If you're planning to save money by lengthening the intervals between your oil changes, take the smart route by lengthening your oil's lifespan rather than just leaving it in the engine indefinitely and pretending it's okay. As a part of your oil-lengthening quest, you'll need to avoid anything that has the potential to wear down your oil faster. Here are four factors that can have this effect.
1. Filter problems
It may not seem that delaying a filter change or choosing the no-name low-end filter would affect your oil life that much, until you consider what a crucial role the oil filter plays. It's the only thing that stands between your oil and gradually increasing contamination. If the filtration system is poor (that is, you have a "cheap" filter) or compromised (you have an old filter), contaminants can move about in the oil unhindered. This not only reduces the quality of lubrication in the engine but also allows sludge to build up.
2. Bad driving conditions
Both hot and cold weather can affect your oil life negatively. A moderate climate is the best situation for your engine oil. In addition, excess dust in the air can put stress on your engine and thus on your oil, as can a habit of towing heavy loads on a daily basis.
Blowby, a term that refers to gases and other contaminants generated by the engine that get into the oil, can be a serious factor in oil disintegration. Some of the variables that affect the amount of blowby produced include having a turbo or diesel engine (which can produce more) and having an old engine, which has a similar effect.
4. Manner of use
Putting strain on your engine, in general, puts more strain on your oil as well. So if you haul heavy loads on a regular basis or tow a trailer daily, your engine and oil will feel the stress. Another way you can stress your engine and oil unduly is by driving only when the engine is cold. For example, if you have a very short daily commute, you may start up the car in the morning and arrive at work before the engine reaches operating temperature. Because engine oil doesn't perform as well at lower temperatures, making a habit of this kind of driving has a negative effect. Over time, the bits of contaminants that build up when you run a cold engine will infiltrate the oil and lower its lifespan.
These four factors are some of the biggest players when it comes to shortening the lifespan of your oil. If you take good care of the filter, pay attention to your engine's needs, and drive your car in optimal conditions, you can avoid many of these problems and keep your oil in good shape.
For more information, contact Car And Truck Services Inc. or a similar company.