solar energy making our business one of the cleanest to patronize in Santa Fe. We are open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MST