Time for An Oil Change: 8 Motor Oil Myths Debunked

A&J Automotive Gets to the Truth About Motor Oil

What’s True and False About Motor Oil?

There are a lot of myths brewing about motor oil. When it’s time for an oil change, what’s true and what’s false? We asked our experts at A&J Automotive to help guide you through this murky subject.

Eight General Motor Oil Myths Debunked

Myth #1: Change your oil every 3,000 miles.

FALSE. This is an old-school way of thought. For many of today’s modern vehicles, oil change intervals should be dictated by the owner’s manual or when the check oil light comes on. Most manufacturers recommend an oil change every 5,000 – 7,500 miles.

Myth #2: If the oil on the dipstick is black, it’s time to change the oil.

FALSE. First, you get an A+ for checking your oil. Second, as the additives designed to clean your engine begin working, this can turn the oil dark. This means it’s working!

Myth #3: Your oil filter doesn’t need changing with every oil change.

FALSE. Oil filters are designed to last one oil change cycle. As the filter removes debris, its performance decreases. Change it every time.

Myth #4: Switching motor oil brands is harmful to my engine.

FALSE. If you choose an oil marked with the API service symbol of the same level, it’s not harmful. Follow the recommendations in your owner’s manual for the correct API category and viscosity.

Myth #5: Once you go synthetic, you can’t go back.

FALSE. You can switch back and forth any time. Synthetic blend oils are simply a combination of synthetic and conventional oil. At high engine temperatures, synthetic oil provides the best engine performance.

Myth #6: Bulk oil is of a different quality than bottled oil.

FALSE. It’s said that bulk oil, the oil you get at a service center, is lower quality than quarts of oil you buy. Not true. Oils that are the same brand and formula don’t change based on container size.

Myth #7: Thicker oil is better.

FALSE. This is sort of false. Thicker oil may be better for older engines. However, we always recommend sticking with the viscosity weight recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle to protect your engine. Modern vehicles require a lower viscosity, and using motor oil that’s too thick may decrease engine efficiency.

Myth #8: Additives improve engine performance.

FALSE. Take any of these claims with a grain of salt. Additives can help your engine, but they will give you more horsepower or improve your gas mileage.

Time For An Oil Change

Now that you’ve completed motor oil 101, it’s time to schedule your next oil change. One of the best ways to extend the life of your vehicle and keep your engine in tip-top shape is preventative maintenance. This includes regularly scheduled oil change service. The ASE-Certified technicians at A&J Automotive are ready to help! We service all makes and models in the Raleigh, North Carolina, and Triangle area.

Written by A & J Automotive

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