If you’re not a mechanic or aren’t too in the ‘know’ about cars, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not too sure about what you need to do to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape.
Of course, just about all of us know the rules for refilling windscreen wiper fluid, changing our tires when they start to get a little too bald or keeping a close eye on all of those somewhat confusing lights on the dashboard. However, when it comes to oil and what happens if you don’t change it, there’s a pretty high likelihood you’re not too sure.
In this article, we’ll have a look over what vehicles need with regards to oil, why you should always make sure that you keep the oil changed and how often to do this.
What Does Engine Oil Do
To know what will happen if you don’t change your oil, we first have to have a look into what this motor oil or engine oil actually does for your car.
As the team at Enji Australia succinctly describes it, the motor oil in your truck, car or motorbike essentially keeps all of the moving parts running smoothly and well-lubricated. This oil is what your engine will rely on to keep all of the mechanics within it to operate smoothly and not jam or become stuck together.
On top of this, the engine oil in your car actually helps with one other critical process too, and that’s removing heat.
Because engine oil is a relatively thick substance, especially when compared to water and radiator fluid, it does an excellent job at absorbing and holding heat and moving it away from sensitive machinery in your car.
This in mind, when your oil makes its way around your vehicle, it’s effectively keeping all of the temperatures within the car as stable as possible. That said, this reduces your chances of seeing overheating issues and damages to the motor, gearbox and other elements — where you would see cracking or splitting in the metal if temperatures weren’t kept stabilised.
Why It’s Important To Change Oil
We use the word ‘important’ though, in fact, you have to change your oil on a routine basis even if you don’t want to; otherwise, you’ll be left with your car stuck in the driveway — not an ideal situation before a morning commute.
When it comes to changing your oil and why you need to do this, the answer is quite simple: the oil in your car will slowly be collecting dirt and other contaminants and debris from the road and your vehicle over time.
With all of these little pieces of dust and grime, your oil becomes less effective at flowing through your vehicles and loses its ability to hold on to and disperse heat properly.
That said, it’s essential to change your motor oil to keep the oil running through your car effectively and to minimise your chances of seeing the vehicle overheating, whether it be inside the motor, the gearbox or anywhere else.
Here’s What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Oil
For those of our readers who are considering skipping that oil change, we have some rather bleak news for you.
To keep things as simple as possible, a skipped oil change will result in your vehicle’s engine becoming very problematic.
Of course, you’re going to dealing with the heat issue that we mentioned above, but there’s also the problem of pressure changes due to the debris blocking the free-flowing of the motor oil and much more.
Increased Fuel Consumption
As you’ll already know, a vehicle is made up of a tonne of different moving parts, all of which work together to provide optimal performance. In fact, a good portion of a car’s moving mechanics are focused on efficiency and reducing fuel burn.
When you skip an oil change, your engine is more prone to efficiency issues, and you’re going to see it working harder to offer the same result — before it eventually fails, or there’s the risk of it burning out entirely.
Simply, each time you skip an oil change, your car will want to burn more fuel and run hotter.
Warping And Wearing Out Of Components
On top of fuel burn, you’ll also be causing damage to your car’s moving components.
In a similar way to the joints in the body, the connected components in your car routinely rub together to keep your vehicle moving. With reduced lubrication or dirty oil, you’re going to see these joints and components wear out quite quickly.
With less oil, there’s going to be more contact between the internal engine and gearbox modules, and you’ll see these parts simply rubbing away at one another until they either warp, crack or no longer work at all.
Total Engine Failure
After prolonging your oil change for an extended period of time, your motor will essentially stop working altogether.
In some modern vehicles, you will notice that the onboard computer will flash a few warnings and will eventually cut the engine automatically to prevent costly damage. However, not all cars and trucks have this feature, so you may see your vehicle just become less efficient and shut off altogether.
One of the only ways to go about rectifying this is to buy an entirely new engine. Which, as you may know, is incredibly expensive. If this isn’t worth the cost, you’ll need to invest in an entirely new vehicle if you don’t change your oil.
Oil Changes Are Effortless
With all of those points about not changing your oil out of the way, it’s good to note that changing your oil is incredibly affordable, and you can even do this on your own.
All you’ll need to do is make a booking at a mechanic for an oil change and they’ll have this done for you in quite literally just a few minutes. It’s low-cost and not very time-consuming and you’re going to be far better off changing your oil on a routine basis than dealing with an overheating vehicle or having to buy a whole new engine.