What happens if we don’t change the oil in our car?

Not complying with the oil change intervals in our car is a wrong decision that can have dire consequences for the vehicle’s engine. A wrong saving measure that can lead to serious breakdowns and other problems.


All oil manufacturers and all vehicle manufacturers have a specific maintenance interval. This interval is reflected in a certain number of kilometers traveled, after which the process of changing the oil for a new one is necessary. And although it is true that we can slightly exceed this interval, circumstantially, the truth is that exceeding the recommended maintenance intervals is not a correct measure, neither for saving nor for car care. So that you have clearer the consequences of not changing the vehicle’s oil at the times when it should be done, we are going to analyze what happens when we do not change the oil on time.


What is oil for

As a preliminary step, we are going to analyze what the oil does inside the engine of our vehicle. Defined by many as the blood of the engine, oil is responsible for taking care of the interior of the vehicle, generating a lubrication film on all its parts that reduces friction between the moving parts of that engine, which lengthens the useful life it and reduces fuel consumption.

Another important effect of oil is that it collaborates with the coolant liquid in the process of eliminating part of the heat generated inside the vehicle. Since oil circulates throughout the engine, it can extract some of the heat from areas where the coolant does not reach, cooling the engine and helping it maintain optimal operating temperature.

Finally, the oil is also responsible for eliminating waste that may be generated inside the engine, by the explosion and combustion processes themselves. This debris travels to the oil filter, helping to reduce contamination and improve overall vehicle performance. Some properties that the oil loses as it adds kilometers.




And what if you never change the oil

Not changing the oil at the precise moment of the indicated interval is something that has no consequences, as long as we do not overdo it. In other words, if we have to change the oil every 10,000 kilometers and change it at 10,500 or even 11,000, this will surely have no consequences. But if we make this delay a practice or we take longer to change that oil then we will have many problems. Let’s think that an oil with excess mileage is gradually turning into a kind of paste, loaded with residues from the operating process and that it is unable to fulfill what is expected of it.

Among the problems that can arise, one of the most serious is the premature wear of the engine, which causes a general loss of power, a slower response of the same as well as a greater risk of looseness in its components. This lack of lubrication also translates into an increase in noise inside the engine, given that, since there is no quality lubricating film, the different elements rub with greater intensity, which translates into these noises and greater wear than we have commented.

However, this is not the worst thing that can happen to our vehicle. If the oil remains unchanged, we run the risk of some engine parts, such as the connecting rod bushings, breaking. The same goes for the camshaft, which can suffer further deterioration due to the lack of adequate lubrication.

 The most serious risk is engine seizure. This seizure occurs when the engine is unable to rotate due to excessive engine friction, causing it to become blocked. A very serious breakdown that practically requires changing the engine and practically all its components, with a cost that can reach 6,000 euros. All for not getting an oil change on time.

By the way, although we have focused on changing the oil, it is also key that we check the oil level frequently. An engine with less oil than necessary increases the risks of breakdowns similar to those we have mentioned, due to the greater wear and tear suffered by said oil and its lower lubricating capacity.




Don’t forget the filter

Although we have focused on oil so far, the truth is that the oil filter is also of key importance in this entire process. It is useless to use the best 5W30 oil , or the one that corresponds to your engine, if it turns out that this oil circulates through a dirty filter and that it is not capable of removing the residue from its interior. So just as important that changing the oil at the recommended intervals is key to doing the same with the filter.

Regarding the frequency of change of this filter, we are faced with different approaches. One of them is the one that indicates that the oil filter should be changed every two oil changes. This idea was appropriate when the oils used in the vehicles were mineral-based, with a useful life of approximately 7,500 or 10,000 kilometers, but not so much now, when a synthetic oil can reach 30,000 kilometers of durability.

So our advice is to change the oil and filter at the same time. There is no point in using a dirty filter with clean oil, as this clean oil will get dirty as soon as it passes through the filter. In addition, the cost of changing a filter is barely 20 to 50 euros more, depending on the vehicle we are talking about. In return, this small investment will allow us to have an immaculate oil for much of the mileage, removing more dirt and debris from the interior of the engine. So the idea of ​​doing the oil and filter change on the fly is our recommendation.



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