Many of us haven’t been driving as frequently during the pandemic, but getting your vehicle’s oil changed is still very important for the health of your car. Months, not just miles, degrades your oil, so it’s important to change your oil at regular intervals even if you haven’t been driving as much!
The traditional 3,000 miles or three months is less and less common, so make sure to check your owner’s manual for what’s right for your specific make and model. But, do remember to take the months as seriously as the miles.
In case you’re interested in the chemical details, here’s what happens if you don’t keep your oil fresh.
- The interaction between oxygen molecules and motor oil molecules naturally leads to chemical breakdown called “oxidation”. Just as oxygen causes a cut apple to brown or exposed metal to rust, it breaks down base oils and reduces motor oil’s effectiveness. Oxidation can lead to increased oil viscosity, which negatively affects energy efficiency. It also causes the formation of harmful deposits and sludge.
- Standing oil that isn’t heated regularly by use can allow excess moisture into the engine. Water is not your engine’s friend! Check our post here for more on why oil changes are one of the most important (and easiest!) ways to keep your engine happy and long-lived.
So, before you head out on any summer road trips or just start driving more as the world opens up, check to see if it’s time for an oil change.