Is it time for your next oil change? Changing the oil in your car is an important part of vehicle maintenance. An express oil change from Kernersville Auto Center can get you back on the road fast. After all, although we love seeing you, you probably have better things to do than wait around our shop.
Why is an Express Oil Change Important?
Oil is one of the most important components of your car. It provides a coating of lubrication to cut down on friction as pieces of your engine move. Without oil, your engine would seize up, overheat, and die.
Over time, oil gets dirty. This simply happens as you drive your car since roads kick up dust and dirt. When your oil is dirty, it can’t work as well. It loses some of its lubricating properties, which causes your engine to work harder. So, you’ll need to change your oil from time to time.
During an oil change, we’ll remove all the old, dirty oil from your car before adding fresh, clean oil. We’ll also switch out the oil filter. Your oil filter serves as a defense against larger dirt particles. If it clogs, your oil can’t easily reach the engine. Plus, the oil that does stream through it will pick up additional dirt. Never change your oil without changing your filter as well. It defeats the purpose since your clean oil will just accumulate dirt from the oil filter.
Your vehicle manufacturer will recommend when to change the oil. This is typically between 3,000 and 7,500 miles. However, in some vehicles, you can even go 10,000+ miles between changes. This is typically only possible if you’re using synthetic oil. In all cases, we recommend abiding by the manufacturer’s directions for oil changes. Otherwise, you could face major engine problems sooner. If you take care of vehicle maintenance on a strict schedule, you will extend the life of the engine. It’s the best way to save money long-term.
If you want to increase the time between your oil changes, make sure you are using quality oil products. We use and recommend Havoline, which is a trusted brand in the car care world. Havoline oils are what we use in our own vehicles.
Types of Oil: Conventional, Synthetic, and Blends
When it comes to choosing which oil to use, you have three main options: conventional, synthetic, or blends.
- Conventional oil is the most traditional type of oil. It is oil from the ground, refined to produce a clean, lubricating product.
- Synthetic oil is chemically similar to conventional oil. However, it is man-made from petroleum products. Thus, chemists can create oil that is purer than even the most highly refined conventional oil you can make.
- Blends, as the name implies, are a combination of conventional and synthetic oil. This is a “goldilocks” oil option. It’s not as good as synthetic oil, but it isn’t as expensive either.
Oil is oil. Chemically, oil is the same whether it comes from the ground or from a lab. With synthetic oil, though, the process of creation and refinement is closely controlled in ideal conditions. When the molecules of oil line up perfectly, they provide more lubrication. These oils may look the same to the naked eye, but synthetic oil is smoother on a molecular level.
Of the three oil types, synthetic oil is the best for your car. Conventional oil, on the other hand, is the most budget-friendly option. For many cars, conventional oil will get the job done. However, if you really want to extend the life of your engine, synthetic is the way to go. In many cases, synthetic oil is also the best option for older engines and high-performance engines. This article from Nerd Wallet has more details about why synthetic is better for many cars.
One thing to keep in mind…synthetic oil may be more expensive upfront, but since you don’t need to change the oil as often, in the long run, the cost can be about the same.
If you’re on the fence, we also have synthetic blends available. Blends are a combination of conventional oils and synthetic add-ins. They are less expensive than synthetic oil in most cases. At the same time, they have better lubricating properties than conventional oil.
Our team of experts will be happy to explain to you all oil options. Additionally, we can make a recommendation that is best for your car based on its age, model, and driving conditions. Of course, we’ll also consider your budget. We’re happy to answer any questions you have before you make a choice.
What do the Numbers and Letters Mean?
You may have noticed that cans of oil have numbers and letters on them. For example, the container might say 20W-50 or 10W-30. This refers to the viscosity of the oil, also known as the oil weight. Choosing the right oil weight for your car is important if you want to prolong the life of your engine.
In cold weather, oil gets slightly thicker. Think of it like putting butter in the refrigerator versus storing at room temperature. Because it thickens, your car needs different oil in the winter than in the summer. At one time, decades ago, you actually had to change your oil with the seasons! Today, oils are multi-grade. This means they perform well in both cold and warm conditions.
The first number will have a number followed by a W. The W stands for winter, with the number indicating how the oil performs in cold weather. The second number, after the dash, indicates how the oil performs in high heat. Generally, here in North Carolina, our temperatures are not so extreme that we need to deviate from manufacturer recommendations. However, if you drive in extreme conditions, mention this to our mechanics. A road trip to Alaska in the dead of winter might change the oil we recommend!
Using the wrong oil will lead to excess engine wear. When an oil is too thin, it is easier for parts of the engine to rub together. Not only does this cause damage, but it also causes friction and heat. Friction and heat are two things all engines hate! On the other hand, oil that is too thick can also be a problem. You might have a build-up of sludge and the engine will have to work harder. In other words, oil that is too thick can also cause friction and heat. Either way, you’re putting your engine at risk.
If you aren’t sure what your manufacturer recommends, you can look it up in your car’s manual. No manual? No problem! We’ll help you figure it out. It is usually best to use the oil weight the manufacturer recommends.
Special Oils and Additives for Older and High-Performance Cars
In some cases, we may recommend special oil products to improve your driving experience. Additionally, special oils can contribute to improving the lifespan of your engine. Typically, these specialty oils are for older cars and for high-performance cars. In both cases, these engines work hard and need a little TLC.
Special oils and additives can help your car perform well regardless of age and driving conditions. However, these oils and additives often make your express oil change more expensive. Therefore, we only recommend them when they are the best option for your vehicle. We’ll never recommend a product you don’t really need. Furthermore, we’ll always present you with all the information, including alternatives at different price points. We always want you to feel empowered to make the best decision for your car.
Some Myths About Oils
There are a few common oil myths that may cloud your judgement. Let us set the record straight!
First, it is a myth that only newer cars can work with synthetic oils. This isn’t the case. Even if you have a classic car, you can use synthetic oils and blends. Synthetic oil and conventional oil are very similar; synthetic is just better-refined. You don’t have to choose conventional oil for an older car. In fact, synthetic oil may be the better option. Synthetic oil is a safe option for any vehicle that uses conventional motor oil.
Another common myth is that you have to use the exact same oil every time you change your oil. This also isn’t true. You can switch brands or switch from conventional to synthetic whenever you want. Believe it or not, you can even switch oil weights, as long as you are staying within manufacturer recommendations. We’ll drain the old oil before adding new oil. The small amount of oil residue in your car won’t matter as it mixes with the new oil.
It is also a myth that you don’t need to change your oil filter. It’s extremely important to change the filter. This is not just a fee that mechanics charge to try to make more money from you. If you don’t change your filter, your new oil won’t last as long. Furthermore, if you don’t change your filter, you are at high risk for damaging your engine.
Additionally, it is a myth that you don’t need to change your oil as often as the manufacturer recommends. While going a day beyond your scheduled change date won’t really make a difference, longer delays will hurt your engine. Now, it is true that some mechanics have outdated ideas about how often you need an oil change. At one time, cars needed oil changes more frequently. Today’s oil is better than oil was decades ago. So, you don’t have to change it quite as often. We always go by what the car manufacturer recommends. Rather than giving you outdated information, we want to do what is best for your car.
That’s why it is important to go to a licensed mechanic whenever you need help with your car. Read reviews online to make sure you’re choosing the best option. If you feel pressured to spend more money or make a decision you don’t understand, leave! Our team at Kernersville Auto Center will always explain your options in detail. Then, you can feel free to ask questions. If you want to understand oil option or any options for your car, we’ll explain in non-technical language. To get you started, here are some frequently asked questions that we get.
Express Oil Changes Get You Back on the Road Fast
Here at Kernersville Auto Center, we take pride in getting you back on the road quickly. We have NATE-certified mechanics to ensure that they can find any problem with your vehicle quickly and recommend the best solution. Our focus is on our customer service and our team is always ready to explain any work that your car or truck needs. We never perform a service without discussing it with you and giving you the cost before beginning the work. You won’t spend all day sitting at our shop, waiting for your car. An oil change is a straightforward process, and we’ve done thousands of them. We stick to our scheduled appointments so you can get back to your life.
Want to maximize your time? Bring your car for an oil change and have other services done at the same time. Preventative maintenance is important to keep your car on the road. We can rotate your tires, change windshield wipers, tune up your engine, and more. During your oil change, we’ll do a complimentary check of other fluid levels. However, this is a great time to schedule any maintenance you need. It allows you to have one fast appointment for all your car care needs instead of coming back several times. We even do North Carolina state inspections, which are required annually to keep your car legal.
In addition to all of that, we have a loyalty program that saves you money on future visits! You earn points with each purchase and the points add up quickly. Since we’ve been servicing the cars and trucks in the Kernersville area for more than 25 years, most of our customers have been coming back for more than a decade!
If you’re ready to schedule your appointment, click here. Or, contact us today if you have any questions about the services we offer.