How Often Should You Change Engine Oil?
Oil changes are an essential part of maintaining your vehicle. The oil that you put in your car or truck plays a vital role in keeping the moving parts in your vehicle working effectively. If you don’t change your oil, the oil begins to break down and puts your car at risk of overheating or seizing. By changing your oil, you can make sure that your vehicle runs smoothly and keeps you safe.
DFW provides some insight into which types of oil you should choose for your vehicle. If you live in Fort Worth, the oil that you want will be different than somewhere that has a colder climate. Dealerships make recommendations for each of their cars, and Mazda car models will be different than other car models as well. DFW can help you find the right oil for your Mazda car models.
So, when do you change your oil, and which oil do you choose?
How Often Should You Change the Oil?
In the past, mechanics used to suggest that you change your oil every 3,000 miles. With all the technological advancements we have seen in vehicles, that number has gone up significantly to anywhere between 5,000 miles to 10,000 miles.
While this range of numbers is a general suggestion, you can look in your driver’s manual for a specific recommendation for your vehicle. It is best to take a look at the manual so that you can properly maintain your vehicle. When in doubt, the manual will help you out. If you don’t have one, you can usually find the manual online.
For Mazda car models, you want an oil change every 4-6 months, or between 5,000 and 7,500 miles if you are driving in normal driving conditions.
Many newer vehicles also have maintenance reminders that alert drivers when to change the oil. These maintenance systems can track the number of miles a car has driven, and can even recognize how hard you have been driving your vehicle. If you get a notification on your dashboard, don’t wait too long to change the oil.
Before you choose the type of oil you want for your vehicle, you first need to decide on your oil viscosity. The viscosity of oil represents how fluid the oil is within your car. When you look at an oil container, you will see numbers such as 5W-20 or 5W-30. But what do these numbers mean?
The W stands for winter, and the number in front of the W represents the rate that the oil flows when it is at a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The lower the number that you see, the less the oil with thicken in the cold. When you are comparing a 5W-30 to a 10W-30, the 5W-30 will thicken less. If you live in a very cold place, you want a 0W or a 5W. If you live in a hot climate, like Fort Worth, you would want a 10W oil.
The second set of numbers that appear after the W is the oil viscosity at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. This number looks at how the oil fairs in hot climates and tells you how resistant the oil is to thinning out at higher temperatures. If you live somewhere like Fort Worth, you don’t want your oil to thin out in the heat, as it will cause your vehicle to stop working correctly. So, if you compare a 10W-30 to a 10W-40, the 30 will thin out faster than the 40 will.
You should always look at your vehicle manual to see what their recommendations are. After you see the suggestions, you can pick the best option that fits the climate you are living in.
Different Types of Oil
Once you know the oil viscosity you want, you can choose an oil for your vehicle. There are four different types of oils that you can choose from; synthetic, conventional, synthetical blend, and high-mileage motor oil.
Conventional oil is made from refined crude oil. Conventional oil is the cheapest and most basic type of oil. Premium conventional oil is the standard oil found on newer cars. There are no extra benefits to using this oil, but if you don’t mind doing frequent oil changes and want to save on the price of oil, this is a cost-effective choice for your vehicle.
Synthetic oil is human-made oil that is of higher quality because it is more refined. This means that you will get better performance from your vehicle in both cold and hot weather. Synthetic oils last longer, so you also have more time between oil changes. Because of the higher quality of synthetic oil, this oil is more expensive. The oil is better for your vehicle, but not every car needs synthetic oil. Depending on your budget, it may be worthwhile to stick to conventional oil.
Synthetic Blend Oil
A synthetic blend oil brings together conventional oil and synthetic oil. These oils are less expensive than synthetic oil, but they provide extra protection to your vehicle, especially in hot weather and when you carry heavy loads.
For vehicles that have more than 75,000 miles on their odometers, there is high-mileage oil, which has added seal conditioners that help increase the flexibility of the engine seals within the vehicle. You can find this high-mileage oil in both conventional and synthetic oils.
Which Oil Do I Choose?
Most of the time, your owner manual will tell you the best type of oil for your vehicle. Some dealerships have specific oil recommendations. One example is that Mazda car models are recommended to use synthetic oil.
When it comes time to have your oil changed, you can visit DFW and have their service department change your oil for you. They can help you choose the right type of oil for your vehicle that fits the climate of Fort Worth. If you have any additional questions about the best oil for your car, feel free to contact us at Hiley Mazda of Fort Worth and let us take a look at your Mazda car model. We’d love to hear from you.
Image via Flickr by duck vs. chicken