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The Consequences of Neglecting Your Car's Oil
17 Jun, 2024

The Consequences of Neglecting Your Car's Oil

If you own a vehicle with an internal combustion engine (ICE), you’re probably familiar with the dreaded oil change chore. It’s one of those tasks that always seems to come up at the most inconvenient times. But while it may feel like a hassle, changing your oil regularly is crucial for the health and longevity of your engine.

Neglecting this simple maintenance task can lead to a host of problems, from decreased performance to catastrophic engine failure. In this brief article brought to you by Wrights Car Care, we dive into why oil changes are so important and what can happen if you let them slide.

What does engine oil do, anyway?

First, let’s understand the role of engine oil. Engine oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle’s engine and it serves several critical functions:

  • Lubrication: Reduces friction between the moving parts of the engine, preventing wear and tear.
  • Cooling: Helps dissipate heat generated by the engine, preventing overheating.
  • Cleaning: Picks up debris and contaminants, keeping the engine clean and efficient.
  • Sealing: Forms a seal between piston rings and cylinder walls, ensuring optimal compression and performance.
  • Protection: Prevents corrosion and rust by coating engine components.

The dangers of neglecting oil changes

Understanding the role of engine oil may help you grasp the importance of oil changes, but let’s look at the consequences of neglecting oil changes.

First, let’s talk about friction. Without fresh oil, the lubricating properties degrade. This means more friction between moving parts, leading to increased wear and tear. Over time, this can cause critical components to wear out prematurely, meaning expensive repairs or even an engine replacement.

As for overheating, old oil loses its ability to properly dissipate heat. This can cause the engine to overheat and result in warped components and damaged seals. Severe overheating can lead to a blown head gasket or a cracked engine block, both of which are costly to repair.

Then there’s sludge buildup. As oil ages, it becomes contaminated with dirt, debris, and combustion byproducts. This can lead to sludge formation. Sludge can clog oil passages, restrict oil flow, and cause the engine to run inefficiently or even seize up. You may notice reduced fuel efficiency, sluggish acceleration, and an overall drop in power.

Finally, there’s the ultimate repercussion: an engine seizure. This happens when the moving parts grind to a halt due to a lack of lubrication. An engine seizure is often irreparable, meaning you could be looking at a total engine replacement.

How often should you change your oil?

The frequency of oil changes depends on your vehicle and driving habits. A general rule of thumb used to be to visit your mechanic every 3,000 miles, but with advancements in engine and oil technology, many manufacturers now recommend 5,000 to 7,500 miles between changes.

If you are looking for a reputable auto repair shop with uniformed professionals, then consider Wrights Car Care. We are a time-tested establishment with a commitment to delivering affordable and reliable auto repair service.


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My experience with Wrights Car Care was probably the best car repair experience I could ask for. The last thing that you want to worry about while putting yourself through college is whether or not you can trust the people working on your car.  Wrights Car Care was very honest about exactly what the problems were with my vehicle and which issues needed to be addressed immediately and which ones could wait.  I have had no issues with any of the repairs I have had. They really have the customer's best interest in mind and it shows!

Susan Knippenberg

have been going to Wright's for numerous years and David has always been honest and helpful and concerned about each customer and their circumstances.  They always give detailed reports about what needs to be fixed and even a time frame if it can wait a while or needs immediate attention.  I really appreciate that personal attention.

Marcia Werner

This place is absolute gold. We moved to the neighborhood 3 years ago, and they have been our go-to car place for every issue, large or small, ever since. It's like bringing my car to a trusted and knowledgeable family member. They have done everything from major repairs to minor tune-ups for us, and we have never been dissatisfied. Twice I have brought my car not sure what was going on, and it turned out to be a small enough issue that they fixed it on the spot for no charge! Honest, competent, quick, fair, and kind. You can't do better.

Amy Robertson

Wrights car care rocks!! I had a car issue with a quick timeline to get back to college. David got me in and out quickly, with the part I needed, and didn't try to sell me something I didn't. You cannot beat the kindness and service I experienced!! We have gone to Wrights Car Care before, and this is why we keep going back. THANK YOU!!

Charlotte Matthews