Oil Change Frequently Asked Questions
At Coulter INFINITI, our factory-certified automotive techs regularly perform different kinds of maintenance to keep your vehicle running at its best. An oil change is one common task and if you’ve ever had questions about it, check the following for answers.
What Does Oil Do?
Your car engine consists of many moving parts, such as pistons, valves, and the camshaft, that would rub against each other if it weren’t for motor oil. This liquid’s main function is to minimize friction and reduce wear while ensuring that engine parts move smoothly. Your engine then lasts longer with fewer mechanical breakdowns.
Oil also transfers heat. Due to friction, the movement of parts creates heat in your engine block that could cause a fire if not dissipated. The oil absorbs the heat and discharges some of it in the oil pan where the fluid is stored.
Finally, the oil contains additives, such as detergents and friction modifiers, which prevent the buildup of dirt and grime in your engine. It helps prevent sludge, protect engine components, and increase operating efficiency.
How Do I Know When I Need an Oil Change?
Your car tells you when you need an oil change through the following signs:
- The Oil Change light comes on, which indicates that your vehicle does not have sufficient oil. You can check the dipstick to see if you have enough of the fluid and add more oil as a temporary stopgap until you see a mechanic. Your owner’s manual will tell you how to check the dipstick.
- You hear knocking and other engine noises. When you don’t have sufficient oil to prevent components from brushing against each other, you’ll hear all kinds of rumbling and knocking as one component hits another. Your engine may be slowly falling apart without oil.
- The smell of oil fills your car’s interior. This can be caused by an oil leak or an overheating engine.
- Smoke from the exhaust. If dark smoke rather than a milky vapor comes out of your tailpipe, you may have an oil leak.
How Often Should I Get an Oil Change?
You don’t want your vehicle to get to the point of showing any signs that it needs an oil change. Instead, you should follow the recommended schedule listed in your owner’s manual, which is typically every 7,000 to 10,000 miles or about twice a year for newer models. Older cars may need oil changes every 3,000 miles.
Can I Change My Own Oil?
Yes, oil changes are something you can do yourself, and the procedures are listed in your owner’s manual. However, the process can be dirty, especially if the oil spurts out in a direction that you’re not expecting. You may make amateur mistakes, such as using the wrong oil or not noticing a leak or other problem.
You’ll also need to own tools such as a rubber mallet and wrenches, as well as the oil, a container to hold used oil, an oil filter, and oil filter gasket. You also have to bring your old oil and filter to a facility where it can be properly discarded.
However, oil changes are free for the first year of owning your INFINITI. After that, the cost difference between you and a professional for your own changes my amount to under $20. You have to decide whether the inconvenience is worth the cost savings.
What Happens During an Oil Change?
The mechanics at Coulter INFINITI remove the dirty old oil, which may be full of sludge, from your engine and replace it with an oil that is suited to your car’s needs, whether it’s a synthetic blend, fully synthetic, high mileage, or conventional.
We also change your oil filter, which may have become saturated with gunk and other detrimental substances. Finally, we perform other tasks, such as:
- Check other essential fluids and top them off as needed.
- Look for leaks throughout the engine.
- Battery test
- Brake Inspection
- Check belts and hoses, tire pressure, and undercarriage for any damage.
- Give the exterior of your vehicle a complimentary car wash.
You can wait in our customer lounge while enjoying complimentary coffee and snacks. If you need to get going, we offer Lyft service to and from an agreed-on destination.