Why Change Your Engine’s Motor Oil and Oil Filter?
Oil is the life’s blood for your car’s engine and keeping the oil fresh, clean and with renewed additive packages specifically formulated for your car, is critical for a long and healthy engine life. Motor oil becomes contaminated over time and miles driven with dust, metallic shaving, internal combustion by-products, and even gasoline and antifreeze. The oil filter works very hard to keep these contaminates filtered from the oil as it circulates through the engine. It sifts out solid particles while allowing the oil to flow unrestricted through the engine. When the oil filter becomes “full” or “clogged” a “by-pass” valve is activated that allows the oil to flow around the filter in order to keep the engine lubricated. Dirty oil is better than no oil at all! When “by-pass” occurs contaminates continue to accumulate as the dirty unfiltered oil circulates continually through the engine. This condition can cause serious damage to the engine and eventually results engine failure. ENSURE THE OIL FILTER IS CHANGED WITH EVERY OIL CHANGE!!
How often is an Oil and Filter Change required?
Many vehicles today are equipped with a “Change Oil” or “Oil Change Required” indicator. The manufacture of the vehicle has developed a set of algorithms to monitor your driving conditions and will alert you when an oil change is needed. It’s recommended that you have the oil changed as soon as possible within the next 500 miles after the indicator is activated. Some vehicles have an oil life index indicator that will provide the driver with a percentage of “oil life” left. It is good practice to change the oil when the indicator shows 15% or less “oil life” remaining. There are still many cars on the road that do not have an oil change indicator, so there are a few thing you need to keep in mind. Automobile Manufacturers typically categorizes drivers and driving conditions into two groups, “Normal and Severe.” Normal driving conditions as listed in most manuals are “ideal conditions” which are mostly long highway trips rather than city, and stop and go driving. Surveys have shown that only 20% of vehicles are typically driven under Normal conditions. Severe driving conditions include, stop and go traffic, idling for long periods (stuck in traffic), driving in dusty conditions, towing trailers, carrying heavy loads and even rooftop rack. In Hawaii virtually all of us fall into the severe driving condition category. For serve driving conditions an oil change is typically recommend every 3,000 miles. However, always consult your vehicle’s owner manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation for all preventative maintenance services.
Which Motor Oil Should I Use?
There are countless numbers of motor oil on the market today and choosing the correct oil can be very confusing. Our first recommendation is to consult your vehicle’s owner manual for the recommended motor oil for your vehicle. The viscosity of the motor oil recommended for your vehicle is extremely important and critical for proper protection and performance. Viscosity is what is often referred to as the “weight” of the oil. Viscosity of motor oil is typically written as 0W20, 5W20, 5W30, 15W40, etc. The “W” stands for Winter not Weight. Therefore, the oil takes on the viscosity or weight of the lowest number during cold weather start-ups, and the higher number when the engine reaches normal operating temperature. You often hear these oils referred to as “Multi-grade Motor Oil.”
Should I use a Conventional or Synthetic Motor Oil?
Before we answer that question let us look at what’s happened with the automobile manufacturers over the past 20 years. Conventional motor oil was the “factory-fill” oil for 95.5% of all new cars sold in the United States in 1995. Over the next decade there was a gradual increase of factory-fill, Semi Synthetic and Full Synthetic motor oil. However, in 2009 a dramatic increase was seen with more than one-third of all new cars leaving the factory with Semi Synthetic or Full Synthetic motor oil. The number continues to dramatically increase and in 2016, 75.8% of all new model vehicles are factory-filled with Semi Synthetic (20.2%) or Full Synthetic (55.8%) motor oil.
We’ll answer the question in two parts:
- If your vehicle came factory filled with Semi or Full Synthetic motor oil, it’s recommended that you continue using the grade and type recommended by the manufacturer. The Semi Synthetic can be upgraded to Full Synthetic of the same viscosity if desired, but it’s not recommended to move from a Full Synthetic to a Semi Synthetic or Conventional motor oil.
- If your vehicle came factory filled with Conventional Motor Oil it will continue to serve you well, if regular scheduled maintenance is followed. However, the conventional motor oil can be upgraded to Semi Synthetic or Full Synthetic for the benefits that can be realized by use of a these premium motor oils.
What are the Benefits of using Semi Synthetic or Full Synthetic Motor Oil?
Semi Synthetic Motor Oil: Typically contains up to 40% synthetic base oil blended with 60% conventional oil. Additive packages are added to help clean out engine sludge and help decrease the amount of sludge created by contaminants and oxidation. thereby keeping the engine running cleaner over the long haul.
Full Synthetic Motor Oil: Crude Oil distilled and purified to remove contaminants and impurities and refined to change the oil at the molecular level to produce motor oil that meets the requirements of today’s high tech and high performance engines. The Pennzoil Full Synthetic line of motor oil with their trademark “Pure Plus” Technology is made from natural gas with contain less impurities than crude oil. Benefits of a Full Synthetic motor oil includes:
- Cleaner internal engine components.
- Better fuel economy.
- Protects (preserves) horsepower.
- Decreases friction with decreased wear and heat.
- Improved performance in extreme temperatures.
- Less oil loss though evaporation.
- Lubricates and conditions seals in older engines.
Can I Increase my Oil Change Interval if I use a Full Synthetic Motor Oil?
The manufacture establishes the recommended oil change interval for your vehicle. Therefore oil changes should be performed in accordance with the manufacture’s recommendation regardless of the type oil you use. However, like most of us, we tend to push the limit and often time run over the recommended oil change interval by 1,000 miles, 2,000 miles, or even more before coming in for an oil change. If you find yourself running over the recommended oil change interval it’s highly recommended to use Full Synthetic motor oil for the extra protection it provides during these extended oil change intervals.
When Should I Switch to a High Mileage Motor Oil?
If you have been using Full Synthetic motor oil at regular oil change intervals there will be no need to switch to High Mileage motor oil. The additive packages contained in High Mileage motor oil to lubricate and preserve seals within the engine are also contained in Full Synthetic motor.
If you have been using Convention motor oil or Semi Synthetic motor oil it is recommended to switch to High Mileage motor oil at approximately 75,000 miles. High Mileage motor oil is specially formulated with older, higher mileage engines in mind to reduce oil consumption and seal leaks, remove and reduce sludge build up, reduce friction, and slow wear within the engine.