Why Do I Need to Change My Oil?

May 31st, 2023 by

Giving your vehicle regular oil changes is one of the most important aspects of car maintenance. This is one of the first lessons many of us receive when we started driving, yet many drivers still allow their vehicles to go without proper oil changes for too long. Let’s dive into the reasons why it’s vital that you change your vehicle’s oil.

What Does Oil Do?

To understand why it’s important to change your oil, it’s good to understand what the oil is doing inside your vehicle in the first place. To put it simply, oil makes sure that your engine keeps running smoothly by performing several roles.

However, engine oil’s primary role is lubrication. Your engine is made of moving parts that create heat as they do their jobs. Without oil, these moving parts would create so much friction and heat that they would damage themselves and turn your car into a large paperweight. Oil acts as a lubricant between these parts to keep this from happening. Oil also reduces heat build-up in your engine.

What Happens When I Don’t Change My Oil?

Many things can happen to your vehicle when you don’t change its oil, and you probably won’t enjoy any of them. We already mentioned the build-up of heat and friction destroying your engine’s components. This is a worse-case scenario that would require you to run your engine without oil or with very old oil. So what would happen to your vehicle as it approached that sorry state?

Oil is broken down as it accepts the engine’s heat. Another purpose oil serves is keeping your engine clean by removing particles and dirt from your engine. Over time and use, this heat and particle collection makes your oil thicker until it turns into sludge. As you can imagine, this is not ideal for your engine.

Decreased Efficiency

The effects of not changing your oil start with your fuel efficiency. Engines need oil to work smoothly, but they will still work without good oil. However, an engine has to work harder to do its job with old oil. Harder work means worse fuel efficiency.

Voided Warranty

If your vehicle is still covered by a warranty, you can void that warranty by failing to get an oil change. If you still have a warranty for your vehicle, follow the manufacturer’s recommended oil change interval listed in the owner’s manual. We also suggest sticking to a single service center to get your oil changed so that proper records of your vehicle’s maintenance will be kept.


Most modern engine oils contain additives that help combat corrosion and oxidation in your engine. Without this oil, these damaging chemical reactions have an easier time taking over your engine.

Increased Emissions

Drivers who let their oil go bad aren’t the only ones who have to pay when they do so. Old oil gets burned up from the heat of your engine. This can create noxious fumes that are worse for the environment.

As you can see, there are quite a few undesirable consequences to failing to have your vehicle’s oil changed. These outcomes are inevitable situations that will decrease the health and lifespan of your vehicle.

When Should I Get My Oil Changed?

The most popular recommended interval between oil changes is every 3,000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes sooner. Although your vehicle will be nice and healthy if you stick to that schedule, it might be unnecessarily frequent depending on your vehicle, driving style, and the type of oil you’re using.

Drivers with older vehicles might consider sticking to that interval, but if you’re driving a newer model, you may be able to go longer without an oil change. Some synthetic oils are rated to last for upwards of 15,000 miles in a new car. That being said, you should always refer to your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer of your specific make and model recommends for your oil change intervals. As we mentioned above, you can void your warranty by not changing your oil frequently enough, even if you have engine oil designed to last longer.

Some new models can electronically diagnose their oils and tell the driver when an oil change is needed. Oftentimes, these computers follow a preset recommendation interval, but more advanced systems can actually tell when the health of vehicle oil has decreased.

Of course, these are just general recommendations. You should also take into account your driving style. Drivers who are on the road longer, navigating through stop-and-go traffic for hours in a day will need more frequent oil changes. If you often tow trailers or carry heavy payloads with your vehicle, drive through hot and dusty areas, or only take infrequent short trips, you may need to get your oil changed more frequently.

Get Your Oil Changed at Classic Toyota in Tyler, Texas

We suggest getting your oil changed at a certified dealership service center that specializes in your make and model. We recommend this not only because we want your business, but because a dealership service center can provide benefits to your vehicle in multiple ways.

Quality dealerships have access to equipment and tools that are specifically made to maintain the vehicles they sell. Dealership service center technicians are also trained to know your vehicle inside and out. Though oil changes are fairly standard procedures, a service center can give your vehicle a full health diagnosis to see if anything else needs to be taken care of.

If you need to get your oil changed, make an appointment with our certified service center at Classic Toyota in Tyler, Texas. Our team of experienced and certified technicians can give your car the proper care and attention it needs to maintain its health and save you money in the long run.

You can set up an appointment to get your oil changes and any other maintenance task you need by calling 903-579-0237. You can find our dealership at 1717 West SW Loop 323 in Tyler, Texas.


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