5 Reasons to Do Regular Oil Changes and Fluid Checks

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5 Reasons to Do Regular Oil Changes and Fluid Checks

First published on: August 12, 2023

When it comes to taking care of your vehicle, regular oil changes and fluid checks are essential. Not only do they help keep your engine running smoothly, but they can also prevent more expensive repairs in the long run. 

By sticking to a routine maintenance schedule, you can avoid costly breakdowns and ensure your vehicle stays on the road for years to come.

In this article, you are going to learn all you need to know about oil changes and fluid checks.

The Importance of Regular Oil Changes for Your Car

Many car owners underestimate the importance of regular oil changes, but failing to do so can have serious consequences for your vehicle. Oil is what keeps your car’s engine lubricated and running smoothly. 

Over time, oil becomes dirty and breaks down, losing its ability to keep your engine’s moving parts properly lubricated. When this happens, your engine can start to overheat and eventually seize up, causing expensive damage that could have been prevented with a simple oil change.

How Often to Change Your Oil

So, now that you understand why oil changes are necessary, how often should you be getting them?

The answer depends on a variety of factors, including your car’s make and model, your driving habits, and the type of oil you use. 

Most car manufacturers generally recommend getting an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or every three to six months. However, some cars can go up to 10,000 miles between oil changes, while others might need one every 2,000 miles.

Consult your car’s owner’s manual or check with your mechanic to find out what’s right for you.

Related: Car Maintenance 101: Easy Steps to Look After Your Vehicle

Types of Oil

Another factor to consider is the type of oil your car uses. Many different types of oil are available on the market, including conventional, synthetic, and high mileage. 

  • Conventional oil is usually the cheapest and most widely used, but synthetic oil is becoming more popular due to its superior performance and longer lifespan. 
  • High mileage oil is specially formulated for cars with over 75,000 miles on them and can help reduce oil consumption and engine wear. 

Talk to your mechanic about which type of oil is best for your car.

The Benefits of Regular Oil Changes

Now that you know the importance of oil changes and how often to get them, what are the benefits of doing so? 

First and foremost, regular oil changes can keep your car’s engine running smoothly and prevent expensive damage down the line. They can also improve your car’s fuel efficiency, help reduce emissions, and prolong the lifespan of your engine. 

And, if you’re looking to sell your car, a well-maintained engine with regular oil changes can increase its resale value.

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How to Get an Oil Change

Getting an oil change is a relatively simple process that can be done at your local auto shop or dealership. You can also do it yourself if you’re comfortable working on cars.

To get an oil change at a shop, simply schedule an appointment and bring your car in. 

The mechanic will drain the old oil, replace the oil filter, and refill the oil with fresh, clean oil. The process usually only takes about 30 minutes to an hour.

As a rule, regular oil changes are a critical part of maintaining your car’s health and preventing costly repairs down the line.

By understanding why oil changes are necessary, how often to get them, and the benefits they provide, you can ensure that your car’s engine stays lubricated and running smoothly for years to come.

Now, let’s see which other fluids you must keep in check.

Make Fluid Checks a Habit to Keep Your Car in Good Health 

Car mechanic checking oil level

Cars are complex machines that rely heavily on fluids like oil, coolant, transmission oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and more to keep running smoothly. Not having enough of these fluids or having them contaminated can lead to serious issues, including engine failure. 

Thankfully, you can avoid these costly repairs by simply knowing which fluids to check in the car as a routine part of your car maintenance. 

Types of Fluid Checks to Perform

First and foremost, regular fluid checks can help you identify leaks, low levels, and dirty fluids before they lead to larger problems.

Power steering fluid leaks can cause difficulty turning the wheel and eventually lead to damage to the power steering pump, which isn’t cheap. Checking brake fluid can help prevent brake fade and accidents that could have otherwise been avoided.

Fluids to check in car, like transmission and coolant, can prevent costly repairs.

If a transmission isn’t properly lubricated, it can cause friction and heat that can lead to serious damage, including the need for a complete replacement. 

The same goes for your engine’s coolant. Running your engine without enough coolant could cause it to overheat and damage the components.

By regularly checking fluid levels, you can identify issues before they get worse, which is especially true when checking brake fluid.

Also Read: How to Look After a Car You Don’t Drive Regularly?

How to Check Fluids in a Car?

When checking fluids, always ensure the engine is cool and parked on level ground. Check the owner’s manual to determine the location of each fluid reservoir, as they might be in different areas on your make and model of car. 

For every fluid, you will want to check both the level and the quality.

Fluid should be transparent and have the appropriate colour (different fluids have different colours).

If it appears cloudy or has a brownish colour, it may be time for a flush and replacement.

Important Things to Remember About Fluid Checks

Remember that simply topping off low fluids isn’t always the best solution. It’s essential to understand why there is a low level, and if there’s a leak, has it been fixed to prevent further problems. If you do need to add fluid, only use the type specified in the owner’s manual, as using the wrong type can cause damage.

Keeping up with fluids to check in car is an essential part of maintaining your vehicle. Preventive maintenance can help avoid costly repairs and could keep your car running for many years. 

If you’re not comfortable checking fluids yourself, always take your car in for regular maintenance at a trusted mechanic. By making a habit of checking your car’s fluids, you could prevent headaches down the road and keep your vehicle on the road. 

So let’s recap the reasons for regular oil and fluid checks.

Improve Engine Performance

Your engine has a lot of moving parts that require proper lubrication to function efficiently. By changing your oil regularly, you provide fresh fluid that helps minimise friction and reduces wear and tear on internal components. 

Without adequate lubrication, your engine may overheat, cause undue stress on critical engine parts and result in damage that’s costly to repair.

Further, oil changes also help to flush out any harmful contaminants that can accumulate over time, and these contaminants can cause severe damage if they accumulate in the engine.

Increase Safety

Fluid checks are essential to ensure that your vehicle is safe to drive. Many fluids in your car play a critical role in keeping you and your passengers safe, such as checking brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant.

Any of these fluids running low can significantly impair your car’s performance or, worse, cause a severe accident.

Extend the Life of Your Car

Regular maintenance can significantly extend the life of your vehicle. Consistently checking and changing fluids is the key to preventing severe damage that can happen to your vehicle over time.

If you neglect fluid checks and ignore issues, they can lead to vital components wearing out much quicker than intended. 

With oil changes, you keep your engine healthy and running smoothly, but it also extends the life of your transmission, steering, and other critical components. If your car lasts longer, it saves you money by delaying the need to invest in a new one.

Save Money

While not having regular oil changes and fluid checks may seem like a money-saving option in the short term, it almost always costs you more in the long run. Neglecting these essential maintenance tasks can cause your vehicle to break down or require costly repairs. 

Regularly checking brake fluid and other fluids, on the other hand, help you to identify issues before they cause significant damage and become unmanageable. 

Enjoy Peace Of Mind

When you take care of your vehicle with regular maintenance, it provides peace of mind that everything’s running smoothly.

Knowing that your car is in good condition also means having the confidence that you won’t be stranded on the side of the road in an emergency. Regular maintenance on your vehicle is a proactive decision and saves both time and effort.

Final Thoughts: Don’t Forget About Oil Changes and Fluid Checks

Regular oil changes and fluid checks are crucial not just for your car but also for you and your loved ones. These tasks help improve the performance, safety, and lifespan of your vehicle. It’s wise to avoid any significant problems before they arise by taking your vehicle for regular maintenance.

If you want to extend the life of your vehicle, save money and ensure the safety of you and your passengers, it’s essential to keep up with oil changes and fluid checks.

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