What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Oil?

Adding oil to engine

 

Keeping up with your car’s regular maintenance isn’t typically on the forefront of most Tampa drivers. It can be expensive and time consuming, discouraging drivers from doing it. However, it’s an extremely important task. Similar to how we need to go to the doctor regularly to make sure our bodies are functioning correctly, car owners need to service their cars regularly. One important aspect of maintenance is changing the engine’s oil. A common question we get in our Wesley Chapel service department is “what happens if you don’t get your oil changed?”. If you also have that question, we’ll be happy to help you. Read below for more details!

What Does Motor Oil Do?

The oil in your car serves as a lubricant for your engine. The engine has several complex moving parts and in order for it to run smoothly, those parts must move and rotate with minimal friction. In order for this to happen, there must be good motor oil. Some oil has dispersants to flush out any debris from the engine also. When changed regularly, motor oil can help neutralize acids that form from fuels, improve piston ring seals, and cool the engine by moving heat away. All of these things contribute to having a smooth car ride in Lakeland. If you don’t get your oil changed, you might hear noises coming from the engine, which is a cause for worry. It’s much better to keep up maintenance than figure out what happens if you don’t change your oil regularly. 

How Often Should I Change My Vehicle’s Oil?

This is another popular question we get. The timing depends on the vehicle type, age and driver habits. If you have long commutes to St. Pete, then you may want to change more often compared to someone who only goes to the grocery store and back twice a week. In the past, you were typically told to change the oil every 3,000 – 5,000 miles or every six months. Newer cars can stand to go more towards 7,000 miles, but again, it depends on how far you drive on a regular basis. It’s always good to get a service before a long road trip just to make sure you and your passengers have a smooth ride. 

Can I Change My Own Oil?

You absolutely can! Make sure to look at your owner’s manual to determine what type of oil your vehicle requires. Once you have your oil, follow the instructions below:

  1. Jack your car up with jack stands or steel ramps.
  2. Look for the oil drain plug underneath your engine on the bottom of your oil pan. Make sure to have a pan directly underneath the plug to catch the old oil. Unscrew the plug and drain all of the old oil – this may take up to 15 minutes. When you’re sure all the oil has drained, you can replace the plug.
  3. Find your oil filter and remove it with an oil filter wrench. Expect a bit of extra oil to drain out when you remove the filter and make sure you keep the pan underneath to catch it. 
  4. Get your new filter, being sure to rub a bit of oil around the rubber seal to make sure your filter is watertight. This is very important. 
  5. Set the new filter in place, then tighten it by hand. 
  6. Now that your old oil is completely drained and a new filter is in place, you can remove your oil cap. Look in your manual to see how much oil you need to pour, then replace the oil cap.
  7. Check your oil level by pulling out the dipstick. You’ll see a line that will measure how much you have. After you pull the dipstick, check to see if your oil level is above or below the line. If it’s extremely low, then add some more oil. Once you get a proper oil level reading, you’re good to go!

Visit Wesley Chapel Toyota for Oil Change Service and More

Now that you know the importance of changing your car oil, you’ll be better prepared to care for your vehicle. If you’re not confident in changing your oil at home, feel free to bring it to us and schedule a service at Wesley Chapel Toyota. You can ask us about our service specials as well. Contact us today!

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