Is missing an oil change a big deal? Turns out, yes

Keeping up with your car’s scheduled oil changes can be a pain, and after hearing about engines that seem to cross the half-million-mile mark with ease, it is tempting to neglect the lifeblood of your engine. Don’t give in to that temptation. Engineering Explained just released a video that explores why regular fluid swaps are so important.

The importance of lubricating a car’s engine cannot be understated. Without oil, things go bad—fast. However, there’s also the problem of bad oil in the crankcase. Oil that’s full of contaminants can be just as damaging as not having oil at all. Jason Fenske takes a look at a selection of the additives in modern oils and how their degradation over time can cause damage to a precision machine.  

Fenske makes an interesting point that given enough time, oil will increase in viscosity. Combine that thickening with colder temps, oil consumption, or leaking, and an engine’s oil sump can reach a low-enough level under load that the oil pump runs dry. Don’t worry, your engine let you know that this has occurred; the knocking sound is unmistakable. Next step at that point: rebuild.

This is all to say that regular maintenance is always easier and cheaper than letting something go until it fails—especially in classic cars, where original parts can be scarce and originality matters. It is a pain to dispose of used oil after doing an oil change in your garage, and it can be even more nerve-wracking wondering if the newbie at your oil change shop is feeling “up to par” on a particular afternoon.

No matter your excuse, it’s never good enough to skip preventative maintenance.

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