- Posted October 18, 2012 by
Wappengers Falls, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
The Importance of Oil Changes in Used Cars
Chances, are you've grown up hearing that you need to change your oil every 3,000 miles. If this is the first you're hearing of this, either you don't own a car yet or you won't own a car shortly, because if you don't consistently change your oil, your car will catch on fire or blowup.
Now, you may think that this is a bit extreme, but it's the truth. Cars were made to run for long time, but it doesn't mean that you can neglect basic maintenance. Just like you need to eat and drink to keep your body functioning in peak condition, so a car needs oil and gas and various other general upkeep supplies.
If you aren't aware, oil is used to keep the moving parts in your engine functioning smoothly. Without fresh oil, your engine will begin to bog down and eventually seize up, or worse! If you compare engine oil to water and the way the human body uses and requires water, Youmy better understand the need for fresh oil within your used car's engine.
The human body takes water and disperses it throughout the body. Water is used to help moisturize and lubricate your joints so as to allow free movement within your limbs. Now, just as you have limbs that move in your body, a cars engine has pistons or arms with in it at need lubrication to allow for free unhindered movement. If your body doesn't receive that hydration, your joints will get tight and hard to move, you'll begin to feel soreness and pain around your joint areas as well as an overall feeling of fatigue throughout your body. An engine works the same way, as there is little to no oil, or filthy oil being cycled through your engine block, the engine will begin to bog down and run slower and with less performance than normal. After attempting to perform like this for a long period of time, something will give out and that is never good thing on a car.
Basically, as oil filters through the engine block in a used car, it collects dirt and grime and begins to thicken and get gunked up. As you can imagine, this is what causes engine failure and this, in turn, is what requires constant oil changes on your car.
Now that you understand what requires the need for an oil change, let's discuss how often this change needs to be done. Many people will say 3000 miles is the golden number for oil changes, but these days cars are being made to run more efficiently and allow you to generally go longer than that without having any trouble for doing any harm or damage to your engine. Typically people say change your oil every 3,000 city miles, or every 7,500 highway miles. If you want to play it safe, this is a good rule to go by and will never lead you wrong. I'm the other hand, if you are an individual who expects to get all of your money's worth out of everything you purchase, you will want to look into your particular make and model and even ask the previous owner before you buy it, how often the oil changes were done.
Keep in mind, that every car varies and age of the car is also an important factor to consider when attempting to dissect this golden number for your particular vehicle. Also, be sure to remember that synthetic oil typically will last longer in just about any car. Although you pay more for this product, if you measure it out, it's generally worth more in the long run to go this route. If you bought a car and the owner has used synthetic oil as long as they've owned it, it's a good idea to stick with that, but if they've used just plain oil while they owned it, it's not as important to go with synthetic.
If you remember these key points that affect the range of oil changes, you shouldn't have any issues with waiting too long to change your oil. If you're still unsure as to how often an oil change needs to occur on your particular used vehicle, go to your local mechanic and ask them for their professional opinion and stick to what they suggest.
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