There’s a damaging trend regarding oil changes.
Vehicle owners are simply forgetting to get them or waiting too long.
Doug McAllister, owner of Douglas Automotive in Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove and Barrington has seen far too many vehicle owners put their engines at risk.
“I feel like a broken record,” he said. “We continue to see people bringing their cars into the shop with little or no oil in the crankcase so their engines are wearing faster than they should be.”
Due to the fact that most car manufacturers no longer require a three-month, 3,000 mile oil change, owners assume they can extend oil change intervals, or simply forget oil changes all together.
“Depending on how you drive, waiting for the full manufacturer’s recommended change interval might not be good either,” McAllister said. “Furthermore, because oil changes aren’t being done as often, drivers are getting a false sense that oil is a maintenance-free part of the car.”
If you’re driving 6,000 miles between oil changes, McAllister suggests that you check your oil at least a couple times between changes, because there’s a good chance you’ll need to add or quart or two before the next oil change.
“Some of these smaller cars today only hold three quarts and if you go down two quarts, that puts your engine at great risk,” he said. “As the oil gets low, it will get dirtier and have a tendency to sludge.”
The oil in today’s engines does more than lubricate. It’s also a hydraulic fluid that controls different engine functions. Using the wrong oil or having it turn to sludge can damage components, resulting in running problems and check engine lights.
“Work with your service provider to determine the proper interval for your car’s oil changes,” McAllister said. “And always use the correct oil and check it between oil changes.”
Crystal Lake Auto Repair & Tire, 123 E Virginia Rd., Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Visit www.douglasautomotive.com for more info.