oil change at your local Northfield, Nordonia, or Macedonia OH auto shop: Sounds
simple, but there’s 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’s 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’s
because the detergents and other additives in the oil break down
Your owner’s manual will have a
recommendation for time and mileage, but you need to remember
that it’s 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 Northfield,
Nordonia, or Macedonia OH
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 Northfield, short trips to
Macedonia, 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 Northeast OH 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 Northfield,
Nordonia, or Macedonia Ohio service
advisor at Nordonia Tire and Service about how you drive and get
her recommendation for when to take care of your service.
Finally, if any of the steering or
suspension parts can be lubed, your technician at Nordonia Tire
and Service will take care of that with a
lube, oil and filter service.
Most vehicle manufacturers recommend changing the oil once a
year or every 7,500 miles in passenger car and light truck
gasoline engines. For diesel engines and turbocharged gasoline
engines, the usual recommendation is every 3,000 miles or six
If you read the fine print, however, you’ll discover that the
once a year, 7,500 mile oil change is for vehicles that are
driven under ideal circumstances. What most of the Northeast
Ohio drivers of Northfield, Nordonia, Macedonia and
surrounding Cleveland suburbs think of as “normal” driving is
actually “severe service” driving. This includes frequent
short trips (less than 10 miles, especially during cold
weather), stop-and-go city traffic driving, driving in dusty
conditions (gravel roads, etc.), and driving at sustained
highway speeds during hot weather. For this type of driving,
which is actually “severe service: driving, the recommendation
is to change the oil every 3,000 miles or six months.
For maximum protection, most oil companies say to change the
oil every 3,000 miles or three to six months regardless of
what type of driving you do.
A new engine with little or no wear can probably get by on
7,500 mile oil changes. But as an engine accumulates miles,
blow by increases. This dumps more unburned fuel into the
crankcase which dilutes the oil. This causes the oil to break
down. So if the oil isn’t changed often enough, you can end up
with accelerated wear and all the engine problems that come
with it (loss of performance and fuel economy, and increased
emissions and oil consumption).
Oil Analysis in Macedonia, OH
Truck fleets often monitor the condition of the oil in their
vehicles by having samples analyzed periodically. Oil samples
are sent to a laboratory that then analyzes the oil’s
viscosity and acid content. Oil is then burned in a device
called a spectrometer that reveals various impurities in the
oil. From all of this, a detailed report is generated that
reveals the true condition of the oil.
Oil analysis is a great idea for fleets and trucks that hold a
lot of oil. But most Northfield, Nordonia
or Macedonia consumers would have a hard time
justifying the cost. Having an oil sample analyzed typically
costs $12 to $20 for the lab work and report. Most quick lube
shops charge $16.95 to $19.95 for an oil change. So why spend
your money on a report that will probably tell you your oil
needs changing? Just change the oil every 3,000 miles and
don’t worry about it.
Regular oil changes for preventative maintenance are cheap
insurance against engine wear, and will always save you money
in the long run if you keep a car for more than three or four
years. It’s very uncommon to see an engine that has been well
maintained with regular oil changes develop major bearing,
ring, cam or valve problems under 100,000 miles.
Oil Filters in Northfield, OH
To reduce the costs of vehicle ownership and maintenance, many
car makers say the oil filter only needs to be replaced at
every other oil change. Most mechanics will tell you this is
The oil filters on most engines today have been downsized to
save weight, cost and space. The “standard” quart-sized filter
that was once common on most engines has been replaced by a
pint-sized (or smaller) filter. You don’t have to be a rocket
scientist to figure out that a smaller filter has less total
filtering capacity. Even so, the little filters should be
adequate for a 3,000 mile oil change intervals — but may run
out of capacity long before a second oil change at 6,000 or
Replacing the oil filter every time the oil is changed,
therefore, is highly recommended.
An engine’s main line of defense against abrasion and the
premature wear it causes is the oil filter. The filter’s job
is to remove solid contaminants such as dirt, carbon and metal
particles from the oil before they can damage bearing, journal
and cylinder wall surfaces in the engine. The more dirt and
other contaminants the filter can trap and hold, the better.
In today’s engines, all the oil that’s picked up by the oil
pump is routed through the filter before it goes to the
crankshaft bearings, cam bearings and valve train. This is
called “full-flow” filtration. It’s an efficient way of
removing contaminants, and it assures only filtered oil is
supplied to the engine. In time, though, accumulated dirt and
debris trapped by the filter begin to obstruct the flow of
oil. The filter should be changed before it reaches this
point, which is why the filter needs to be replaced when the
oil is changed.
If you wait too long to change the filter, there’s a danger
that it might become plugged. To prevent this from causing a
catastrophic engine failure due to loss of lubrication, oil
filters have a built-in safety device called a “bypass valve.”
When the pressure drop across the filter exceeds a
predetermined value (which varies depending on the engine
application), the bypass valve opens so oil can continue to
flow to the engine. But this allows unfiltered oil to enter
the engine. Any contaminants that find their way into the
crankcase will be pumped through the engine and accelerate
Oil Filter Replacement in Nordonia, OH
If you do your own oil changes, make sure you get the correct
filter for your engine. Follow the filter manufacturer’s
listings in its catalog. Many filters that look the same on
the outside have different internal valving. Many overhead cam
engines, for example, require an “anti-drainback” valve in the
filter to prevent oil from draining out of the filter when the
engine is shut off. This allows oil pressure to reach critical
engine parts more quickly when the engine is restarted.
Filters that are mounted sideways on the engine typically
require an anti-drainback valve.
CAUTION: The threads on a spin-on filter must also be the
correct diameter and thread pitch (SAE or metric) for your
engine. If you install a filter with SAE threads on an engine
that requires metric threads (or vice versa), you can damage
the threads that hold the oil filter in place. Mismatched
threads can also allow the filter to work loose, which causes
a sudden loss of oil pressure that may ruin your engine!
Some people say it’s best to change the oil when the oil is
hot (like right after driving), while others say it makes no
difference. CAUTION: Hot oil is thinner and runs out faster
but can also burn you if you’re not careful. In any event,
avoid unnecessary skin contact with oil because oil is a
suspected carcinogen (causes cancer).
Changing the oil when it is cold may take a bit longer because
the oil will drain more slowly from the engine, but there’s no
danger of being burned. Also, most of the oil will have
drained down into the oil pan when the engine has sat for a
period of time, which means you’ll actually get a little more
of the old oil out of the engine than if you attempt to drain
it while it is still hot.
Used motor oil should be disposed of properly. The
Environmental Protection Agency does not consider used motor
oil to be a hazardous chemical, but it can foul ground water
and does contain traces of lead. The best way to dispose of
used motor oil is to take it to a service station, quick lube
shop, parts store or other facility for recycling. Your old
oil will either be refined into other lubricants or petroleum
products, or burned as fuel.
Do not dump used motor oil on the ground, down a drain, into a
storm sewer or place it in the trash. Many landfills will not
accept used motor oil even if it is in a sealed container
because it will eventually leak out into the ground. If you
can’t find an environmentally-acceptable way to dispose of the
stuff, maybe you shouldn’t be changing your own oil. Service
facilities that do oil changes all have storage tanks and
recycling programs to dispose of used oil.