The true cost of an oil change

As vehicle manufacturers move to make engines more efficient, a simple mistake changing your own oil could cost you big. From increased fuel consumption to outright engine damage, this routine maintenance task may be better left to the experts. Things to consider: 

  • Seasonality – Moisture degrades the ability of oil to properly lubricate your engine. If you don’t drive often, or for only short distances, letting oil sit in your vehicle (particularly during very wet and cold months) can dilute the mixture; not only affecting your vehicle’s performance but contributing to corrosion over the long term.
  • Mileage – While conventional wisdom holds that you should change your oil at least every 6 months, your vehicle could need a change anywhere between 3,000 and 10,000 miles. If you wait for a dashboard indicator alone to tell you when it’s time, you might end up stuck on the side of the beltway. Sudden increases in fuel consumption, vibrations when idling, or a knocking sound from the engine could all be indicators it’s time for a change.
  • Make/Model – Newer cars are more likely to need a full synthetic, rather than conventional, oil change for maximum performance. Again though, the decision may not be that simple. Some imported and exotic vehicles require oil that adheres to special standards from their market of origin, and daily drivers past a certain mileage may benefit from additional additives to seal and protect your engine from extended heat damage.
  • Additional Maintenance – Don’t forget the oil filter! Putting a filter on dry, forgetting to put on a new O-ring, or accidentally stripping threads on the drain plug could all lead to lower performance and repairs down the road.

Before asking yourself “‘DIY’ didn’t I let someone else do this?” take advantage of CarCare To Go’s $20.22 special for first-time customers. Use code FIRST20 when booking to save.

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