Monday, July 2, 2012

How Proper Oil Maintenance Translates Into More MPG

As the economy recovers and people put together budgets, knowing how much money to allot for fuel can be difficult to estimate as gasoline prices continue to fluctuate. Up one day and down another, drivers are trying to figure out new ways to get the most of out of the gasoline they put into their cars every week. For some, maximizing their miles per gallon means upgrading to a more fuel-efficient vehicle. For others, making the most out of their trip to the pump means staying up to date on their existing car's maintenance to ensure it's not having to work any harder than it needs to. One of the simplest ways of keeping your car functioning as smooth as possible is by keeping it up to date on its oil changes.

The oil in your car serves the very important purpose of lubricating the different moving components of your engine. The engine of your vehicle is a very complex system of metal parts that are continually moving against each other with considerable force to send your car down the road. As your engine continues to send your vehicle through city streets, across long highways, and sometimes down rural roads, it collects all sorts of debris and the oil, which is typically petroleum-based, begins to break down or be consumed by the engine in the process. Over time, the remaining oil grows dirtier and isn't able to do its job quite as efficiently as it once could. If the oil grows too dirty or is almost completely consumed by the engine, the lack of lubrication on the metal components as they work to drive your car will cause your engine to become damaged, seize up, and be completely useless.

Though an engine seizing up is one of the worst case scenarios of what can occur without regular oil maintenance, a car that is overdue for an oil change will have an engine that is working not only against the weight of the car, but the friction at the points where components make contact. An engine driving a car forward with dirty or low oil is similar to trying to open a car with a rusty can-opener. Without proper oil maintenance, the engine has to work against itself and therefore requires more power to do so. More power means more fuel and more trips to the gas station.

Though most lube-change shops and some mechanic's shops recommend changing the oil on a vehicle every 3,000 miles, it's best consult your vehicle's owner's manual to see how frequently the manufacturer recommends. Sometimes that might be sooner than a lube shop might recommend, but in other instances, an oil change is recommended anywhere from 5,000-7,000 miles. By having your vehicle's oil switched to non-petroleum-based synthetic oil, the oil does not break down nearly as easily and its viscosity is more resistant to extreme temperatures. Because they do not break down nearly as easily as petroleum-based oil, synthetic oil only needs to be changed around every 7,000-10,000 miles or possibly longer. Still, there are some instances when synthetic oil is not recommended; such as breaking new engines and in much older cars where it may not be worth the pricey investment.

As with any other maintenance to your vehicle, always seek the advice of an experienced mechanic before making any modifications to your car and consult your owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommended maintenance for your vehicle. Staying on top of oil changes is not only beneficial for your car's gas mileage, and therefore your pocket book, but it also helps reduce engine wear to ensure you and your car have a long and happy relationship.

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Star Tech European in Vacaville specializes in European Automotive service and repairs. The auto repair business doesn't have the best reputation, so we go the extra mile to build trust. That includes taking extra time to really explain what your car needs and why. Our goal is to give professional, friendly, honest service without the stress and hassle of going to the dealer. We will never sell you something you don't need.

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