Regular maintenance schedules protect and preserve your vehicle’s long-term health. According to The Zebra, this maintenance is particularly essential in the U.S., where the average car owner drives 14,263 miles a year. Regularly changing your engine oil is one of the most important ways of maximizing your vehicle’s performance. Still, every car is different, and you might have questions about what type of oil to use and how often you need to change it. Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and everything else you need to know about oil changes.
Why You Need To Change Your Vehicle’s Oil
Regular oil changes are necessary for maintaining your vehicle’s optimal health. Lubricating engine oil is a vital component of a properly operating vehicle. Clean, high-quality oil lubricates each part of the engine, sustaining its overall performance and extending its life span. However, this lubricating oil deteriorates over time, making it difficult for the oil to execute its essential functions.
Types of Engine Oil
There are three primary types of engine oil: conventional, full synthetic, and synthetic blend motor oil. Understanding these oils will help you determine the best type for your vehicle and driving style.
Conventional oil is a refined base or crude oil form. Producers of traditional oil clean it so it’s free of impurities and then introduce additives to reduce oil sludge, prevent corrosion, and increase lubrication. Because companies don’t manufacture it, conventional oil typically has fewer additives than synthetic oil, making it less expensive.
Fully Synthetic Oil
Fully synthetic oil, unlike conventional oil, is manufactured. Companies produce fully synthetic oil via various means, including hydroprocessing crude stock. This precise engineering allows manufacturers to control base oil molecules’ exact shape and size, leading to fewer impurities than conventional oil. In addition, manufacturers introduce multiple additives to improve full synthetic oil’s performance and ability to lubricate the engine. Due to the extensive processing required to create fully synthetic oil, it’s more expensive than conventional oil.
Synthetic Blend Oil
Synthetic blend motor oil combines full synthetic and conventional oil. Generally, these blends don’t exceed 30% of synthetic oil. Synthetic blends also contain additives that protect your engine by decreasing the likelihood of oil evaporation. For cost-conscious drivers, synthetic blend oil is likely a better choice than fully synthetic oil, as it’s usually much cheaper.
Which Type of Oil Is Right for Your Vehicle
What type of engine oil your car requires is always specified in your car’s owners manual, so make sure that you check this guide and adhere to its instructions. Conventional oil is typically the standard oil type for naturally aspirated cars. High-performance models and vehicles with a turbocharger or supercharger generally require fully synthetic or synthetic blend oil. Still, all cars are unique and have different requirements for the type of oil and the optimum frequency of oil changes.
How Often Should You Change Your Car’s Oil
While oil-change intervals used to be as frequent as every 3,000 miles, advances in engine oil technology have extended these guidelines, and most modern motors can now go 5,000 to 10,000 miles before needing an oil change. The specific internal will vary for every vehicle, and you should check your owners manual to ensure that you’re changing your engine oil at the appropriate intervals.
Signals Your Vehicle Needs an Oil Change
If you’re unsure when you should change your car’s engine oil or think it needs a change sooner than your owners manual advises, there are multiple signals you can watch for. These signs include:
- The check engine or oil change light: If your vehicle’s check engine or oil change light turns on, it’s informing you that it’s time to change your oil — or that there’s a more severe issue you need to address. In such cases, take your car to a mechanic immediately.
- The motor is making strange noises or knocking sounds: If your oil is dirty or running low, your motor’s metal parts will grind against each other, creating strange noises or knocking.
- The engine oil is dirty or dark: Generally, fresh, clean oil is amber in color and slightly translucent. If your oil is dark brown or black and has a thick consistency, it’s a signal you need to change it.
- You smell oil inside your car: If you smell oil when driving your vehicle, it’s likely a sign your engine oil is leaking or burning.
- You see colored exhaust smoke: Grey or black smoke is an indicator you need an oil change.
- The car is shaking while idling: This can indicate increased friction due to unlubricated engine components.
- The engine is overheating: A lack of proper lubrication can increase friction, causing your engine to overheat.
- Reduced fuel economy: If your vehicle’s fuel efficiency decreases, it can be a sign that you need an oil change.
Hyundai service center at Huffines Hyundai Plano
At the Huffines Hyundai Plano service center, our factory-trained technicians exclusively use high-quality parts in a clean and modern service facility to ensure that your vehicle runs its best for as long as possible. We pledge to provide a top-notch, transparent, and convenient vehicle service experience.
In addition to oil changes, our technicians can perform filter changes, tire rotations, multipoint inspections, alignment checks, and much more. Plus, we’re open six days a week to make it as convenient as possible to get your vehicle serviced. We also have a rotating menu of service specials, so be sure to check these promotions before scheduling service.
If you’re wondering when you should change your oil and what type of oil you should use, or if you have any other service-related questions, our technicians are happy to help. Call 972-867-5000 to speak to a technician today.
Get Your Next Oil Change at Huffines Hyundai Plano
As a comprehensive dealership, Huffines Hyundai Plano strives to help you throughout the life of your vehicle. You can do everything from test-driving to financing to servicing your car at Huffines Hyundai Plano. So whatever your vehicle needs, whether it’s an oil change or a new battery, we have you covered. Plus, you can be confident knowing you’ll get award-winning customer service anytime you visit a Huffines Auto Dealership. Contact us online or visit us at 909 Coit Road, Plano, Texas, 75075.