Fluids in your vehicle: Are they really important?
If there is one thing that can help you get the most out of your car/truck, it is to check and change your fluids. We are mainly speaking of the engine oil. With all the different options out there, such as long life, high mileage and extended service, which one do you use?
With the high cost of purchasing your cars/trucks, maintaining them with routine servicing is one of the most important things you can do. I get asked all the time: what is the best option? Should I use this kind of oil or that kind? First of all, this is the opinion of a Master Technician that made a very good living from repairing cars that people did not take care of. There is no miracle care for lack of maintenance.
When we think of routine service, most of us think of (LOF) lube, oil & filter. This is true, and the next question is: what kind of oil do I use? Is it high mileage, synthetic or conventional oil? Here it is in a nut shell: there is nothing anyone can add to engine oil to make them last longer. In my opinion, it’s all a myth. Simply changing your oil and filter every 5000 miles will get you the best results.
There is no magical number for when you should change the oil and filter, but most technicians will say every 5000 miles is recommended. No two people drive the same way so let’s keep it simple. Change your oil & filter every 5000 miles for the best results and longevity in your car.
Are synthetic oils really better? Yes, they are but only if you change them like conventional oil. The oil filter stops filtering after about 5000 miles. Conventional oil is just fine too, and you’ll get many miles out of your engine if you just take care of it. As for the high mileage and extended life products, I’m sure they have good additives, but they are not a miracle cure for not taking care of your engine in the first place. There is no substitute for routine service.
In closing, cars and trucks are being built better than ever before. If you want your engine to run a long time, take care of it with 5000 mile oil & filter changes and using a quality brand of oil; you’ll have many years of happiness with lower automotive repair bills.
Automotive Department Head
Oklahoma Technical College
More on Automotive Technology: