Why should I change my oil every 3 Months or 3,000 Miles?

Dear Car Guys...
I've driven my car over 10,000 miles without getting an oil change. Other than an occasional stall when I'm in an intersection, my car seems to be running fine. Are frequent oil changes really that important or are they just a marketing ploy of the automotive service industry? Lubed from Lancaster

Lubed from Lancaster

Dear Lubed:

Actually, as a driver that does not change his or her oil, you will very likely become best friends with the local auto repair shop owner, exactly the opposite result of what you had hoped to avoid. In fact, most automotive service organizations are not terribly sophisticated when it comes to marketing as they all just try to give away oil changes just so they can get you in the shop. The importance of changing one's car oil and filter is much greater than the value of the oil. Oil does a lot more than lubricate your engine. The oil you put in your car along with the additives found in car oil helps to cool and clean your engine, seals combustion chambers, protects internal parts from rust, removes moisture, and suspends and removes dirt particles. It is recommended that you change your oil and oil filter (no sense in running clean oil through a dirty filter) every 3000-6000 miles depending upon the type of driving you do and the conditions under which you drive. (We get some pretty tough Winters up here so closer to every 3000 miles would be best.) The typical oil change costs between $15-30 and takes about 30 to 45 minutes to complete. The typical engine overhaul costs over $1000 and could tie up your car for several days. Car Guy recommendation: Take some time and get yourself an oil change immediately. After that, stop by your friendly auto repair shop every 3 months or 3000 miles for a regular check up and an oil/oil filter change. And, if you have trouble remembering when a change is due, ask the shop to put one of those clear reminder stickers on your windshield.

The Car Guys have been repairing poorly serviced used cars for over 20 years. Gerry's Service in Amherst has Technicians certified through ASE (Automotive Service Excellence).

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