In today’s blog, we are talking about the importance of oil change intervals for Colorado Springs customers. As the technology of engine technology evolves, the recommended intervals for oil changes is longer. The use of high quality oil in cars or SUV engines has led to extended intervals. But it’s also lead to some confusion among drivers.
The old mantra “change your oil every three months or three thousand miles, whichever comes first” once was true for every vehicle. Miles and time take their toll on motor oil. But now, it’s possible to have a different oil change recommendation for each and every car or SUV.
Colorado Springs drivers are like most people, they tend to follow manufacturer provided oil change schedules for vehicles with the longest oil change intervals, which can lead to issues. As an example, several of the largest manufacturers recently shortened the published intervals for many of their engine models. They released intervals that stretched out to as much as 8,000 miles.
For Colorado Springs drivers, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended oil change interval. Oil sludge is a thick goopy substance. Quite literally, like Vaseline. This muck was clogging sedan or SUV engine passages so that the oil wouldn’t flow to some areas of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. We see it too often at Master Tech Automotive Service.
Given reports of engine issues, the manufacturers started offering extended warranties to cover sludge damage. The catch? The vehicle owners had to follow a new, lower maintenance interval, and provide proof of oil changes for the warranty to cover the claim.
So the bottom line is, with longer oil change intervals, it’s crucial you follow them closely. When the recommendation was 3 months or 3,000 miles, your engine could handle an extra month or another thousand miles. Sludge didn’t have the time to build up as much.
That said, if your recommended service interval is 6,500 miles and you drive to 7,500 miles before service, you’re getting into heavy sludge territory. Without question, you should be following the mileage intervals your manufacturer provided very closely. You need to also pay attention to your severe service schedule. If you’re in a lot of stop and go traffic Colorado, taking short trips, or drive in dusty areas, are subjected to hot or cold weather, or have heavy loads, these are considered severe service conditions. Your Master Tech Automotive advisor in Colorado Springs can help you determine what schedule you should be following.
Check the owner’s manual for your vehicle or talk with your Master Tech Automotive service advisor about where and how you drive in Colorado Springs. We can advise you on whether you should change your oil closer to the regular schedule, or in alignment with the severe service schedule. At the end of the day though, it’s your vehicle and your decision.
Another area where Colorado drivers can go wrong is with the type of oil they use. New cars are coming to owners filled with synthetic oil. Without providing great detail, synthetic oil lasts longer and is very resistant to oil sludge. That said, it also costs more, so some vehicle owners are tempted to use conventional oil for their oil changes. It’s always the best idea to use the manufacturer recommended oil. We suggest you review your owner’s manual to see if a synthetic oil is allowed.