What Happens if You Go Too Long without an Oil Change?
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Consequences of Putting Off an Oil Change for Too Long

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The oil in your car is meant to lubricate the working parts of the engine and absorb heat. While taking your vehicle in for an oil change can sometimes feel inconvenient, it’s critical to have this simple maintenance procedure done to keep the engine in top condition.

The recommended frequency for oil changes for your car will vary based upon factors such as its year, make, and model. However, most cars need an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Cars that run on synthetic oil may be able to go longer, but it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Allowing your car to go too long between oil changes can lead to the following problems.

Failing to Maintain Your Car’s Warranty

One of the perks of buying a new car is having the opportunity to receive a warranty on the vehicle that serves as protection if something goes wrong. While most warranties cover faulty parts and manufacturing defects, they typically come with a few stipulations to make sure premature failure doesn’t occur due to negligence. Making sure to get regular oil changes and keeping records of them can protect you from voiding the warranty.

Warping Engine Components

Without the heat absorption and lubrication oil provides, the engine parts will be forced to move against each other. The constant grinding and friction generates heat that will eventually lead to warping parts. Keep in mind this process can occur in as little time as it takes you to drive a short distance around town, especially if your car has run out of oil or is in extremely poor condition. This could cause vehicle breakdowns and accidents, which could in turn lead to an increase in your auto insurance premiums.

Running an Inefficient Engine

Oil serves many purposes in a vehicle, and the fluid that runs through your engine also keeps it clean. During an oil change, mechanics also change the filter that removes debris and dirt. If the oil filter isn’t changed, it will no longer do its job, which can lead to a sluggish engine.

Blowing the Head Gasket

The head gasket is designed to form a seal between the cylinder head and engine block that stops fluid leaks along with pressure losses. If the head gasket overheats, it can also warp and break. Replacing a head gasket is one of the most expensive types of repairs for a vehicle. Depending on the age and history of your vehicle, a blown head gasket might mean buying a new vehicle instead of fixing your current one.

Causing Complete Engine Failure

Engine lockups occur when the oil levels become too low or filled with sludge to help the engine run properly. A seized engine typically needs replacement, which will require a significant amount of money and time. Considering an oil change is usually finished within less than an hour, staying on top of this routine maintenance procedure can save you many headaches down the road. Plus, you’ll be able to avoid unexpected breakdowns that place your health and vehicle in jeopardy.

In addition to getting your oil changed regularly, having adequate auto insurance is essential to protect yourself and your investment. For affordable, reliable car insurance, trust the professionals at Altra Insurance Services. In addition to auto insurance, we offer a wide range of insurance coverage, including business, homeowners, and motorcycle insurance. San Diego residents should give us a call today to learn how our commitment to personal service sets us apart from other insurance providers.

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