Strickland Brothers 10 Minute Oil Change

strickand brothers employee smiling at camera with arms crossed
What happens to oil in a car that’s rarely driven? It’s a question that might sound odd, but it’s one that we at Strickland Brothers hear more often than you’d expect. Many car owners think a vehicle gathering dust in the garage doesn’t need its oil changed. But how accurate is this assumption? As automotive experts, we can confidently say it doesn’t hold water. No matter how often you find yourself behind the wheel, every car benefits from regular attention and care, including a swift drive-thru oil change. Remember, regardless of whether your car is driven or not, it still needs an oil change based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. This is typically after a certain number of miles or months, whichever comes first. However, understanding that answer might take a bit more info, so let’s hit the road and discover why your seldom-driven car still needs its oil changed. 

The Role of Oil in Your Car

The oil in your car’s engine functions much like the blood in your body. It serves an important role, enabling your car’s heart—the engine—to operate smoothly. It lubricates moving parts, reducing friction and wear. It cleans, whisking away dirt and debris that can cause damage over time. It cools, helping manage the immense heat generated by the combustion process. And it seals, ensuring optimal pressure within the engine’s cylinders. This is the multifaceted job of oil, indispensable whether your car frequents the highways or simply sits in your garage. However, there’s an underappreciated aspect to oil—it doesn’t last forever. Time, temperature, and environmental factors like salt water in the air or dust kicked up on the road can degrade it. It’s a phenomenon that can lead to the question, what happens if you don’t get your oil changed regularly? The answer can be as severe as engine damage and failure. That’s because, over time, old oil loses its ability to perform effectively, exposing your engine to wear and tear, overheating, and even breakdown. This is true whether you’re clocking significant mileage or your vehicle is stationary. That’s why it’s vital to adhere to oil changes as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, ensuring your car’s engine stays in top condition. After all, an oil change is not just about the miles driven but about preserving the life of your engine.

The Lifespan of Oil in a Car Not Driven

How long does oil actually last in a car that’s more often parked than driven? The answer may surprise you. Even in a car that’s rarely driven, oil doesn’t enjoy an infinite lifespan. The rule of thumb is about six months—despite oil’s typical shelf life of five years. This duration can vary based on numerous factors, such as the oil type, storage conditions, and environmental factors. In essence, your vehicle’s engine oil is like a ticking clock, counting down the days to its next necessary change. While mileage is an understandable and commonly used benchmark for scheduling oil changes, it’s not the only determinant of oil lifespan. Time also plays a critical role. Factors such as climate can influence how quickly oil degrades over time. For instance, the oil can deteriorate faster if a car is stored in a hot, humid climate. Oil type is also a factor—synthetic oils tend to last longer than conventional ones. The condition of the vehicle and how it’s stored when not in use also contribute. A car parked in a well-ventilated, temperate garage is in a more favorable condition than one parked in an exposed, outdoor area. This nuanced understanding of oil lifespan underscores the importance of regular oil changes, regardless of how much or little your car is driven. Remember that oil change isn’t merely a matter of miles covered but of time elapsed. Consider it a periodic tune-up that keeps your car in top shape, ready to hit the road whenever needed. If you think it’s been a while since the last oil change, why not look for an oil change near me? Staying ahead of the curve with timely oil changes helps ensure your car’s engine is always protected and primed, whether it’s a daily runner or a less frequently driven vehicle.

Indicators of Oil Degradation

As a car owner, understanding the signs of oil degradation is crucial—especially for vehicles that aren’t frequently driven. The oil is the lifeblood of your car, providing essential lubrication and cooling to the engine components. When it starts to degrade, it sends out telltale signals that every car owner should be aware of. Signs of oil degradation include unusually dark color, thicker texture, and an unpleasant burnt odor. Also, if the oil level drops significantly without apparent leakage, it might indicate that the oil has started to form sludge and is no longer effectively lubricating the engine. How does one understand these signs, and what do they imply for your car that sits idle more often than not? Dark oil isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm—fresh oil typically turns dark due to contaminants it gathers from the engine. However, if the oil becomes too dark or thick or develops a strong burnt smell, this could suggest degradation. A thicker texture signifies the oil is turning into sludge—a significant problem as it can clog up the engine and lead to severe damage. A dramatic drop in the oil level might be a sign of sludge formation in the engine, which could be blocking the oil from reaching vital engine components. However, it can be challenging for the average person to discern the fine line between normal and degraded oil. This is why learning how to tell if an engine is damaged from no oil or degraded oil is crucial. If the engine makes unusual sounds, feels rough during operation, or overheats, these could be signs of oil starvation or damage due to degraded oil. To avoid such issues, routine maintenance is key. As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlights, regular oil changes are integral to sustainable car maintenance—benefiting vehicle health and the environment. Opting for a 10-minute oil change near-me service, like those provided by us at Strickland Brothers, can help ensure your car’s oil is always in prime condition. Even if your car isn’t frequently driven, regular oil changes can safeguard your engine’s health and prolong your vehicle’s life.

The Bottom Line: Change Oil Even if Car Not Driven

Even if your car’s been sitting idle more often than hitting the road, its oil still needs regular swapping. Why do you need an oil change? Because time and conditions can take a toll on oil, leading to degradation that can harm your engine. And that’s exactly why you need an oil change. Regular oil changes help keep your engine purring like a kitten, prevent oil breakdown, and ensure your ride is set to go the distance when you put it back on the road. Spotting the signs of oil troubles and sticking to a regular oil change schedule is super important for you, no matter how much or how little you drive your car. Trust our team at Strickland Brothers to always be ready to give your vehicle a quick and professional oil change. Your car, and your peace of mind, deserve it!