Serving Tualatin, Tigard, Wilsonville, Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Sherwood, West Linn, & Beyond
Given all the motor oil options out there, choosing the right oil for your car might seem like an impossibly daunting task. While there is a mountain of info to learn about the various oil choices, the first step is honestly quite simple: Look in the vehicle’s manual and/or consult a mechanic. Your car’s owner’s manual will list the recommended oil weight… Click here to read our blog post that explains the basics.
Full-Service Oil Change
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Get your oil changed at J.C. Motors. We proudly serve customers in Tualatin, Tigard, Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Sherwood, Wilsonville, West Linn, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule your oil change service or give us a call at (503) 692-2817.
How long should you go between oil changes?
Drivers have been hearing a lot about higher oil change intervals these days. Maybe you’re wondering: What are the key issues?
Some new vehicle manufacturers are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles or more. This practice came under scrutiny when four of the largest new vehicle manufacturers announced that owners were experiencing engine damage resulting from these higher oil change intervals.
Longer oil change intervals are a problem
The manufacturers’ standard oil drain service for particular vehicles was scheduled at around 7,500 miles. People following these recommendations were experiencing engine damage. It turns out that oil sludge was building up. This caused small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail.
What causes oil sludge? It’s a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge. Also, water from normal condensation can build up in the oil. This water also creates sludge. Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge formation.
Severe driving includes short trips under four miles or trips under 10 miles in freezing conditions. The engine just doesn’t get warm enough for the water in the oil to evaporate.
Regular vehicle use is actually severe
Severe conditions are at the heart of the problem. Stop-and-go driving, frequent short trips (5 miles or less), frequent cold starts, rush hour commuting, towing, dusty conditions, heavy loads, very hot or very cold temperatures, a car top carrier – although these sound like normal driving conditions to many they are all conditions that would suggest that the manufacture’s severe service schedule should be considered.
The severe service schedule has much shorter oil change intervals. Drivers just need to honestly evaluate how they drive to determine if they should change their oil closer to the severe service schedule or to the standard schedule.
Should you wait for the oil change light to come on?
Some vehicles will give oil change reminders. But it’s important to know how that reminder is determined. For some, the reminder simply comes when the standard mileage interval has rolled around. Others use a computer algorithm that takes into consideration the number of cold starts, trip length, engine temperature and so on. It’s programmed to approximate where on the standard/severe service spectrum you fall. Some more expensive vehicles actually have sensors that test the cleanliness and effectiveness of the oil and additives.
For the rest of us, better safe than sorry. Change the oil and filter and have the vehicle inspected with each seasonal change. Talk with your service adviser at J.C. Motors and work it out together.
Not just any old oil
Find out what kind of oil the factory sends out in your vehicle. Sometimes it’s a premium grade that costs more than standard oil – but it may be what’s absolutely necessary to meet manufacturer requirements. For most vehicles, standard grades of oil will take care of you as long as you follow the recommended change interval of every 3 months or 3,000 miles. If you want to push the limits, ask for a premium grade oil and an accommodating filter designed for extended change intervals (being realistic maybe another couple thousand miles or a couple of additional months before the additives breakdown).
So, what happened with those manufacturers with the problems from higher oil change intervals? They ended up extending the engine warranty for parts that were affected by oil sludge. But they had a stipulation – they lowered the oil change interval and the vehicle owner had to provide proof of oil changes at the new lower interval to keep the extended warranty.
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Our website contains a lot of text and video information about your vehicle’s operating systems, components and service requirements. Click here for our website’s Services page where we’ve listed some of our more common services along with video explanations and many have links to more detailed information or Blog articles.