Motor Oil: The Lifeblood of Your Engine

By: Craig Kerwood

Whether you drive a car, truck, or SUV your motor vehicle is the second biggest investment you'll make in your lifetime. With car prices escalating every year, it makes sense to take good care of your car. Take good care of your car and your car could last 200,000 miles or more. Fail to take care of your car and well, you'll be spending a lot of time in repair shops or at your local automobile dealership.

It is said that motor oil is the lifeblood of any engine. Ask any auto racing driver how important oil is and you'll usually get an answer to the effect that without oil auto racing would probably not even exist. Auto racers put a premium on good motor oil. Many auto enthusiasts also understand the importance of motor oil. Motor oil lubricates your engine and helps to fight against the two biggest enemies of any engine; heat and friction. Without oil, your car would produce excessive heat, heat causes friction, and friction produces wear. Wear is enemy number one to your engine.

How you choose and take care of your oil is important too. Here are some things to remember:

  1. Choose the right weight - A 5W-30 performs better in colder climates. Warmer climates may want to consider a 10W-40. Knowing the difference can help the overall performance of your engine.

  2. Check your Manufacturer's Recommendations - It is important to use oil that stays within the recommended guidelines of your vehicle's manufacturer. Choosing oil that does not fit the parameters recommended by your car's manufacturer could void your warranty. This is very important!

  3. Consider a Synthetic - Synthetic motor oil are superior to providing better protection, longer oil change intervals, providing greater resistance to breakdown, improved cold weather starts, and improve overall fuel mileage. Synthetic motor oil can go as much as 10,000 to 15,000 mile between changes. Synthetic costs a little more, but the "peace of mind" may be well worth the little extra you'll pay. Petroleum motor oils in contrast will provide adequate protection but are prone to breakdown, sludge, and require changing every 3,000 miles. They contain wax additives and components in the oil left behind after refining that are not beneficial to the engine.

  4. Keep your oil clean - Dirty oil in any engine is never beneficial. Keep records of when you last changed your oil and change it according to recommendations. During normal operation, engines produce metal fragments that can harm your engine. Routine oil changes help to "flush" out any fragments that may exist in your oil.

  5. Choose a quality filter - It doesn't make sense to change your oil only to install a cheap oil filter that isn't going to help keep your oil clean longer. Doesn't skimp cost on your oil filter and purchase a quality oil filter for added protection.

In this article we have attempted to explain the important role motor oil plays in your vehicle's engine and given you some tips to help you maintain your car's oil which will in turn help your car to last longer. Follow these tips and you'll save yourself a significant amount of grief and money too! Happy driving!

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