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Changing the oil in your vehicle is something every responsible car owner must understand if they wish for a long and healthy life for their partner of the road. Sadly, very few drivers genuinely comprehend what getting an oil change regularly even means. If you asked a handful of drivers, you would discover many are not entirely confident in when an oil change should take place, how to get it done, or even why they do it.
At McCluskey Chevy dealership we pride ourselves on not only providing our loyal customers with the most dependable and affordable vehicles near Cincinnati and beyond but also on providing them with the knowledge to make their purchases live healthy long into the future. This is why we want to answer all the basic questions on how to handle getting a proper oil change in Cincinnati , and why it is so important that you do.
The most straightforward answer to this question is to just read the manual for your vehicle. Every car has one, and if you did not receive it upon purchase you could easily find a copy online as long as you know the year, model, and trim of your vehicle. That being said there are other ways to know when to change your oil.
Checking your oil levels is a way you can personally be assured you know the right time for a change. There is also a common saying that every 3,000 miles is the standard, but that depends on the environment, and since Cincinnati is often fairly light on extreme conditions, 5,000 miles is often a sufficient average.
There are also times when oil changes will need to be more frequent. If you have to drive for more than five miles in either freezing or humid temperatures, are often stuck in traffic, towing consistently, or handling rough terrain, you will have to get your oil changed more frequently. For example, instead of the recommended 5,000 miles per change, it will be 3,000 miles.
At least once a month, you should check the level of your engine’s oil in order to make sure you have enough in it between visits to get your oil changed. This is simple but important maintenance that only takes a few minutes. First, have a piece of paper towel handy, and then open the hood of your vehicle and find the dipstick for your engine’s oil.
Pull this stick out from the engine and wipe it off with the paper towel, then reinsert it and pull it out again—this will give you an accurate reading of current oil levels. There will be two marks on the stick and the oil level should fall between them. If you are low on oil, then add some more—of the same type you already have in it—to get it between those two marks. Pay attention to how often you are low on oil—if it is a routine occurrence, then you probably have a leak and should get that repaired right away.
There are a lot of different places you can take your vehicle to in order to get an oil change in Cincinnati but they are not all equal in quality. If you have experience and the right gear for it, you can always change your oil yourself. This can take some time and often creates a mess, which is why a lot of people prefer to have a professional mechanic or service technician take care of an oil change and make sure it gets done properly.
There are some businesses that specialize in providing oil changes, usually national chains of service centers or local garages. An oil change is pretty simple, all things considered, so these businesses provide quick service at a reasonable price. Of course, since they are generalized, they do not always know much about specific vehicles—so if you have questions about when to get your oil changed again or what oil to use, they might not be able to give you an informed answer.
One of the simplest and best options for getting your oil changed is to take it to your local dealership and have it serviced. Since dealerships focus on only certain manufacturers and types of vehicles, the mechanics there are typically specialists in those brands and know exactly how to handle them properly. In some situations you may need to take your vehicle back to the dealership for service or an oil change, usually stipulated as part of a lease agreement, so keep that in mind before taking your car anywhere else.
The first thing that you must know is that engine oil, which is what we are mostly referring to here when addressing regular oil changes, is not the only part that receives oil. Transmission and gears are examples of other parts that will also use a type of oil that is different from engine oil.
The SAE or Society of Automotive Engineers has defined all oils with a numerical and letter system to display what is appropriate for your vehicle. The number is to show the thickness, while the letter W standard for winter which is a mention of how well the oil performers in cold temperatures. You will see this on the label of every bottle of engine oil.
There is also an API, American Petroleum Institute, a classification which is mostly dependent on the year your vehicle was built. API SA is first and is used for vehicles built in 1920, since then it has been going in order from API SB, API SC and so on. Basically the later the year, the farther down the alphabet it will go, and this will tell you if your oil is in the right category for your vehicle.
Finally, there are OEM’s, original equipment manufacturer's, specifications which you mostly won’t need to be bothered with, but there are a very select few vehicles will require the use of a lubricant that meets OEM standards.
Some people may not be aware of this, but there are many different types of oil and oil brands as well. Here are a few of the basics ones.
First, there is your conventional oil which is the one that is used in bulk at almost all of your dealerships, especially in large cities like Cincinnati. If you are the type that is determined to follow your manual to the exact date and time of your oil change, then this one will work the best in terms of reliability and affordability.
The second option is premium conventional oil which works wonders if you just bought a brand new vehicle and wish to keep it in pristine condition or if you are just really cautious about your oil quality.
Third, there is full-synthetic oil made for the more high-tech engines which must pass even more tests before being able to get that title. The performance is better and lasts longer no matter what the conditions are, but the price is much higher to reflect that. Generally, if your car doesn’t need it, you shouldn’t take the extra hit to your wallet by using it.
Fourth is a synthetic-blend oil which combines regular and synthetic oil to increase the overall protection of your engine. It only costs a bit more than premium and is very popular with those who drive heavier vehicles.
Last but not least is high-mileage oil, which just as the name states help increase the overall mileage you can get out of your vehicle.
If you are interested in or considering synthetic oil for your vehicle, then you should know a little more about it than simply that it is more expensive but better for your vehicle. Before you get your next oil change in Cincinnati, it is worth taking a little time to look at the benefits of synthetic oil and decide if it is right for you. It may seem like a small thing, but the impact that such oil can have on your engine is pretty huge.
For the most part, synthetic motor oil starts off much the same as other engine oil, as crude oil taken from the ground. It is filtered and purified into mineral oil just like other engine oil, but then it is taken even further. It is refined to a much greater degree than other motor oil and is actually altered at a molecular level to be far more effective than conventional oil.
Oil, after all, is there to make sure all the moving parts in your engine keep doing their jobs and are not damaged in the process. All of these moving elements generate heat and rub against each other—without proper oil, they would damage each other and heat build-up could create even bigger problems. Synthetic oil is designed by scientists to do this job much better and to run cleaner through your engine than conventional oil. Some synthetic oil is actually made entirely in a lab, rather than through extreme refinement, and is designed to be incredibly effective.
But the benefits do not end with running smoothly—synthetic oil actually reduces the amount of build-up and gunk in your engine. Even if you have been running conventional oil in your engine for years, switching to synthetic oil can help clean out residue left behind by your old oil. Better yet, there is absolutely no downside to switching to synthetic oil—you can go from conventional oil to synthetic, and even switch back to conventional the next time you get your oil changed—just do not combine them or use one to refill the other.
The only actual drawback to using synthetic oil is that it costs more than conventional oil. Pure synthetic oil that is made in a lab can be very expensive, which can make a routine oil change a much bigger investment than you might be planning on. Fortunately, since you can switch back and forth between them, you can use synthetic for a while to help clean out your engine, then go back to conventional instead of choosing synthetic every time. If nothing else, changing from conventional to a synthetic blend is a good way to get a lot of the positive effects of synthetic oil without spending quite as much on an oil change in Cincinnati.
On average, changing your oil with a dealership will cost $40 in the United States with $15 being the cheapest. If you are getting a filter change as well, that may cost up to $10 more. Of course, if you choose synthetic oil, then the price can be somewhat higher, especially if you go with the highest quality pure synthetic, but the benefits to your vehicle are well worth it.
If you are just looking to get a quick oil change in Cincinnati, then you probably want to get in, have your vehicle serviced, and get back on the road. When you have the time, however, it is often a good idea to have some other work done on your vehicle while you get your oil changed. Most professionals will get your vehicle up on a lift in order to drain the oil from the engine since this makes it easy to access the underside of the engine. While they have it up there, you can ask them to do a few other simple things that can keep your vehicle running smoothly.
One of the most common additional services to consider is a lube job or lube service to other parts of your vehicle. Just like your engine needs motor oil to keep running smoothly, other parts of your vehicle also need lubrication to avoid damage or malfunction. A lube job includes checking for and replacing oil and grease in other areas where it is needed, such as the tires and related systems.
You can also ask your service person about checking your vehicle’s alignment while it is raised up on a lift. This is usually very quick and simple for them to do—they might not even bother charging you for it in some cases. Something so easy can go a long way, however, in making sure your vehicle feels great on the road and handles safely for you.
Having your oil changed as part of a larger service visit is also a good idea if it is going to soon be time to do it anyways. While you do not want to waste money having your oil changed 8 months in advance, if you are already having work done on your vehicle, then consider asking them to also change the oil. At McCluskey Chevy we are always happy to make sure your car is running smoothly—so no matter what reason you have to bring your vehicle in for service, we are here to change the oil or perform any other tasks you might need done.
If you do not change your oil within the recommended mileage range then basically your vehicle's engine will start to have its fair share of unwanted problems. There are two main things that happen when your engine does not have oil, one is that it gets too hot, and the second is that it gets too dirty. Neither of these is exactly an engines favorite condition so it will quickly damage the engine, forcing you to eat a whole lot of repair costs instead of the simple small fee to change the oil regularly.