How Dirty Oil Can Impact Your Vehicle

Oil is an essential part of your Phoenix vehicle’s operation. Having dirty oil can cause major issues for your car, truck, or SUV, and failing to replace your vehicle’s oil, when its needed, can lead to wear and tear on engine parts and ultimately total engine failure. Because your vehicle’s oil is key to keeping you on the road, it’s important to know when your oil is past its prime and needs to be replaced. You can’t always just go by the miles driven. Dirty oil can impact your vehicle, so you need to stay diligent to ensure your oil is always in the best condition.

If I follow the factory maintenance schedule for my vehicle’s oil changes, do I need to worry about my oil being dirty?

We have reviewed before how often it is recommended that you have an oil change. Depending on your vehicle’s age, type of oil used, and driving conditions, oil change timing will vary. It used to be normal to change the oil every 3,000 miles, but with modern lubricants, most engines today, have recommended oil change intervals of 5,000 to 7,500 miles. If your car’s engine requires full-synthetic motor oil, it might go as far as 15,000 miles between needing an oil change.

While all of the above is true, dirty oil can still happen even if you follow the proper recommendations. No matter how routine you are about having an oil change, over time, your vehicle’s oil filter can collect dirt, debris, and filth. All that gunk can cause your engine oil to become dirty. This is normal. J.D. Power, indicates that the engine oil and oil filter need to be replaced more often than any other item on your vehicle.

How can dirty oil impact my vehicle?

Once oil becomes dirty, it’s time to change the oil and oil filter. Dirty oil can harm your vehicle by damaging engine parts, decreasing fuel efficiency, or even triggering an engine breakdown. To keep your vehicle’s engine in good condition, having clean oil is key.

Dirty oil can be more damaging than no oil at all. If your oil loses its viscosity or becomes filled with dirt, metal, and other debris, it could become aggressively corrosive, effectively causing your engine parts to wear down. Dirty oil also lowers your vehicle’s fuel economy. With dirty oil, your engine is susceptible to overheating or simply breaking down entirely. Dirty oil can cause major damage to your vehicle before you even realize there is an issue.

How do I know if my oil is dirty?

To prevent dirty oil from impacting your vehicle, you should check your oil every few weeks for signs that it is becoming soiled. A low reading on the dipstick should be topped off, but if your translucent, golden-hued lubricant, now looks sooty and opaque, it is likely time to change it, as it is dirty. You may also notice a decrease in fuel economy, as your old oil thickens, losing viscosity and some of its ability to lubricate.

Pay attention to your engine’s temperature. As the efficiency of your oil fades, your engine can generate more heat, so it will run a bit hotter. Also, listen for new sounds coming from your vehicle. If you notice ticking sounds or other noises that sound like metal hitting metal, your vehicle could be trying to tell you that your oil is unclean and needs changed.

When it comes to your Phoenix vehicle, keeping it and you on the road is important. Dirty oil can impact your vehicle; however, it is a component of your vehicle’s maintenance that you can stay on top of, to avoid issues. While how often you should have an oil change depends on your driving habits and vehicle, oil changes and having clean oil, are key to having a functioning vehicle and avoiding engine failure.

Advanced Transmissions & Emissions, is the leader in auto repair and service in Phoenix, AZ. Our team of auto technicians are Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)-certified, so you can feel confident that you’re getting the best service for your vehicle. As a Phoenix locally-owned and operated auto repair shop, we make it our priority to ensure to treat our customers with the respect they deserve.

Your car, truck, or SUV’s engine is a complex arrangement of parts and components. When smoke billows from the hood or you hear unusual noises, you require a professional mechanic who can find and fix the problem. We offer solutions at great rates.

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