Taking care of your car is an important responsibility that comes with ownership. One of the most critical aspects of car maintenance is changing the oil regularly. When it comes to Subaru cars, how often should you be getting an oil change? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about engine health, car maintenance, and oil changes.
Why is Changing Oil Important?
Before we dive into how frequently you need to change the oil in your Subaru, we need to understand why it’s essential. Oil is responsible for lubricating the engine’s moving parts, preventing them from grinding against each other and causing damage. Over time, the oil can become contaminated with dust, dirt, and other debris, reducing its lubricating properties.
This reduces the engine’s efficiency and can lead to overheating, corrosion, and general wear and tear. Regular oil changes can help maintain the engine’s health and prolong its lifespan.
How Often Should I Change My Oil?
The frequency of oil changes varies depending on a range of factors, including the type of oil used, the age of the vehicle, and driving conditions. In general, Subaru recommends changing the oil every 6,000 miles or six months, whichever comes first.
However, if you drive in more extreme conditions, such as hot temperatures or dusty environments, you may need to change the oil more frequently. It’s also worth noting that using synthetic oil may extend the interval between oil changes, as it tends to last longer than conventional oil.
Ultimately, however, it’s always best to refer to your vehicle’s owner manual, which outlines the recommended oil change schedule for your specific make and model.
What Happens If I Don’t Change My Oil Regularly?
Failing to change your oil regularly can lead to a range of consequences, from decreased engine performance to complete engine failure. Some common issues that can arise from not changing your oil regularly include:
- Reduced fuel efficiency: Old, dirty oil can cause the engine to work harder than it needs to, leading to lower fuel economy.
- Increased emissions: A poorly lubricated engine can also pollute more, leading to higher emissions levels.
- Engine damage: Over time, the engine’s internal components can become damaged due to increased friction, leading to costly repairs or even full engine replacements.
- Safety issues: An engine that’s been neglected for too long can stop working altogether, leading to potential breakdowns and safety hazards on the road.
Conventional VS Synthetic Oil
Another factor worth considering when it comes to oil changes is the type of oil used. There are two primary types of engine oil: conventional and synthetic. Conventional oil is made from crude oil and is the traditional option. Synthetic oil, on the other hand, is created using advanced chemical processes and is designed to be more durable and long-lasting.
While synthetic oil tends to be more expensive than conventional oil, it has several advantages, including:
- Longer lifespan: Synthetic oil can last up to three times longer than conventional oil, meaning you’ll need fewer oil changes over the life of your car.
- Better performance: Synthetic oil is generally more resistant to temperature changes, meaning it can perform better under extreme conditions.
- Improved engine lifespan: Because synthetic oil is more durable and long-lasting, it can help prolong your engine’s lifespan by keeping it lubricated and protected.
Types of Oil Filters
Finally, when it comes to oil changes, it’s worth considering the type of oil filter used. Oil filters are responsible for removing contaminants from the oil as it circulates through the engine. There are two primary types of oil filters:
- Standard oil filter: These filters are generally made of paper and are less expensive than their counterparts. However, they’re also less durable and need to be changed more frequently.
- Long-life oil filter: These filters are more expensive but can last much longer than standard filters – up to 20,000 miles in some cases.
Q: Can I change my oil myself, or should I take it to a professional?
A: It’s possible to change your oil yourself, but it’s essential to follow the correct procedure to avoid damaging your car. If you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s best to take your car to a professional.
Q: Are oil changes expensive?
A: The cost of an oil change can vary depending on the type of car and oil used. However, oil changes are generally considered to be one of the most affordable forms of preventative maintenance.
Q: What happens if I use the wrong type of oil or filter?
A: Using the wrong type of oil or filter can lead to reduced engine performance or damage. Always refer to your owner manual for the correct oil and filter specifications for your car.
In conclusion, changing the oil regularly is an important preventative maintenance measure that can help keep your Subaru running smoothly for years to come. By following the recommended schedule outlined in your owner manual, using high-quality oil and filters, and consulting a professional mechanic when needed, you can help ensure that your car stays in top condition for all your travels ahead.