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How Often Should Penticton Drivers Change Their Oil?

Oil changes are the most common form of maintenance for every vehicle owner. Unfortunately, every driver and mechanic seems to have a different opinion about how often you should change your lubricant. 

The most popular advice is to replace it every 5,000 km. While this may work in some instances, it is not the answer for all cars. 

The truth is that there is no universal solution to the question of "how often should I change my oil?" Drivers need to be aware of the different variables at play when timing this maintenance. These factors can include the age and type of vehicle, the variety of motor oil, and car or truck warranty requirements. 

A quality service center, such as the one at Skaha Ford in Penticton, BC, can help you sort out these factors and find the best oil change schedule.  

The timing for lube changes will vary for each car, but, in most cases, the "every 5,000 km" advice is outdated. 

Today's motor oils and engines are more advanced. According to Car and Driver, today's engines can run between 12,000 and 16,000 km between lubricant changes. However, owners need to weigh their driving habits, the age of their car, the local climate, and other circumstances when deciding on a maintenance regimen. 

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Why Do Penticton Car Owners Need to Change Their Oil?

Lubricant gets contaminated over time. Cars have filters that keep most dirt and sludge out of engines. However, these engine-protecting screens can only catch so many unwanted particles before they reach their capacity. 

Contaminants, such as burnt fuel or small metal particles, are abrasive and can wear away the parts of the engine that the oil is supposed to protect. You could have to replace engine parts because of damage if you go too long between oil changes.  

All lubricants, whether synthetic or conventional, do turn darker than their original syrup-like brown color. However, a blacker liquid itself is not a sign that you need to schedule an appointment for a lube change. Distance and driving style are more important factors. 
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Modern Motor Oil Lasts Longer

According to Scientific American, the invention of synthetic oils, which maintain lubricative properties and handle containments better than conventional oil, have made it possible for cars to run for 8,000 to 16,000 km between lubricant changes. 

The time between changes also matters. If the odometer does not pass the 16,000 km mark, you can replace the oil six months after the previous service center visit.

The Scientific American article also mentions that distance isn't the only factor to consider. Driving patterns can also play a role.  
Those who travel less than 15 km per day or have shorter commutes will not reach the threshold. These car owners need to change their oil every six months, regardless of the odometer reading. 
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How Much Distance Can Penticton Drivers Go between Oil Changes?

Some "quick lube" garages may encourage drivers to follow the "more often is better" strategy when changing oil. While better-safe-than-sorry might seem to make sense, you could be wasting money on unnecessary maintenance. 

If you do not have a trusted mechanic, a dealership service center could offer a more honest assessment of the ideal time frame for changing oil. If you work with Skaha Ford, you may be able to take advantage of their service specials to get a good price on your maintenance. 

Synthetic oil can remain for 16,000 km or more, with some varieties lasting for 24,000 or even 40,000 km, according to Scientific American's calculations.  

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The Advantages (and Drawbacks) of Synthetic Oil

According to Consumer Reports, most new cars require synthetic oil, while most give drivers the option to go full synthetic or use a manufactured lube blended with conventional oil.

Why wouldn't you want synthetic oil? It may last longer, but it is as much as four times as expensive as a conventional lubricant. You may want to put a math hat on and calculate the overall savings that synthetic oil will bring. 

One other thing to consider is that synthetic oil stands up better to hot or cold conditions. Also, it does not need to heat up to reach peak lubrication, so those with short commutes may benefit from synthetic or blended options. 

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Does the Powertrain Warranty Require Regular Oil Changes in Penticton?

There is one factor to consider: your vehicle's warranty requirements. Car and Driver reminds owners that some carmakers require that they change the oil before the odometer reaches a specific point. If you do not get the required maintenance before this threshold, then the vehicle's powertrain warranty gets voided. 

This concern is more common for new cars because they are the ones that are still under warranty. Luckily, a dealership service center can ensure that you meet these conditions. 

If you have questions about lubricant changes or want to make an appointment, you can contact Skaha Ford's service center to speak with a service professional or schedule an appointment online. 

Skaha Ford Service News for Penticton, BC

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