Regular Car Maintenance - Changing Your Oil

Keeping your car in top working order is one major way to prevent accidents from occurring. Unfortunately, far too many people neglect to do simple maintenance and repair on their vehicles, causing a car’s important parts to fail early on and even cause accidents. Over 5 percent of all vehicle accidents each year were at least in part caused by a lack of vehicle maintenance. These accidents cause thousands of injuries and even fatalities that could have been prevented had vehicle owners taken the proper precautions to maintain and repair their vehicles. One of the most important ways too keep a car in top working condition is to check and change the engine oil on a regular basis.

The Basics of Changing Your Oil

During an oil change, the old oil is drained from the car and replaced with new. If you are unsure when or how to change it, keep the following tips in mind:

- Be sure to check the level of your oil every few hundred miles. If your level is low, add more if necessary. Be sure to use the same type of oil as is already in your tank and be careful not to over-fill.

- Make sure any oil you use is certified by an accredited source to ensure that it meets correct fuel economy standards and will adequately protect your engine.

- Your owner’s manual will provide recommendations on how often your car requires an oil change. Some mechanics recommend a change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, although certain vehicles and oil types may need changes more or less frequently.

Although not a difficult process, many people find the procedure inconvenient since its messy and time-consuming and because oil must be recycled or disposed of at a particular facility. A person who has a basic understanding of cars and car maintenance may choose to change his or her own oil to save money. However, many other people choose to take their cars to vehicle repair shops for an oil change.

Oil Changes are Necessary

The function of your car’s oil is to keep your vehicle’s engine in top condition. Changing your oil regularly extends the life of your vehicle and its parts. A periodic change benefits the engine by:

- Removing contaminants and impurities. Over time, your car’s oil begins to collect contaminants, such as dirt, dust, metal shavings, antifreeze, and other impurities. The oil then begins to thicken to form a sludge, which can stick to engine parts and decrease their efficiency.

- Reducing engine friction. As oil collects impurities over time, they begin to create friction throughout the engine, which can cause it to overheat. An oil change can help increase the amount of lubrication in the engine and keep it running smoothly.

Changing your oil regularly can increase your gas mileage and efficiency, prevent engine failure, and extend the life of your vehicle dramatically.

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