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What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Oil?

Mechanic checking oil in Nissan car


Regular maintenance is an important part of keeping your vehicle running in top condition on the Peoria roads. One piece of regular maintenance is getting your oil changed. You want to get your oil changed regularly so it doesn’t deteriorate and become less effective at keeping your engine cool, clean, and lubricated.

But life can be hectic, and you might be wondering: what happens if you don’t change your oil regularly? As oil wears down, it causes friction to build up in your engine, which in turn can lead to the engine heating up past a safe temperature. At the very least, this causes unnecessary wear and tear on the engine, but it can also lead to the engine overheating and damaging your vehicle. Therefore, you’ll want to stay on top of oil changes as part of your vehicle’s regularly-scheduled maintenance. The service team at Avondale Nissan has more information in the guide below.


What Does Motor Oil Do?

In short, motor oil acts as a lubricant for your engine, keeping the engine clean and running smoothly. It has the following important roles:

  • Reduces wear and tear on moving parts due to friction
  • Cleans sludge and varnish from the engine
  • Neutralizes acids that can form from fuels in the engine
  • Cools the engine by moving heat away from it, thus preventing dangerous overheating
  • Improves piston ring seals

How Often Should I Change My Vehicle’s Oil?

There’s no one answer to the question of how often you should change your vehicle’s oil, since conventional wisdom has changed over the years and everyone’s driving habits are different. Today, it’s generally agreed upon by experts that you can go between 7,500 and 10,000 miles between oil changes, while earlier wisdom recommended an oil change after as little as 3,000 miles. Your owner’s manual should give you a more specific number; you can also chat with a service technician who has a good idea of your driving habits around Phoenix. 

Importance of Oil Changes in Hot Climates

In Avondale and the Peoria area, it’s even more important to stay current with oil changes, and to consider switching to synthetic oil. Why? Heat creates more potential for oxidation, and conventional oil offers less oxidative stability than synthetic oil. An oil that’s 100% synthetic and is more refined than conventional oil will provide added protection against high temperatures, as well as improve engine power, longevity, and cleanliness. Synthetic oil just makes sense in high-temp climates. 

How Do I Change the Oil Myself?

If you want to DIY an oil change, you’ll first need to determine the type of oil that your vehicle requires. You can find this out in your owner’s manual. Once you have the right kind of oil, just follow these steps:

  1. Jack your car up with jack stands or steel ramps.
  2. Find the oil drain plug–it’s underneath your engine at the bottom of the oil pan. Place an oil basin under the plug to catch the old oil, and open up the plug. It might take up to 15 minutes for the old oil to drain completely. When it’s done, replace the plug.
  3. Find the oil filter and remove it with an oil filter wrench. Make sure the oil basin is still underneath the engine, as a bit of excess oil can drain out when you remove the filter.
  4. Rub a bit of oil around the new filter’s rubber seal, then set it in place and tighten it by hand. Be careful not to use a wrench for this part.
  5. Once you’re sure that all the old oil is drained and the new filter is in place, remove the oil cap and pour in the specified amount of new oil. You can find this information in your owner’s manual.
  6. Replace the oil cap and pull out the dipstick to double-check that the oil is at the proper level. You’re good to go!

Turn to Avondale Nissan for Oil Change Service & More

If you don’t want to DIY an oil change and would rather have it taken care of by a service technician, we at Avondale Nissan are happy to help. Just schedule a service appointment on our website and you’ll be all set. You can also contact our office with any questions, or come to our dealership near Surprise to talk to a service expert in person.

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