Benefits of Oil Changes in San Marcos, TX

Oil Change San Marcos, TX

Why are oil changes so important?

Let’s take a look at some fresh motor oil. It’s a translucent amber color, a lighter color than honey, and is slippery to the touch. That’s what clean, virgin motor oil is supposed to look like. Now, let’s compare it to some used oil. The used oil is dark and murky, the color of black coffee. It smells like gasoline and acids and is often slightly gritty when rubbed between the thumb and forefinger.

How did it get that way?

The internal combustion engine runs on thousands of tiny explosions inside the cylinders. Those explosions create a great deal of heat and carbon, and the carbon makes its way into engine oil, contaminating it. Modern motor oil formulations contain detergents and other additives that help suspend contaminants in the oil, so they can be trapped in the paper element of the oil filter as the oil circulates through the engine.

Eventually the oil filter becomes so saturated with carbon and gunk that it can’t absorb any more; at this point, the impurities in oil will start accumulating on the bearings and other internal assemblies. The impurities in the oil may be only about a micron in size, but they can accelerate wear in the extremely close tolerances between moving parts. The sludgy buildups on the bearings and valve components will also shorten engine life and speed up wear.

Oil Changes in San Marcos, TX

Older formulations of motor oil required an oil change at 3,000 mile intervals. Today’s conventional oils can be changed at intervals of 5-7,000 miles with no premature wear to the engine. Synthetic motor oils, while more expensive per quart, outperform conventional oil in just about every respect. Synthetics are more stable and less prone to thicken in cold weather or thin out at high temperatures, and offer better protection all the way around. Synthetic motor oils generally call for a 10-12,000 mile oil change interval. Always consult your owner’s manual for manufacturer’s recommendations .

Regardless of whether you use conventional or synthetic oil in your vehicles, the best way to get the longest miles out of your engine is to have the oil changed at regular intervals. At Nichols Tire and Automotive in San Marcos, TX, we do a lot of oil changes for our customers. Make an appointment with us and let us get your oil change needs taken care of!