Oil maintenance and changes are just the facts of life as a car owner.
The shop has seen a larger number of engine replacements due to low oil damage this summer. These were engines with about 100,000 miles that were otherwise in good shape. When oil levels run very low, engine temperatures rise and the oil becomes sludge over time. Eventually that condition will damage or ruin the engine. We wanted to leave you with a few tips for staying ahead of low oil problems.
Recommendations Vary a Lot
Factory recommendations in your manual apply to a car during the life of its manufacturer’s warranty. They can suggest as much as 7,500 or 10,000 miles between oil changes.
Our own higher (75,000 or more) mileage cars and those outside the warranty receive an oil change every 3000 to 4000 miles (5000 -6000 miles when using full synthetic oil.) Maintaining older vehicles is very important to us.
Engines nearing 100,000 miles can go through 1 quart per 1,000 miles. This is called oil aspiration and is normal for an engine. When this happens, it’s possible to run out of oil between visits to an auto shop unless you check and top it off when needed.
How to Check My Car’s Oil
An easy, less-mess way to check oil levels is with a cold engine on a Saturday morning (or whenever you have a relaxed morning.) You are less likely to be rushed and the cold engine means the oil has completely settled. Pull your oil dipstick out and check that the oil is between high and low marks on the dipstick. No need to check after wiping the stick clean. You are checking the settled oil level. Make sure the car is parked on flat ground.
Many Dipsticks, One Idea
Engine oil dipsticks can come in many designs; remember to keep the oil level between the high and low marks whether that’s a line, hole, or label.
Help with Your Car is a Phone Call Away
Reach out to us at anytime if you have questions. John’s cell is (630) 291-1472 and it’s also on our recording should you call the shop after hours.