If you’re someone who doesn’t drive very often, you may be wondering if you still need to get an engine oil change regularly. After all, if you’re not putting as many miles on your car, it might seem like the oil wouldn’t need to be changed as frequently. But is that actually the case? In this blog post, we’ll explore whether you need an oil change if you’re not driving as much and what factors you should consider.
What does Engine Oil Do?
Engine oil is a crucial component in the operation of a vehicle’s engine. Its primary function is to lubricate the engine’s moving parts to prevent them from grinding against each other and causing damage or wear. Specifically, engine oil:
- 1. Reduces Friction: When the engine is running, its many moving parts are rubbing against each other, generating heat and friction. Engine oil acts as a lubricant, reducing friction and helping to prevent wear and tear on the engine’s parts.
- 2. Cools The Engine: In addition to lubricating the engine, oil also helps to cool it down. As the oil circulates through the engine, it absorbs some of the heat generated by the engine’s moving parts, carrying it away and dissipating it.
- 3. Cleans The Engine: Engine oil also helps to remove dirt and debris that can build up inside the engine. As the oil flows through the engine, it picks up these contaminants and carries them away, preventing them from causing damage.
- 4. Protects Against Corrosion: Engine oil contains additives that help to prevent rust and corrosion from forming inside the engine, which can damage its components.
Why Do You Need an Oil Change?
Before we get into whether you need a car oil change if you’re not driving as much, let’s first understand why oil changes are necessary. Engine oil is responsible for lubricating and protecting the moving parts of your engine. Over time, the oil can become contaminated with dirt, debris, and metal particles that can damage the engine if left unchecked. Regular oil changes help ensure that the engine oil is clean and free of contaminants, which helps keep your engine running smoothly.
How Often Should You Change Your Oil?
The frequency with which you should change your oil depends on several factors, including the make and model of your car, your driving habits, and the type of oil you’re using. In general, most car manufacturers recommend getting an oil change every 8,000 to 7,500 miles, or every 6 months to a year.
Do You Need an Oil Change if You’re Not Driving as Much?
Now, let’s answer the question: do you need an oil change if you’re not driving as much? The answer is yes, but with some caveats.
Even if you’re not putting a lot of miles on your car, the engine oil can still become contaminated with dirt and debris over time. In addition, if you’re not driving your car frequently, the oil can become stagnant, which can lead to the buildup of contaminants.
For these reasons, it’s still important to get regular oil changes, even if you’re not driving as much. However, the frequency with which you need to change your oil may be less than if you were driving your car frequently. If you’re not sure how often you should be getting an oil change, refer to your car’s owner’s manual or consult with a trusted mechanic.
Other Factors to Consider
While it’s important to get regular oil changes, there are other factors to consider if you’re not driving as much. For example, if you’re not driving your car for extended periods of time, you may need to take additional steps to maintain the health of your engine. This can include starting your car and letting it run for a few minutes each week to ensure that the engine oil is circulating and the battery is charged.
In conclusion, even if you’re not driving as much, it’s still important to get regular oil changes to ensure that your engine oil is clean and free of contaminants. While the frequency with which you need to change your oil may be less than if you were driving your car frequently, it’s still important to stay on top of regular maintenance. If you have any questions or concerns about how often you should be getting an oil change, consult with a trusted mechanic. Your car and your wallet will thank you for it!