Compared to other types of auto service, oil changes might appear to have a minimal impact on your vehicle’s well-being — but that’s not really the case. Replacing your motor oil every so often will boost your engine’s performance, protect your warranty coverage, and even help you save money on fuel.
Along with these benefits, regular oil changes are an excellent way to maximize your engine’s life span. Read on for a complete explanation of how this works (and even more information about this crucial maintenance service).
What Are Oil Changes?
As a Southern California motorist, keeping up with your vehicle’s maintenance needs is a full-time job. And while every maintenance task is essential in some way, oil changes are the bedrock of any worthwhile auto service schedule. That’s because your car relies on motor oil to:
- Keep its engine clean: If dirt or other contaminants have a chance to build up in your vehicle’s engine, they’ll cause serious problems before you know it. Fresh motor oil can trap these contaminants, making this a non-issue.
- Lubricate moving parts: The moving parts in your engine can’t work correctly without sufficient lubrication — and this is yet another service oil provides.
- Avoid rust: Motor oil can prevent rust from forming inside your engine.
- Manage heat: Your engine generates heat while it runs, and that could cause it to overheat. Engines need some way of controlling this warmth, and motor oil can do just that.
While oil is essential, it also doesn’t last forever. This fluid will eventually start to break down and gradually become less effective as a result. That means getting oil changes from a reliable Southern California auto shop is crucial.
How Oil Change Service Can Extend Your Engine’s Life
Since fresh oil has all sorts of responsibilities in the average vehicle, you might assume skipping oil changes could have serious consequences — and you’d be right to think so. Without the lubrication that oil provides, your engine’s moving parts could easily start to grind against each other.
If you continue to ignore your need for an oil change at this point, your engine’s condition will only get worse. Eventually, it could seize up entirely or encounter another significant problem. In that situation, you might need to replace or repair your engine (assuming you won’t have to buy a new car instead).
While this possibility should always be on your radar, there’s an easy way to avoid it: getting oil change service on a regular basis. Since neglecting oil changes will undoubtedly cause trouble for your engine, following an oil change schedule is one of the best ways to keep your engine running smoothly for the foreseeable future.
Other Oil Change Benefits
Even if oil changes “only” helped to maximize your engine’s life span, this service would still be worth prioritizing. But changing your oil also comes with benefits like:
Enhanced Fuel Efficiency
When your engine is fully lubricated, it doesn’t need to work harder than usual to perform like it should. Because of that, engines use less fuel after an oil change — helping you save money in the process.
As you know, ignoring oil changes will inevitably cause problems related to your vehicle’s performance. But the opposite is also true: Prioritizing this service will allow your engine to reach its full potential. When you get regular oil changes, your engine won’t generate extra heat (which can affect your acceleration) and won’t make unpleasant noises while operating.
Full Warranty Coverage
In addition to these perks, taking care of oil changes every few months will protect your vehicle’s warranty. On the other hand, missing one too many oil changes could invalidate your certified pre-owned or new vehicle’s dealer’s or manufacturer’s warranty.
Find Your Ideal Oil Change Schedule
To get the benefits listed above and more, you’ll want to set up an oil change schedule. Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean following the “standard” advice for this service — instead, your schedule should take your vehicle’s unique needs into account. When you put some thought into your schedule for oil changes, you won’t wait too long for this service or set up an oil change before you actually need one.
Since oil changes are a routine maintenance service, your car’s manual can give you valuable tips on establishing a schedule for oil changes. Along with that, you should pay attention to factors like the oil type you use:
- Typically, vehicles with full synthetic oil need oil changes every 5,000-7,000 miles.
- Conventional oil needs to be replaced well before that point — every 3,000 miles or so.
- Synthetic blend oil should be changed every 5,000 miles.
If you have any severe driving habits (as is the case for most drivers) or drive an older car, you’ll need oil changes more often than this advice implies. Meanwhile, the hot weather Southern California is known for can put extra strain on your engine. With all this in mind, Ramona Tire & Service Centers encourages local drivers to get oil changes every three months or 3,000 miles — even if they use full synthetic or synthetic blend oil.
Oil Types: A Closer Look
Now that you know your ideal oil change schedule, you’re one step closer to getting the oil change service you deserve — but there’s still more work to do. For example, you’ll need to decide what oil type you want your vehicle to use. When it’s time to schedule a Valvoline oil change, your options include:
Conventional oil starts as naturally occurring crude mineral oil. However, most conventional oil products go one step further by partially refining this oil, giving it enhanced engine protection and viscosity compared to its default state.
Right now, conventional oil is the most popular type of motor oil available — and its biggest advantage over competing products is its low price tag. But that doesn’t tell the whole story, as motorists using conventional oil also need to schedule oil changes more often than other drivers do.
Full Synthetic Oil
Full synthetic oil couldn’t be more different from conventional oil, and the differences start with this product’s manufacturing process. This type of oil is not naturally occurring; instead, it is made in factories and labs. Because of that, full synthetic oil can reach much higher standards for performance than conventional oil can.
Along with its unbeatable level of engine protection, full synthetic oil lasts longer than any other type of oil. Of course, that level of performance comes at a price — you’ll need to pay extra for full synthetic oil. (Still, this product’s long life span means you won’t need oil changes as often as you would while using conventional oil.)
Synthetic Blend Oil
Are you having trouble choosing between conventional and full synthetic oil? The truth is, you might not have to — not if you choose synthetic blend oil, anyway. This product is literally a combination of the two “main” oil varieties, making it the perfect pick for anyone on the fence.
With synthetic blend oil, you’ll get more effective engine protection than conventional oil can deliver. Even so, you won’t need to pay as much for this oil type as you would for full synthetic oil. Synthetic blend oil also has a life span that falls between the service lives of conventional and full synthetic oil.
For Southern California residents driving older vehicles, it might be worth looking into yet another oil type — high-mileage oil. This motor oil is designed specifically for cars that have been on the road for 75,000 miles or longer.
The manufacturing process for high-mileage oil closely resembles the making of full synthetic oil, but this oil type is made with a different use case in mind. To that end, it includes a blend of viscosity modifiers, cleansers, anti-corrosion agents, and seal conditioners. Thanks to these components, high-mileage oil excels when dealing with issues common to older cars, such as oil burn-off and corrosion.
Why Full-Service Oil Changes Stand Apart
Before scheduling an “oil change near me,” you’ll need to consider the differing levels of service you’ll get at various Southern California auto shops. Some shops in the area are content to settle for standard oil changes, but others go the extra mile and provide full-service oil changes to their customers.
A standard oil change is what you’d expect from an oil change — while handling this service, mechanics will remove dirty oil from your car and give you up to five quarts of fresh conventional or synthetic oil. Full-service oil changes also start with this work, but they add value in the form of other vital maintenance tasks.
Some jobs that should be part of your next full-service oil change include:
- Oil filter replacement: A clogged oil filter won’t be able to remove dirt and grime from your oil, which is why most full-service oil changes will replace this filter for you.
- Chassis lubrication: The components in your car’s chassis should be greased on occasion, and oil changes are a perfect opportunity to take care of this.
- Free tire rotation (if requested): Tire rotation is a crucial part of avoiding uneven tire wear, and it’s best to schedule this service every 3,000-7,000 miles — a similar timeline to most oil change schedules.
Know Where To Get an Oil Change in Southern California
If you’re a Southern California resident searching for an oil change, one thing’s for sure — you have a lot of options. Oil changes aren’t the most complicated form of auto maintenance, but this task should still be handled by expert mechanics to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. Because of that, it pays to weigh your options before choosing an auto shop for oil changes.
The best auto shops in this part of the country have a few things in common, such as:
- Qualified mechanics
- A broad selection of services
- Money-saving opportunities
- Multiple oil change service locations
In Southern California, no one delivers better Valvoline oil changes than Ramona Tire & Service Centers. We’ve been this region’s go-to auto shop since 1969, and our ASE-certified mechanics go above and beyond to provide full-service oil changes. Plus, you’ll be able to save with our online oil change coupons.
If you’re ready to get an oil change you can count on, set up an appointment at Ramona Tire & Service Centers today!
Oil Change Scheduling FAQs
Do engines last longer with synthetic oil?
When you need an oil change service, you have two basic motor oil options — conventional and full synthetic oil. As you might expect, these oil types differ in several critical ways, including the impact they can have on your engine’s life span.
Using conventional oil is an acceptable choice, but while this oil type can certainly help protect your engine, it won’t go as far as alternative products will. Conventional oil does the bare minimum when it comes to lubricating an engine’s moving parts, and lubrication is one of the most significant sources of engine wear.
Meanwhile, full synthetic oil can protect and lubricate engines more effectively than any other oil type. If you get a full synthetic oil change at regular intervals, your car’s engine should experience less wear and tear than it would experience with conventional oil.
Do older cars need more frequent oil changes?
Ask any motorist with an aging vehicle: The older a car gets, the more attention it needs. When your engine starts to wear out, its tolerances will begin to loosen, and debris will gradually build up, forcing it to use more oil to get the same results. With that in mind, it shouldn’t be shocking to hear that older cars need oil changes more often than most newer vehicles do.
There’s another reason why aging vehicles should get oil changes more frequently — today’s cars are much more technologically sophisticated than those manufactured even a few decades ago. The engines in these vehicles can use oil more efficiently than ever before, allowing them to go longer between oil changes.
While getting more frequent oil changes for your older car might sound like a pain, you shouldn’t have to pay an excessive amount for this work. Just look for a trustworthy Southern California auto shop like Ramona Tire & Service Centers, where you can save on oil changes with online coupons and financing options!
How do I know if my car needs regular or synthetic oil?
Nowadays, just about any vehicle can safely use both conventional and synthetic oil. If you’re trying to make the right choice for your car, read on for an explanation of conventional oil, full synthetic oil, and a few other motor oil varieties.
Conventional oil is the most popular (and, in some ways, the most affordable) type of motor oil on the market today. This oil product comes from crude mineral oil, which is partially refined to enhance its protective properties and viscosity. But conventional oil doesn’t perform as well as synthetic options do, and it needs to be changed quite often.
On the other hand, full synthetic oil provides the best possible engine protection. This oil product is artificially produced in laboratories and factories, allowing it to meet extremely high standards for performance. Though a full synthetic oil change is more expensive than a conventional oil change service, full synthetic oil also needs to be changed much less often.
Since conventional and full synthetic oil both have benefits and drawbacks, it can be tough for some drivers to pick one or the other. In that case, you might want to consider synthetic blend oil. This is a mixture of full synthetic oil and conventional oil, which means it can provide better engine protection and a longer lifespan than conventional oil at a lower cost than full synthetic oil. While it won’t perform quite as effectively as full synthetic blend oil, this is an excellent option for drivers who want to upgrade their motor oil while watching their wallets.
Finally, there’s one more oil type you’ll want to keep on your radar — that is, high-mileage oil. The production process for this type of oil is similar to that of full synthetic oil, but high-mileage oil is formulated specifically for use in vehicles with at least 75,000 miles on their odometers. To that end, it contains specialized viscosity modifiers, cleansers, anti-corrosion agents, and seal conditioners.
How long can I drive without an oil change?
It’s best not to think about your car’s oil change needs in terms of avoiding oil change service for as long as possible. Instead, you’ll want to set up oil changes often enough that your motor oil doesn’t have a chance to get dangerously low or dirty but not so often that your vehicle isn’t getting the most out of this fluid.
To accomplish this goal, you’ll need to create an oil change schedule. As part of that process, you’ll have to think about several factors, including your oil type of choice:
- Conventional oil should be removed and replaced every 3,000 miles or so.
- Synthetic blend oil can last a bit longer, so you’ll want to change it around the 5,000-mile mark.
- Vehicles with full synthetic oil require oil changes even less frequently — say, every 5,000-7,000 miles.
Your personal oil change schedule will also need to consider your driving habits and weather conditions in your area, among other things. But when trying to figure out the right time to get another oil change, Riverside residents should start here.