How Do I Know if I Need an Oil Change?

As parts of a properly working engine go, motor oil is one of the most important. It works together with an engine oil filter to lubricate moving parts. Over time, however, as part of normal engine operation, it collects chemical byproducts. Therefore, engine oil requires a regular flush and refill to do everything from minimize wear and optimize piston ring seals to dissipate heat and, overall, keep your engine going strong.

How often is "regularly?" That depends on your driving habits, conditions both on the road and off, any towing you do, and so on. Just about any vehicle calls for an oil change every 3 months or 3,000 miles or, in many newer models, every 5,000 or 7,000 miles. That can make it hard to tell when you need one, let alone what exactly to do. Luckily, our Honda service experts have made figuring that out a lot easier. Take a look at our convenient "oil change FAQ!"

What is an Oil Change?

The process is simple. You "flush" or drain your old, contaminated oil, then fill it back up with the fresh stuff. That ensures your engine has the lube it needs to perform reliably on the roads and highways of El Cajon, National City, and elsewhere. You may have to replace your oil filter, too, if it's choked with pollutants.

How Do I know if I Need My Oil Changed?

There are several indicators:

  • It'll change color from light brown/yellow to black and accumulate detritus
  • The noise your engine makes will increase dramatically; this is caused by metal friction, which already suggests decreased lubrication
  • You may have a low oil level, demonstrated by a light activating on your dash
  • Your Check Engine light may come on -- check your oil levels using a dipstick; If they're okay, get an inspection for an oil leak, especially if you've already seen patches or slicks left behind where you've parked

What Happens if I Don't Change My Oil?

Debris will build up in and clog your filter, your oil will thicken, its lubricating abilities will diminish significantly, and the result will be increased engine wear and tear.

What Kind of Oil Does My Vehicle Need?

That depends on the vehicle. Options range widely, from conventional and synthetic-blend to full synthetic and high-mileage.

  • Conventional engine oil, on the one hand, is fine for the everyday, if you're doing light-duty driving in mild climates.
  • Full synthetic oil, on the other hand, is higher-viscosity and resistant to oxidation, meaning it's the correct choice for, say, performance vehicles and heavy-duty vehicles as well as driving in extreme climates.
  • A synthetic blend offers both the dependability of conventional oil and optimal viscosity.
  • Finally, high-mileage motor oil is the way to go if you're driving a car, truck, or SUV with many years and miles under its belt. It's also what you need if you're looking for leakage protection and planning to continue driving for many more miles to come.

To determine which you need, be sure to consult your owner's manual.

Of course, if you've got further questions, feel free to get in touch with our service department. We'll be glad to talk shop if you're looking to service your engine with us, and you can take advantage of special offers on a variety of maintenance and repairs, including oil changes. Moreover, if you're just planning a DIY oil change and looking for the right mix, we're sure to have what you need via our on-site parts center.

Where Can I Get an Oil Change in the San Diego Area?

Right here at Penske Honda Chula Vista! Just ask your virtual assistant to get directions to 580 Auto Park Drive in Chula Vista CA 91911. You'll be here in no time, and we'll be looking forward to meeting you!

Categories: Parts, Service