Oil, or engine lubricant, is a key component in a vehicle's longevity. It is has several functions for keeping the engine parts in working order by keeping them lubricated, clean, and cool. When the engine is on and running, the metal parts grind together and create a lot of friction. Along with causing the engine to become very hot, this friction also causes the metal parts to wear and corrode. Over time, the combination of the heat and corrosion will cause the engine in operate less efficiently and eventually become completely inoperable. Since the engine is one of the most vital, yet expensive parts of a car, most vehicles will be considered worthless without a properly operating engine.
Despite the need for other repairs or cosmetic issues, there are many vehicle owners who will continue to use their car until the engine is no longer operational. In fact, there are certain manufacturers that have built a reputation for designing engines that can last upwards of 200,000 miles or more. Engine oil helps to slow this process of wear and corrosion, but the lubricant is only effective if it is changed frequently. Therefore an oil change should be at the top of the list of the vehicle's basic maintenance needs. While there are other very important maintenance procedures, such as a brake repair, a simple oil change can help avoid the need for other repairs.
Most vehicle manufacturers recommend an oil change at least once every 10,000 miles. This is the general rule for new vehicles because there is less wear and tear on the engine parts. However, as the vehicle ages and the engine parts become more worn, the need for an oil change might be more frequent. This is especially true for owners that operate their car under certain conditions. For instance, extremely hot or cold temperatures can have an effect on both the engine parts, and the oil used to keep the parts within an ideal temperature range. Also, vehicles with a lot of highway miles will need more frequent oil changes because higher speeds make the engine work harder, making the oil less effective.
An oil change is a fast and cost-effective way to avoid expensive car repairs and keep your car running well past its initial 100,000 miles.