What happens if engine oil not changed on time

In this post we answer some FAQs about engine oil and discuss what happens if it is not changed on time. To learn about whether you should get expensive or cheap engine oil, check out the below featured article.

Why is engine oil important

Imagine talking with a dry mouth.

Engine oil is a lubricant for the moving parts of your car’s internal combustion engine. Deep in the soul of a car engine are pistons, cam shafts, a crank shaft, and valves, all interconnected with springs, moving bolts, gears, and other moving parts. When your car is operational, all these parts are moving, rotating, spinning, and sliding against each other.

Given that all these parts are made of metal, they wont slide as smoothly and instead rub against each other. This friction would cause vibrations that your whole car would feel, and wear away the metal parts of your engine.

Just like how your saliva lets your cheeks, tongue and teeth slide against each other smoothly while you talk, engine oil removes friction and lets all those moving parts slide smoothly with minimal resistance.

When should engine oil be replaced

You add fresh clear cooking oil to the fryer. After cooking hundreds of fries, the oil becomes all dark and thick.

Likewise, Engine oil thickens with time and continued usage. The heat of your engine chemically affects the oil, while the burning of gasoline or diesel builds up carbon and other residue that get mixed in. Eventually the engine oil loses its friction fighting abilities and comes out all dark and viscous. We want to replace the engine oil before this happens.

fresh engine oil is light colored and transparent

For cars, engine oil usually comes in two mileage based varieties: 5,000 kilometers and 10,000 kilometers. Therefore, engine oil is changed either every 5000 kilometers or 10000 kilometers depending on the type of oil used.

Aside from these mileage thresholds, mechanics recommend that engine oil be replaced every six months.

The decision to buy 5000 km or 10,000 km engine oil depends on much you drive every six months. If you drive more than 10,000 kilometers in less than 6 months, the 10,000 km engine oil is better as it reduces the frequency of oil changes which add to your car’s maintenance cost. If you drive less than 10,000 kilometers in half a year, then just get the 5000 kilometer oil.

What happens if engine oil is not changed on time

If you don’t change your engine oil at the 5000 or 10000 kilometer mark, it will start to thicken and your engine’s moving parts will start rubbing against each other instead of sliding. You will feel vibrations from your engine and a reduction in your car’s performance.

A car that performs poorly also consumes more gas since the engine now has to deal with not only your endless travel demands but also the friction between its own components. This increased gas consumption will not give your car any additional power and instead just be spent on moving the pistons, cams, valves etc. What a waste.

If you are totally irresponsible with your oil change timing, the oil will eventually become a thick sludge and the increased friction may cause your engine to seize (stop working / die). Bringing your car back in working condition from this point may cost you as much as a car replacement.

All that said, it does not mean that engine oil will go bad as fast as avocados do. Its okay to prolong your oil change by one to two hundred kilometers if you can’t get an appointment. Some people change their oil at 4000 kilometers to keep their engine fresh at all times. Speaking of avocados, try this salad.

Final word

Changing your engine oil on time is just responsible car owner behavior and your car will return the favor by lasting longer, performing better, and consuming less gas. Don’t even think about putting used engine oil in your car.

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