Car Oil Breakdown

Car Oil Breakdown

Oil is the lifeblood of the engine. It protects and lubricates the moving parts of the engine. There are additives to protect against corrosion, reduce friction and help reduce and/or clean harmful deposits. These additives break down over time.

The oil filter can also become clogged over time cleaning deposits from normal engine wear.

Keep in mind that all engines consume some oil, so if you are overdue on your oil change and the level is low, additional engine damage and wear can occur.

Here are some specifics on what happens to your vehicle should an oil change be avoided for too long:

Sludge Buildup — When your oil gets dirty, stays dirty, and continues to run through your engine dirty, it begins to accumulate a nasty buildup of sludge, which is a mixture of dirt and oil that has begun breaking down due to heat. Accumulation of sludge can clog up your oil delivery system, which leads to restriction of vital fluids destined for the engine parts they support.

Contamination — As hundreds of gallons of gasoline burn through your motor over time, byproducts and dirt begin to accumulate and circulate into the oil system. As this occurs it is necessary to change the fluids in the same way that you would never cook in the same oil over and over without changing it. Providing the engine with fresh oil and a fresh filter helps tremendously to remove the contamination that builds up over time in a running motor. Contamination can create problems, especially when bits of gunk start blocking the pipes.

Break Down — Once you have a gunky, sludgy, contaminated engine with old oil, don’t be surprised if you experience a break down. If the oil isn’t reaching everywhere it needs to within the system, breakdown is inevitable. Even worse, if any part of the engine runs dry, you’re heading for catastrophic failure. As oil breaks down and settles to the bottom of the oil pan, you lose oil leading to loss of oil pressure. When you hear a loud ticking from the engine, you’ll know your engine is in desperate need of an oil change. This is a definite emergency situation that can lead to a destroyed and unsalvageable motor if not handled as soon as possible. This may also be true if you notice oil pressure dropping to the bottom 25% of the gauge.

Do I Need an Oil Change?

Here at Cary Car Care we recommend a regular service interval of 3000-5000 miles for conventional oil depending on oil consumption and manufacturer recommendations. Synthetic oils can go longer but we always recommend monitoring the oil level and topping off as needed, especially for cars with longer service intervals.

The team at CCC will be happy to change your oil to prevent sludge build-up, contamination, and break down — keeping your vehicle operating smoothly, reliably, and efficiently.

If you are ready to make an appointment with our ASE Certified Team contact us today. You’ll be glad you did!

Written by Kelsey Lambdin

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