Understanding Oil Life Percentage and When You Should Get an Oil Change in Port Charlotte, FL

April 18, 2018 2:06 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

You may have a driver’s license and own a vehicle, but that doesn’t mean you know everything there is to know about how all its parts work together. Nor may you have a grasp on the various fluids that go into it. However, like most people, you likely know that motor oil plays a role in lubricating a car’s moving parts. The oil needs to be healthy and clean, so changing it on a schedule is necessary. Want to learn more about your motor oil? Read on!

The following information is to help you better understand oil life percentage and when you should get an oil change in Port Charlotte, FL.

Oil life percentage

Many modern vehicles have oil life percentage readouts, but not everyone understands them. In general, the oil life percentage represents the amount of time left before the current motor oil becomes ineffective at doing its job of protecting internal engine components. This time is calculated based on a balance of time and mileage; however, it also requires careful consideration of your driving habits, the oil and the environment the vehicle encounters.

It’s no longer all about mileage

Back in the day, car owners would follow a simple rule to find out when they needed to get an oil change. Printed in car manuals across the country was the instruction to “change the oil every 3,000 miles to 6,000 miles.” These numbers made it possible to get away with adhering to loose maintenance schedules, and truth be told, a lot of older vehicles did just fine on fewer oil changes.

The thing about today’s engine oils is that they often contain lab-made additives, chemicals and lubricants. As a result, calculating oil life percentage is no longer as simple as it used to be. You can’t simply measure how many miles you’ve gone since your last oil change. Today, there are many factors to take into account.

Factors to consider

While you do still need to consider miles traveled, there are some other factors to include, such as heat, dirt and time. The sensors in the engine helps to keep track of how hot the motor has been running and how hard it’s been driven. Other conditions include extreme driving, like racing on the track, off-roading through dry, hot areas or driving during cold winter nights. All these factors will impact your oil life percentage, since additives in the oil are depleted more quickly in extreme conditions.

Additionally, because the car’s system cannot account for dirt and dust, you need to do this on your own. Dirt and dust is fast to accumulate in your engine’s air filter, meaning some of it will end up inside the crankcase, further reducing oil life. Also, keep time in mind. Even if a vehicle does not get driven much, get the oil changed every six months to a year regardless.

Take care of your vehicle and it will continue to be a reliable form of personal transportation. Contact Ice Cold Auto Repair to learn more about oil life percentage or schedule an oil change in Port Charlotte, FL!

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