Every car manufacturer recommends an oil change after a certain number of miles. Oil has different functions, such as protecting, cleaning, and cooling your engine. But what happens if you don’t stick to the recommended oil change interval or don’t change your engine oil at all? Here is what could happen:
Wear of components
An engine consists of many moving parts such as pistons and valves. Your engine oil’s lubricating properties help to protect these parts by reducing friction. After the recommended oil change interval, engine oil will deteriorate and will not be able to fully protect the components from friction which will lead to wear and damage.
Just your coolant system alone is not enough to cool the engine. Engine oil also plays an essential role in this since it is able to reach places which the coolant does not reach. As the engine oil ages, it breaks down and becomes thicker because of the exposure to high temperatures. This thermal breakdown of the oil prevents it from absorbing heat, which could cause the engine to over-heat, gaskets to blow up, and parts to wear out and warp.
Besides lubricating and cooling, engine oil also cleans the inside of the engine. It removes small particles and debris. Over time, this dirt can build up which can lead to plugging of the oil channels. This can significantly decrease the engine’s lifetime. This buildup of dirt will also cause the engine to work harder which results in a loss of power. When oil has not been changed for a long time, it will begin to gel or solidify in an engine, eventually turning into sludge. When this happens, the oil will not be able to reach all parts of the engine, leading to oil starvation in the crankshafts, bearings, camshafts, and other valve train components. This could lead to serious damage to the engine to the point that it needs to be replaced.
Increased fuel consumption
As the aged engine oil thickens and becomes sludge, the engine will have to work harder. This means that you need more fuel for the same amount of power. This increase in fuel consumption can make a difference of 1% to 2%. Furthermore, your car might release toxic smoke into the environment as old engine oil burns.
Voided car warranty
Your car’s manufacturer ensures warranty if you stick to its recommended maintenance. If you do not have it serviced accordingly, the warranty will be voided. In case of damage to your engine, this could lead to high costs which will not be reimbursed by the manufacturer.
Doing an oil change in which you also replace your oil filter is much cheaper compared to fixing a damaged engine. High quality engine oil which is changed at the recommended intervals will allow your car to realize its maximum potential while the lifespan is extended. Besides fuel, engine oil is the most important fluid your car needs so make sure you choose the right one.