Oil changing myths and facts

July 05 2018

When's the last time you changed your oil? Routine oil changes ensure proper engine lubrication and prevent corrosion. Unfortunately, a lot of misinformation surrounds this essential maintenance task. Let's debunk three of the more prevalent myths

Myth: You have to change your oil every 3,000 miles.

Thanks to advances in technology, newer vehicles can go up to 7,500 miles between oil changes. Of course, just because you can go that long in between changes doesn't mean you should; it will depend on how the vehicle is used and under what conditions. 

For example, short daily commutes take a quicker toll on motor oil because the engine doesn't get hot enough to boil off moisture and acid within the crankcase. Thus, more frequent changes may be required.

Myth: When oil gets dark, it's time for a change.

Maybe you've noticed that oil starts out an amber color and darkens over time. That means it's doing its job. Change your oil based on manufacturer recommendations -- not color.

However, if you notice your oil turning a milky brown, consult a professional. This can indicate coolant in the oil, which can occur with cracked casings, a blown head gasket or transmission cooler failure.

Myth: Oil changes must be handled by the dealership to maintain the warranty.

Thanks to the FTC's Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, it's illegal for the dealership to void your warranty or deny coverage if you take your business elsewhere. Just be sure to hang on to your maintenance records. 

One last fact: Routine oil changes are an easy, affordable way to protect your engine. If you can't remember the last time you changed your oil, make an appointment and get back on schedule today.


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