When it comes to engine oil, how old is too old? Can it actually go bad by sitting in the engine for six months or even a year? Well, you are required to change your car's engine oil every 3000 to 5000 miles. However, if your oil container indicates a shelf life, you might want to work with those specific dates.
Your car's engine oil plays a crucial role in lubricating the engine parts which are in constant motion. This prevents the components from rubbing against each other, reducing the friction that leads to wear and tear. Suffice to say, constant use exposes your oil to excess heat, which breaks it down, reducing its functionality. Besides, various hydrocarbon and water elements eventually contaminate your car's engine oil with continued use.
Your car's engine oil longevity depends on several factors, including the oil type. For instance, conventional motor oil tends to break down much faster at high temperatures. Fortunately, you can alternatively go for synthetic oils, which contain thermal properties that help them withstand high temperatures. All the same, proactive oil changes go a long way in maintaining the engine's functionality and longevity.
What Happens if you Skip Routine Oil Changes?
An oil change is one of the quickest and least expensive vehicle maintenance services. Unfortunately, most drivers ignore the maintenance schedules attracting serious problems and expensive repairs. For instance, the car engine oil becomes dirty, which reduces its functionality. Consequently, there is excess friction between the engine components which eventually wears them down. This also leads to overheating, rusting, and grunge build-up, which translates to significant and irreversible damage to the engine.
How Can I Tell if My Engine Oil is Expired?
Here are some simple steps that will help you determine if your car engine oil is expired.
- Check the oil expiration date. If your car's engine oil is past the recommended date, consider changing it.
- What color is the oil? Well, clear oil is still good for use, while haziness mostly indicates diluted oil.
- Check the oil consistency. If it is thick, solidified, or tends to separate, it is not fit for use and might need immediate change.
Engine oils are subject to dilution, oxidation, and possibly destructive degradation. That said, it is crucial that you have it changed even when you don't use your car much often. If you need an oil change, we invite you to bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop today!