There's one thing that's stayed constant since the dawn of the internal combustion engine -- regular oil changes are the best way to get the most life out of any vehicle. Engines are so reliant on the lubrication and heat dispersion of oil that they would quickly seize without it, overheating to a point where moving parts would literally weld to each other.
Motor oil is a complex combination of detergents, additives, friction modifiers and other anti-wear agents. But there are so many different kinds of oil on the market today -- which one is right for your car?
Derived from crude oil and refined and re-refined to a high degree of purity, conventional oil was the standard for decades. For many engines, conventional oil is still perfectly adequate, but it does have its drawbacks. Conventional oil thickens at low temperatures, making wear at startup a problem in the winter, and thins out in hot weather. Conventional oil's detergents and additives help prevent buildups of carbon and sludge, but require a 5,000 mile oil change interval.
High Mileage Oil
More than 2/3 of the cars on the highway have 75,000 or more miles on them. High mileage oil is formulated with seal conditioners to help expand gaskets and seals that may have shrunk and cracked over time, preventing leaks. It also is designed to do a better job of sealing a worn engine's somewhat looser tolerances between pistons and cylinder walls, helping to prevent oil burning and blowby. High mileage oil, while still a conventional-oil product, is pretty effective in older engines.
Synthetic Blend Oil
For drivers who are wanting the advantages of synthetic oil without the added cost, synthetic blend is a good compromise. Blends contain friction modifiers and detergents that help offer excellent protection for most engines.
The testing has been done and the jury is in -- synthetic oil outperforms conventional oil in just about every respect. Synthetic oil is more uniform and "clean" at the molecular level, meaning improved shear strength -- the oil's ability to keep its integrity in clearances so tight and pressures so great that conventional oil can literally lose its molecular integrity. Synthetic oil flows better at low or high temperatures, meaning better year-round protection. While it's roughly twice as expensive per quart, synthetic motor oil can easily go 10-12,000 miles between oil changes. Its lower friction even means a more fuel-efficient engine. These are all the reasons why manufacturers recommend synthetics for their new models.
Regardless of what type of vehicle you drive or what motor oil you choose, we're here for you at D.W. Campbell Tire & Auto Service -- make an appointment with us for your next oil change!