Keeping up with oil changes

If you live in Fort Myers year-round, your car experiences many changes throughout the year.  Keeping up with the maintenance, including regular oil changes, will make sure your car runs at top performance for many years.  The summer heat can break down oil quicker than in the winter causing it to lose its lubricating abilities.  When traffic is heavier in the winter, stop and go traffic can also wreak havoc on your engine and it’s lubricant.

If you only live in Fort Myers part-time, chances are your car sits idle for 3, 6 or up to 9 months out of the year.  During that time, all the oil settles to the bottom of the engine, leaving no lubrication when you first fire it up upon arriving.  Cold starts are when most damage occurs to an engine.  A cold start doesn’t necessarily mean 20-below zero degrees.  It means when the engine is cool and the oil is settled out of most of the engine.  A cold start causes microscopic metal particles to be shaved off and float around in your engine, slowly grinding away at it.  Changing your oil shortly after a long summer nap will clear away these particles and keep your engine humming.

We don’t always think that we drive in severe conditions in Fort Myers, but short trips, less than 10 miles, are considered extreme.  Why?  They don’t allow for an engine and the engine oil to fully warm up to optimum operating temperature.  Cold oil is not as effective at picking up and taking away the left over unburned gunk left in your engine.  As mentioned above, cold starts are tough on engines.  So over 10,000 miles at 10 miles per trip, that’s 1000 cold starts.  Whereas at 50 miles per trip, that’s only 200 cold starts.  Keep that in mind when planning your errands.

Changing your oil regularly will make sure that the inside of your engine stays clean. Part of your oil’s job is to pick up unburned bits and other particles in the cylinders.  If the oil is dirty, it’s like a wiping your floor with wet dirty mop… it just can’t pick up any more.  The oil change is how you actually remove those particles from floating around, sticking on stuff and gunking up the works.  A fresh batch of oil will keep that engine clean and humming along for a long time.

And finally, another great reason to keep up with your auto maintenance and change your oil regularly is that all cars at some level burn oil.  That is, some oil is burned in the combustion chamber with the gasoline.  Older cars tend to burn more oil than newer cars but all cars burn some oil.  If you don’t keep up with regular oil changes, your car will eventually burn all its oil and nothing will be left to lubricate the engine.

Regardless of whether you simply visit Fort Myers for a few months per year, or you are a permanent resident, keep your car or truck running its best by changing the oil regularly.  Consult your owners manual for recommended intervals and check the oil itself just to keep tabs on how accurately those recommendations apply to your vehicle.

Happy Oil Changes Fort Myers!