Is your Toyota ready for an oil change? Staying active about your car’s oil health isn’t just recommended—it’s essential to ensure your vehicle’s longevity. Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle, and not regularly changing or refilling your engine oil significantly increases the risk of engine damage, even putting your engine at risk of being totally destroyed.
Keep your engine protected and in top shape by regularly scheduling an oil change with Alpine Toyota’s service center in Cranbrook, BC.
What does motor oil do?
Most importantly, your car’s engine oil lubricates all moving metal parts in your car. Oil absorbs heat and prevents individual parts from grinding together. Too much heat can destroy the engine, and grinding can cause unnecessary wear.
How does oil move through the vehicle?
Just under a dozen engine parts are responsible for the flow of oil throughout your car. The moving parts are the valve train, main and rod bearings, piston rings, and cylinder walls. All need lubrication to prevent metal-on-metal friction within the engine, which can leave bits of metal in the wrong places.
Oil stays in the oil pan until it’s propelled by the oil pump, which is critical to engine lubrication. The Oil pump builds pressure in the system that push the oil throughout the engine. If cars did not have an oil pump, the oil would simply sit in the oil pan, lubricating nothing.
Finally, there’s the oil filter. This part of the system captures harmful debris, like metal or dirt. Keeping the oil filter in good condition protects your engine. Change your filter around the same time you change the oil.
How does motor oil breakdown?
Due to constant exposure to heat, moisture, and air, oil tends to break down through a process known as oil oxidation. It turns naturally viscous and honey-colored oil into thick, black, corrosive sludge. As oil additives are exhausted, oil fails to separate the dirt and metals floating through your car, which can cause oxidation and create sludge. When oil additives run out, your oil is no longer protecting your engine from corrosion and wear. Check your oil frequently to identify engine sludge before it kills your engine.
Why is an oil change important?
Oil changes are important because they ensure that old, worn-out oil in your vehicle is replaced with fresh oil. New oil will keep your engine clean and avoid potential damage from old oil. Changing your oil regularly extends the life of your engine and maximize performance.
What happens if I don’t get an oil change?
While it may not be necessary to replace your oil every 5,000 kilometers, choosing to go too long without getting your oil changed is a surefire way to damage your car and rack up an expensive repair bill.
Vital parts in your engine will quickly become too hot, causing your engine to run less efficiently. As the engine continues to overheat, components will begin to warp and wear out. If oil isn’t changed, continuing to run the engine allows for sludge, metal scrapings, and dirt to collect. Eventually, the entire engine will shut down and need replacement, which can cost thousands of dollars. Many owners who have had this happen choose to scrap their car in favor of a new vehicle. Having your oil changed is simple, quick, and can add years to your car’s lifespan.
How often should you change your oil?
The age old mantra is to change your oil every 5,000–8,000 kilometers—sometimes even every 16,000 kilometers. In truth, several factors influence how often you should change your oil. First, check your owner’s manual for recommendations on what type of oil is best for your vehicle and how often the manufacturer recommends changing your oil. If your vehicle uses synthetic oil, you may be able to go longer than 8,000 kilometers before needing to change your oil, but this is an inexact science. It’s always best to check what your manufacturer states. The rate at which you change your oil also depends on what kind of driver you are.
Consider changing your oil frequently if any of these points apply to you:
- Lots of fast starts, heavy acceleration, or high-speed driving
- You live in a climate that is either extremely hot or cold
- You frequently find yourself driving on dirt roads
- Your engine is old and burns oil
- You frequently carry heavy loads
Is maintenance required between oil changes?
You should check the oil level every few hundred miles. You can do this with your car parked on a level surface. Remove the dipstick, clean it on a rag or paper towel, and reinsert it. Remove the dipstick again and read the oil level. Ideally, your oil should be right at the “full” mark, but if it’s at or below the “add” mark, add a quart of oil. If it’s between the two marks, add part of a quart to bring it up to the “full” mark. The distance between “add” and “full” represents a full quart, so use this to estimate. Be cautious though. You do not want to overfill your car’s crankcase with oil. Putting too much motor oil in the engine’s crankcase means that the crankshaft may actually come into contact with oil, which can cause the oil to become frothy, preventing it from lubricating the engine as intended.
What’s the difference between mineral oil and synthetic oil?
Mineral oil is, more or less, the same as it was when it was pulled out of the ground. Synthetic oils however, have been distilled and broken down to their base molecules. Then, they’re rebuilt and tailored to provide better lubrication and protection for your vehicle. Although mineral oils are cheaper, they also contain more impurities and do not provide the same level of lubrication as synthetic oils. More importantly, as synthetic oils are designed in a laboratory by clever scientists, they provide better anti-wear, anti-oxidant, and anti-corrosion properties.
Trust Alpine Toyota for Oil Changes in Cranbrook
Is your vehicle ready for an oil change? Come to Alpine Toyota in Cranbrook, BC, and take advantage of our highly trained, Toyota Certified service center. Simply fill out an appointment form to enjoy the benefits of our Toyota auto repair center.