There are a number of basic processes that help keep your vehicle in good working order over its lifespan, and oil changes are some of the most important and common such examples. Oil changes should be part of your regular maintenance plan for any vehicle you drive, and there are some significant risks posed to the vehicle if you skip or avoid these.
At Tip Top Transmissions, we’re happy to offer a wide range of auto repair and transmission services to clients around Salt Lake City, including basics like oil changes and general vehicle inspections. Here are some of the key risks you’re taking if you skip or otherwise avoid oil changes, plus why they should be a standard part of your routine.
Oil Changes Are Easy
First and foremost, before we go any further and dig into the risks, it’s worth noting just how easy oil changes are. The process takes about fifteen minutes if you have the right supplies and know-how, and less than an hour even if you’re a complete novice.
If you live somewhere with the right infrastructure or equipment (such as our shop!), it can be even easier since we take care of the entire job for you (for a low cost). With it being so easy to get your oil changed at any time, there should be no good reason for skipping this task.
Risking Engine Damage
Oil serves as the primary lubricant for your vehicle’s engine, and thus contributes to its efficiency. Without proper lubrication, the friction between different parts of the engine can cause extensive damage over time. Even if you don’t drive your vehicle very often, skipping oil changes will result in sludge build up that inhibits the lubrication process and can cause permanent damage.
This can cause a number of direct engine issues. These include everything from engine seizing to abnormal wear and tear on some of its components, to overall decreased performance and efficiency.
Running Louder and Rougher
Another commonly overlooked risk of not changing your oil is that it can make your vehicle run louder, and can also cause rough idling or unsteady acceleration. If you’re used to a smooth ride in your car but suddenly find yourself dealing with jerkiness, then it could be a sign that there are problems related to the lack of lubrication.
The reason for this noise is that without lubrication, parts begin to rub against each other in a way that they weren’t designed to do. This can result in loud noises and vibrations throughout the entire car, making your ride unpleasant.
Less Power, Horsepower and Torque
Especially if you allow low oil levels to persist for an extended amount of time, your engine can begin to lose some of its power. This includes both horsepower and torque, with the latter being especially important for cars that you use for hauling or towing. Lower levels of oil also mean less lubrication, which makes it difficult for the engine to produce as much energy as it typically would.
For drivers, this means that you may experience decreased performance and reduced efficiency on the road. This can also have an effect on your fuel economy, as it takes more effort for the engine to work at its peak performance.
For some, one of the single largest risks of skipping oil changes is that it can void warranties on your vehicle. In many instances, car manufacturers list regular oil changes amongst the requirements for a warranty to remain valid. This means that failure to change the oil could result in you losing some of your coverage if an issue arises later down the line.
In fact, some car warranties even require proof that oil changes were done on a regular basis, which is why it’s important to keep records of your maintenance work.
Lowering Resale Value
Whether you plan to sell the car in the near future or just want to keep its value high for when the time comes, skipping oil changes can have a huge impact on resale. Prospective buyers will be able to see that you didn’t take proper care of the car, resulting in them being less likely to purchase it or willing to pay less for it than they would otherwise.
The risks outlined above should make it clear why oil changes are so important, and why you should never skip or avoid them. Taking the time to get your oil changed on a regular basis can help ensure that your vehicle remains in good shape for years to come. Make sure to plan ahead and set aside enough time each year for this service, as it’s an essential part of keeping your car running smoothly.
At Tip Top Transmissions, we’re here to help with everything from basic oil changes and vehicle inspections to transmission replacements and more advanced jobs. We’re proud to assist clients all around SLC; contact us today to learn more!