Auto Repair St. Louis, Brakes, Tires, Suspension, Alignment

The big debate on oil changes is how often do I change my oil: 3,000 miles?  5,000 miles? 7,500 miles or even more? Back in the day the recommended mileage interval was every 3,000 miles and/or 3 months. Today vehicle manufacturers are pushing back the intervals to 5K and some are going as far as 10K with the advertisement of vehicles with low maintenance costs. But, is it really OK for the engine to go that long without the oil being changed?

As the engine runs and burns fuel it produces carbon, acids and water. These wastes when blended with the oil form sludge. Sludge buildup can get so bad that it will start to restrict the flow of oil and even clog the oil passages, which in turn can starve the engine of oil lubrication. This can be made worse by lots of short trips where the engine temperature does not get hot enough to evaporate the humidity that builds up inside the engine. Engine damage may range from a noisy start up to broken timing belts and even engines locking up and becoming boat anchors.

As oil breaks down it loses its viscosity (becomes thinner) and your engine is designed to run at a specific viscosity and the longer you run the oil the more it breaks down. So back to what the manufacturers recommend; understand that their goal is to get your vehicle out of the warranty period and they are confident that your engine will survive several 7,500 mile oil changes during the warranty period. After that your engine is fixed on your dollar, not theirs.

Below are pictures of a customer’s engine that was in for an oil leak.  We found that the oil was having such a hard time returning to the oil pan because of sludge buildup that it was building up in the valve cover and eventually caused an oil leak because it had nowhere to go. This is the type of sludge problems that come from not changing the oil on a regular basis!

The more often you change your oil the better, here at Jammin J Automotive we recommend 3,000 mile or 3 months whichever comes first. We also recommend and use a product known as BG Motor Oil Additive (MOA) which is a cleaner and friction reducer. The MOA impregnates the engine components at the molecular level and helps extend the life of the oil. With MOA we recommend 5,000 miles or 4 months. Once again, the more you change your oil the better.  Our commitment to you and your vehicle is for the life of the vehicle, not just the warranty period.