Oil is the essential lubricant in your car’s engine, allowing the metal parts to move against each other without damage, like the pistons as they move up and down in the cylinders. If there was no oil, the metal-to-metal friction would generate so much heat that the surfaces would weld themselves together, and then you end up with a seized engine like the one in the picture below…
In addition, oil helps to draw heat away from the combustion chamber, the place where there are thousands of controlled explosions of petrol happening every minute. And lastly, oil helps to prevent carbon and varnishes from collecting in the engine.
What happens if you don’t have an oil change?
Over time, without a regular oil change, oil becomes dirty and clogged up. The oil filter removes dirt for a while, but eventually it will get clogged up and the dirty oil then automatically bypasses the filter through a special relief valve (designed because it’s better to have dirty oil pumping round than no oil at all!)
Eventually, as the oil gets dirtier and dirtier and thicker and thicker, it will stop lubricating altogether. The pistons can seize, the camshafts could be damaged, or there can be other extensive problems, sometimes known in the trade as the ‘Black Death’ – just look at the picture of the ruined engine…
The bill for repairs like these makes having a regular high-quality oil change look like spare change. In fact, you could think of regular oil changes as very cheap insurance for your cars’ engine.
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