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What Happens When You Skip An Oil Change?

What Happens When You Skip An Oil Change?

Apart from fuel, oil is the second most important fluid for your car and its upkeep is essential to help your vehicle function properly. Its purpose is to lubricate, clean, and keep the engine from overheating. The moveable parts of the engine such as pistons require proper lubrication to prevent wear and tear caused by friction. Therefore, routine oil change helps keep the engine healthy by slowing down the wear and tear process.

Yet, many vehicle owners have admitted to skipping their routine oil change or pushing their oil well past recommended limits. These actions pose a significant risk to their engine and overall vehicle performance. Using the same oil once or twice might not have much of a negative effect on your car. But, the longer you go without getting an oil change, the more it will damage the internals of your engine.

This post details the consequences of skipping or delaying an oil change:

Your Engine Will Seize

The primary function of oil is to lubricate the various components of your car’s engine such as its pistons, cylinders, and other parts. It absorbs the heat that is generated by friction when different parts of the engine rub against each other. Without proper lubrication, a large amount of heat is produced that welds the surfaces together and causes the engine to seize.

The damage, as a result, is extensive and there is a high likelihood that you will need an engine replacement, which can be very costly. In such a situation, most drivers prefer selling their car for scrap and purchasing a new vehicle.

Your Engine’s Performance Will Decline

In addition to lubrication, your car oil also keeps the engine clean and prevents corrosion. The detergents present in the oil collect debris and other insoluble by-products as it passes through your car engine’s various components. These contaminants are then carried to the oil filter where they’re completely removed.

However, debris and ferrous deposits can accumulate in the oil if it is left to circulate in the engine for a long time. So if you leave the oil unchanged, it will develop a sludge-like consistency. This will make it difficult for the oil to access the inner parts of your engine, hindering the lubrication of those components. This will lead to the generation of heat due to friction.

The accumulation of heat will deteriorate additives in the detergent, diminishing the oil’s cleansing properties. The rate of the oxidation in the oil might also increase as a result of continuous exposure to high temperatures, leading to engine wear. A regular oil change will keep your car engine running smoothly and provide excellent fuel economy.

Your Engine Will Overheat

The internal combustion engine in some vehicles also utilizes oil for a process known as ‘oil cooling’. As its name suggests, the process uses engine oil as a coolant. A lot of heat is generated by car engines, which is transferred to the oil. This oil then passes through a radiator-like component called the oil cooler, which is responsible for lowering the temperature of the oil by absorbing heat. The cooled oil is sent back to the engine for continuous cooling.

This cooling system plays a critical role in preventing your engine from overheating. However, when components present in the oil start breaking down at elevated temperatures, the chemical properties of the oil become unstable, and its heat absorption ability reduces. Skipping an oil change consistently will increase your engine’s chance of overheating.

Signs You Need To Change Your Engines Oil

Sludgy Oil

If your oil has a dark, murky, sludgy, or sticky appearance, then it is time to change it. Normally, oil has a golden-brown hue and moves through your car’s engine with fluidity.

Knocking Noise

If a knocking or loud banging noise is coming from underneath your hood, you must consider getting an oil change as soon as possible.

Oil Change Light

Various vehicles have a symbol on their dashboard that lights up if you need to have your oil changed.

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