auto maintenance December 13, 2017

Knowing the Right Time for an Oil Change Can Keep Your Car on the Northern Virginia Roads Longer

Most drivers throughout Northern Virginia and the United States rely on the static sticker in the corner of the windshield to remind them of an upcoming oil change. While this trick works, there are also other ways to determine when oil changes are necessary. Keeping up with oil changes is one of the best ways to keep your car on the Northern Virginia streets as long as possible.

The owner's manual provided with your vehicle is the best source of information available. The manufacturer provides each vehicle owner with information on vehicle maintenance specifically intended to provide guidance about overall vehicle maintenance, including oil changes.

Typically, the owner's manual includes two maintenance schedules, based on the type of driving you typically do. The categories are typically considered “normal” or “severe” driving conditions and are based on the amount of stop-and-go driving versus highway or long-distance driving. The descriptions provided in the owner's manual provide the basis on which to decide what oil change schedule you should follow.

Many new cars and trucks are equipped with on-board oil life monitor systems, which tell you exactly when an oil change is required. Based on input from a variety of sensors in your vehicle, the oil life monitor gathers the data and predicts the remaining life of your oil and when oil changes are necessary. This feature eliminates all guesswork from your maintenance routine and can improve overall performance of your vehicle.

Even though most Northern Virginia drivers base their oil changes on the miles driven, owners of an “extra” vehicle — one used occasionally rather than daily — should rely on the time frame given by the oil manufacturer rather than the miles. Oil is contaminated by exhaust and gases from the engine, and when the oil simply sits in the engine, it breaks-down and requires changing.

For more information on keeping your vehicle performing at its best, stop by Wiygul Automotive Clinic for a complete car inspection. The highly trained auto care professionals can help you determine the best oil change schedule and other maintenance needs for your car, and keep you safe on the Northern Virginia streets.

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