McCullough NAPA Auto Care

6 Oil Change Questions & Answers

A regular oil change is one of the most important preventative maintenance tasks for your vehicle. Doing so will keep your engine oil fresh, clean, and able to perform the key lubricating functions that your engine desperately needs. We’ve put together 6 of the most common oil change questions we’ve received and answered them all in one place!

1 – What Benefit Does an Oil Change Have For My Engine?

Your engine needs motor oil to run effectively and help prevent complicated repairs. The engine oil in your car serves three primary functions, which we will explain below. 

  • Engine oil is responsible for lubricating the internal moving parts of your engine. Without it, your engine’s parts will grind against each other, which may result in more frequent breakdowns. 
  • Engine oil helps keep your car from overheating by reducing the friction between parts. Fresh oil can also absorb any by-products that may result from combustion. 
  • Engine oil helps keep your engine clean by dissolving sludge that may form from everyday use. 

As your oil levels decline, your engine won’t receive these 3 benefits that fresh oil provides. Starving your engine of the essential oil it needs can result in decreased engine life, sticking piston rings, and the chance of overheating (aka breaking down). Keeping the same oil in your engine for an extended period of time is not healthy for your engine. By changing your oil regularly, you ensure that your oil levels are sustainable and that the quality of the oil remains fresh and clean to provide the benefits mentioned above.

2 – How Often Do I Need An Oil Change?

Your vehicle’s manufacturer guide will outline an estimated mileage range for how often you should change your oil. Driving habits and weather do affect this estimation. Atlanta doesn’t get too cold to the point where you should worry about how the temperature will affect your engine oil. How often you drive and for what distance will play into the equation, however. The general rule is that you should change your oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months.

When was the last time your oil was changed? Schedule an appointment with our service center

3 – Can I Just ‘Top-Off’ My Oil? Do I Really Need To Do A Full Oil Change?

Engine oil will become sludgy over time. As this happens, the oil will lose its cleaning and cooling abilities and will not be able to lubricate your engine as well as new, fresh oil could. If you simply add new motor oil in with your dirty existing oil, the dirty oil doesn’t magically disappear. The new oil will mix in with the dirty oil, which will actually put more stress on your fresh oil to perform. It’s best to completely drain out the old, sludgy oil and then fill it up with new oil rather than just topping off your oil level as you go. 

4 – What Services Are Performed With An Oil Change?

When you bring your vehicle into our shop for an oil change, we do more than add new oil to your engine. First, we safely dispose of all the old, sludgy oil and replace it with your choice of conventional, high-mileage, full synthetic, or synthetic blend oil. We will also replace and recycle your oil filter for you and perform a courtesy multi-point inspection of your vehicle, including checking your lights and other fluid levels to ensure they are all in working order. 

5 – Can I Switch Between Different Types of Oil?

Switching between conventional and synthetic motor oils is generally not a problem. The important thing is that the oil you choose meets the viscosity grade and engine oil specification listed in your owner’s manual. If you’re unsure which engine oil your car needs, our technicians will happily explain your options and make recommendations based on your driving patterns.

6 – Can I Use Gasoline Oil with My Diesel Engine?

Diesel engines tend to be dirtier than gasoline engines. For this reason, it’s best to use oil made explicitly for diesel engines as it will be more viscous and contain more cleaning additives than gasoline oil. You can choose a high-viscosity or synthetic oil, but remember that even the highest quality motor oil will still need to be changed regularly. 

Schedule Your Next Oil Change with McCullough NAPA

If you still have oil change questions, our ASE-Certified technicians can answer them for you at the time of your scheduled oil change! They’ll discuss your oil change options with you and recommend a service schedule to keep your engine oil fresh and at an appropriate level. Click here to schedule an appointment.