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9 Common Misconceptions About Motor Oil

If you own a vehicle, you know how important it is to keep your car, truck or SUV maintained. One aspect of that maintenance requires you to check on your motor oil and make sure that it’s full and changed on a regular schedule. However, through the years some misconceptions have evolved that are associated with the use of motor oil. Here are nine of these motor oil myths that have been debunked:

1- Your Motor Oil Should Be Changed At Every 3000 Mile Interval

The intervals that you use to change your oil will vary between the specifications, model and make of your vehicle. While the manufacturer of your vehicle may recommend 3000 mile oil changes, it may be 5000 miles for another make and model.

It’s best to check your owners manual and see what it recommends.

2- Change Your Oil Before A Road Trip

If you’re going to be driving thousands of miles with your car on a road trip, it may be a good idea to change your oil before you head out. This will ensure that your engine is prepared for the long drive ahead.

However, this will depend on the circumstances. If you’re getting close to needing an oil change already or you know that it will be scheduled during the middle of your excursion, then it’s probably a good idea.

3- Using Additives In Your Oil Helps Your Engine

There are additives on the market that claim to help the efficiency of the oil in your vehicle, but they really aren’t needed. A reputable motor oil manufacturer will have already formulated their oil to its optimum level.

If you add extra “stuff” to your oil, it may change the chemical balance or even dilute it, which could lead to wear and tear or even damage your engine.

4- Your Oil Filter Doesn’t Need To Be Changed With Every Oil Change

This is absolutely false. You do need to change your oil filter when the oil is changed. By doing so, it allows the new oil to run through the filter and trap contaminants.

If you don’t change the oil filter, contaminants are still there and the old oil filter will not work as efficiently as the new one, which could eventually cause damage to your engine.

In addition, while it is common sense, it’s also important to add oil back into your vehicle when you are conducting an oil change. Otherwise, you could end up with an expensive disaster.

5- The W Rating Stands For Weight

A multi grade rating has numbers that represent the viscosity of the oil. When these numbers go higher, the thickness is increased. It’s best to use a motor oil that has a viscosity that’s not too thin or thick.

If you’re driving in an area of the country that receives winter and summer seasons, the viscosity will change. By using a multi grade rating, it allows you to know both the cold and hot viscosities.

For example, 5W signifies signifies the viscosity rating for oil that is used in the winter (W = winter).

6- Synthetic Oils Are Not Advised For Older Vehicles

Full synthetic and synthetic blend oils are used in newer cars, which require the protective qualities that these oils provide. However, a synthetic oil can also be used in an older vehicle.

Synthetic motor oils will provide a higher rate of lubrication and help cool down the running temperature of the engine in your car.

7- Synthetic Oil Eats Seals

If you own an older car and it starts leaking oil, it’s probably not due to synthetic oil if that is what you have used. In this type of case, the area was probably already in a condition that was vulnerable to a leak.

By adding an oil that’s superior to conventional oil, it has the ability to break down and thoroughly clean the area that was probably stopping the leak.

8- Wait Until The Oil Turns Black To Change It

A common misnomer with motor oil is that it must be changed when it turns black. In actuality, black oil indicates that it is doing its job. It’s pulling out dirt particles and fuel that’s been partially burned.

It won’t hurt your vehicle to have black oil running through your engine, but you do want to change it as recommended by the manufacturer. Just be sure to have something placed on the ground so that you don’t get any oil stains on your concrete.

9- You Can’t Change Back From Full Synthetic Oil

Full synthetic oil has excellent cleansing properties. It also helps with the extreme temperatures that your engine reaches. This is why it’s recommended for new and old vehicles.

You will do no harm to your vehicle by switching back and forth from full synthetic to conventional oil.

With the facts surrounding these misconceptions cleared up, you should be able to make wise choices in the future when you need to have an oil change done on your vehicle.

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