Check the owner’s manual to see if your driving habits are considered to be “severe service.” This type of driving requires more frequent oil changes, warns the Car Care Council. Have the oil changed accordingly, usually every 3-5,000 miles. For less wear and tear on the engine, drivers in cold climates (sub-zero driving temperatures) should drop their oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30.
The typical oil filter consists of a high-strength steel housing containing various types of filtering media. An anti-drainback valve prevents oil from running out of the filter when the engine is off. Today’s oil filters have a convenient spin-on design that makes removal and installation easy.
The oil filter sifts out contaminants, allowing the oil to flow through the engine unrestricted. Should the oil filter become restricted or clogged with contaminants, they will flow around the filter. This bypassing is a safety mechanism, but you never want to let oil and filter changes go so long that bypassing takes place.
For best results, consult your owner’s manual, but consider that your driving probably constitutes a severe maintenance schedule. Usually, this means oil and filter changes every 3,000 miles or 3 months.
An oil change at our shop: Sounds simple, but there some pretty important things to know about preventing oil sludge.
Oil eventually starts to turn into jelly. Literally petroleum jelly. Sludge clogs up oil passages and keeps oil from getting to some areas of the engine, causing parts to wear out prematurely. And that means expensive engine repairs.
That is why you need to change the oil and oil filter on schedule to get the old oil out before it turns to sludge. Your manufacturer will have a recommendation for how many miles you can go between oil changes. They also usually have a number of months between recommended oil changes. That is because the detergents and other additives in the oil break down over time.
Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation for time and mileage, but you need to remember that it is based on using the recommended weight of oil. And if your vehicle came from the factory with synthetic oil, the recommended intervals assume you continue to use synthetic.
Also how you drive around the Shorewood, Plainfield, Crest Hill and other communities around Joliet can have a big effect. Most owner’s manuals will have a list of driving conditions that are harder on your vehicle. Things like stop and go driving in Joliet or Rockdale, short trips to Plattville or Plainfield, driving in very hot or very cold weather, heavy loads and towing. If some of your driving fits this, you may need to change your oil and do other maintenance on a shorter schedule.
This may sound complicated. Some vehicles in Will County have an oil life calculator that takes all of these factors into account and tells you when you should change your oil. Otherwise, talk with your Doc Motor Works service advisor about how you drive and get their recommendation for when to take care of your service.
Finally, if any of the steering or suspension parts can be lubed, your technician at Doc Motor Works will take care of that with a lube, oil and filter service.