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What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Oil?

Pouring oil, car oil change

Whether you’re driving a brand-new Ford Escape or a vintage Ford Mustang, one thing remains the same: the importance of regular oil changes. All Peoria drivers know that they’re supposed to schedule an oil change every 7,500 to 10,000 miles. But have you ever wondered what happens if you don’t change your oil? Clean engine oil is essential to the proper function of your car’s powertrain, and neglecting to change it can lead to significant issues like lack of lubrication, warping or wearing of engine components, overheating, and eventually, total failure. Learn more about the importance of regular oil changes with the Mike Murphy Ford service team, below.

What Function Does Motor Oil Serve?

It sounds dramatic, but it’s true: You don’t want to find out what happens if you don’t get your oil changed. Motor oil is a lubricant for your engine and its many moving parts, serving your East Peoria car’s powertrain in several vital ways:

  • Motor oil’s main role in the engine is to lubricate moving parts and reduce friction on them, which causes wear and tear over time
  • Motor oil contains dispersants, which clean performance-inhibiting sludge from the engine
  • Motor oil also has detergents which help clean varnish from the engine
  • With regular oil changes, motor oil can help neutralize the acids that form from fuels, improve piston ring seals, and keep the engine properly cooled by moving heat away from it

How Often Should I Schedule an Oil Change?

In years past, experts recommended an oil change every 3,000 miles, but that interval has increased significantly with advances in engine and oil technology. Most modern vehicles are capable of going 7,500 to 10,000 miles between oil changes without issue. It is important to note, however, that this number may vary depending on your driving habits. If you do a lot of long-distance driving or you frequently traverse rugged terrain in Pekin, for instance, you might need an oil change more frequently. If you’re unsure how your driving habits might affect your oil change frequency, contact the service team at Mike Murphy Ford for advice.

How to Change the Engine Oil

Before getting started, check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to be sure you have the proper grade of oil on hand. Once you confirm this, you can get started on the steps outlined here:

  1. Jack your car up on level ground using jack stands or steel ramps.
  2. Distinguish where the oil drain plug is located; you’ll find it on the bottom of your oil pan underneath the engine. Place an oil basin directly underneath the plug.
  3. With the oil basin in place, it’s safe to unscrew the drain plug. Be prepared for the old oil to start draining out, and allow up to 15 minutes for it to drain completely. Confirm that all of the oil has drained, then replace the plug.
  4. Keeping the oil basin in place, you can now remove the old oil filter with an oil filter wrench. Be prepared for a little extra oil to drain when removing the filter (this is why you should leave the oil basin in place).
  5. Taking your new oil filter, rub a bit of clean oil around the rubber seal to ensure it is watertight; this is an essential step that should not be skipped.
  6. Set the new oil filter in place and tighten it by hand.
  7. With the old oil drained and the new oil filter tightened in place, you can now remove the oil cap. Pour in the proper amount of oil (specified in the owner’s manual), then replace the oil cap.
  8. Finally, double-check the oil level by locating the dipstick and pulling it out. Wipe the oil off of it, then re-insert it. Remove it once more; if the top of the oil mark sits within the crosshatched area or between the two lines on the dipstick, the oil level is correct and you’re all finished with the oil change.

Schedule Oil Service at Mike Murphy Ford

As we’ve determined, what happens if you don’t get your oil changed is not something you want to experience. Is your vehicle due for oil service? If you prefer to leave oil changes to a professional service tech, you can schedule an appointment at Mike Murphy Ford. Just be sure to consult our service specials first, where you will frequently find convenient oil service coupons!


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