Give Your Car the Oil Service It Deserves

January 19th, 2024 by

A technician checks the oil level after performing a oil change near Monroe.

After you’ve taken the time to research different vehicles, explore models available to you, go for test drives, and find the perfect car, truck, or SUV, the last thing you want to do is not take proper care of it. We know that car service and maintenance isn’t the most exciting thing, but it’s essential for ensuring you get the most from your car and that it treats you right for as long as possible—so before you get your next oil change near Monroe, it’s a good idea to make sure the shop you choose uses the right parts for your vehicle, which includes oil and oil filters.

You might not believe how often we’re asked whether factory oil and oil filters really matter for the upkeep of a vehicle. The short answer is that it’s always a good idea to pick original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts for your vehicle, including the fluids and frequently replaced parts like your oil filter. We’ll admit that these parts can sometimes cost a little more than some cheap aftermarket options out there, but there’s a good reason for that, as they’re made to the high standards set by the manufacturer. Let’s explore why that extra peace of mind is well worth a few more dollars spent on keeping your vehicle in great shape…

What Are OEM Parts?

OEM parts (also referred to as factory parts or equipment) are essentially the same parts used in manufacturing your vehicle at the factory. They occasionally might be slightly different from the exact parts used to build your car, but they’re always parts that have been approved by the manufacturer to perfectly match their designs and specifications. A car company like Chevy doesn’t make every single part used in their vehicles from scratch, as that would require tremendous resources and make building cars take much longer; rather, they focus on the big stuff—like the engine and other components—and then use parts made by manufacturers that specialize in them.

Sometimes, they even use parts from companies that make high-quality components for better performance. For example, you can find high-performance Brembo brakes on models like the Chevy Corvette, and you can find Fox Shox suspension and shock absorber components on many off-road vehicles. These are technically aftermarket companies, but since manufacturers can design their vehicles to utilize these components from the start, they can also be considered OEM parts in these situations. The point is that OEM parts are specifically designated by the people who made your vehicle and are guaranteed to work perfectly with it.

A mechanic is pouring oil into a funnel for an oil change.

How Necessary Is Factory Oil?

You can easily see why something like the brakes or suspension on your vehicle needs to be replaced with OEM parts to ensure compatibility. These are precision components, after all, and they tend to take a lot of abuse while you drive. You wouldn’t want to throw cheap brakes into your vehicle and hope they have the power to safely bring you to a stop—and you should have the same mindset about your oil.

There was a time, not too terribly long ago, when the only detail folks had to worry about with oil was making sure they used the right viscosity for their vehicle, like 5W-20. Over the last two decades or so, however, what’s happened is that engines and motor oil have been racing each other toward improvement.

The oil you find in your engine today has been exhaustively formulated and engineered for the best performance possible. As motor oil has improved, manufacturers have made their engines more precise and powerful to take advantage of those changes, so the oil has become even better to make sure it can properly lubricate these turbocharged and advanced engines, which means manufacturers can then make their engines even more powerful and precise—and so on, and so on.

The result of this arms race is that modern engines run with incredibly precise tolerances, and they produce heat that is powerfully destructive without the right oil to lubricate them. This is why you now see manufacturers recommend very specific brands (typically with their seal of approval on them) for their vehicles. OEM or factory motor oil has been thoroughly tested to meet the intense needs of the powerful engines being built these days, so you absolutely want to use the right oil.

It’s tempting to go with a cheaper option. Everything seems to cost more these days, and we all look for ways to cut corners when we can—but the parts used in your vehicle are not the place to do it. It’s worth spending a few dollars more at your oil change to get the right oil that will keep your engine running beautifully rather than needing to replace your engine (or your vehicle) after something catastrophic happens.

Do I Need a Factory Oil Filter?

In much the same way that motor oil has become more complex and greatly improved over the last couple of decades, oil filters have also been upgraded. As your engine oil does its thing, it naturally gets dirty over time through use, which includes a buildup of particulates and other things that negatively impact how well it works and lubricates the parts of your engine. Your oil filter is there to help keep the oil as clean as possible, so that it lasts longer at high efficiency, keeping you from needing more frequent oil changes or having engine issues.

Good oil filters should last between oil changes, based on your vehicle’s manufacturer-recommended schedule, and should keep your oil as clean as possible. Not only do they need to be of the proper thickness and designed at a near-microscopic level to catch dirt while letting the oil through (to avoid pressure buildup), but they also need to form a tight seal when installed properly to prevent oil leaks. A lot of precise engineering goes into these, so it’s worth it to make sure you choose an oil filter that will perfectly fit your car and keep your engine oil in great shape.

The easiest way to do this is with a high-quality OEM or factory oil filter that you know has been chosen by your vehicle’s manufacturer for your car. This way, there are no doubts or concerns—no worries or issues down the road—and you know that your vehicle’s powertrain warranty is intact. While choosing oil or an oil filter that isn’t an OEM product doesn’t necessarily void your warranty, if it’s found that the filter or oil you picked caused an engine problem, then your warranty probably won’t cover it. That is not what you want.

A blue 2024 Chevy Trailblazer is shown driving.

Ensure Your Car Is Great for Driving in Monroe

At the end of the day, our philosophy on this is pretty simple: you get out of your vehicle whatever you put into it. If you put high-quality parts and fluids into your ride (including OEM motor oil and oil filters), then it will provide you with high-quality performance and a great driving experience each day.

Protecting your warranty coverage is important, of course, but it’s ultimately only part of the equation. Your vehicle deserves the best, and so do you; choosing the proper factory parts that your car, truck, or SUV was built to use is the easiest way to ensure it runs great and lasts you a long time.

We should also note that not every oil change shop or dealership will use proper factory parts or oil, so make sure you find out what will be used in your car and choose a dealer that will treat your vehicle as well as it deserves.