A bumper-to-bumper car warranty will cover the unexpected failure in most mechanical and electrical parts of your vehicle - but it does not include oil changes.
A car requires many different fluids to keep it in good working order, from transmission and brake fluid to the ever-essential engine oil. None of these important fluid changes will be covered by your car warranty and it will be your responsibility to keep them up to date.
The importance of engine oil
The job of engine oil is to lubricate your engine’s parts, enabling them to slide alongside each other with ease. By reducing heat and friction in this way, oil enhances your engine’s efficiency and longevity.
Without enough oil, an engine will quickly seize up, potentially causing serious damage. If this happens to your car, you may need to get a replacement engine, and this could be expensive.
Changing your engine oil
Over a period of time, the oil will begin to deteriorate within your car engine, rendering it less effective at doing its job. Before this occurs, it’s advisable to change your oil.
If you’re knowledgeable on car maintenance, you might prefer to make the change yourself, but many car owners will choose to attend a registered garage and let the professionals handle the task instead.
How often should I change my engine oil?
Most manufacturers suggest that the engine oil in passenger cars should be replaced every 12 months or 9,000 miles, whichever comes around sooner. You should also check your engine oil levels between changes to make sure everything looks OK.
The older a car is, the more important changing its oil becomes. Older cars tend to have more worn engine parts and will need regular changes to keep them performing well.
If you’re ever in doubt about the condition of your engine oil, take your vehicle to a professional and get the oil changed before it results in a problem.
What if I don’t change my engine oil?
As mentioned previously, a non-lubricated engine can quickly seize up and fail. If the registered repairer who finds the issue determines that the engine has become damaged due to your neglect because the oil wasn’t changed when necessary, your warranty will not cover the costs.
Not changing your oil frequently enough could also cost you money in extra fuel. A car engine that runs less efficiently consumes more fuel than one running at optimum levels.
The cost of changing your oil
Knowing that your oil changes are not covered by your warranty, you can investigate the costs you will be facing so you can factor them into your annual car running costs.
There are several factors that might affect just how much you pay for changing the oil in your car. The three main ones are the garage you go to, whether you choose synthetic or regular oil, and the size of your engine.
As is the case with many other businesses, garages situated in high-rent areas will likely charge more for services to cover their costs. Synthetic engine oil will always cost you more than regular oil should you choose it for your change. Lastly, the larger the engine your car has, the more oil it will require, making it more expensive.
Regardless of the cost, it is imperative that you change the oil in your car according to the manufacturer guidelines. Keeping up to date with this aspect of car maintenance can save you a host of problems and expenses further down the line, and it means you can benefit from added peace of mind when you’re behind the wheel.