6 Ways to Extend Oil Change Intervals
Oil keeps your vehicle’s engine running smoothly, though it won’t last forever. Oil changes are necessary to ensure the oil in your vehicle is clean and working effectively. In the past, oil changes used to be required quite frequently, though the recommended frequency has changed in recent years. Find out how often your vehicle really needs an oil change and how you can extend oil change intervals.
Why You Should Extend Oil Change Intervals
Getting your oil changed can be a hassle, and having it done often can be ineffective for your wallet. When you extend the intervals between oil changes, you’ll make fewer trips to the service shop. With fewer trips to have your vehicle serviced, you’ll save money on the cost of oil and the price of labor for the oil change.
Additionally, oil is considered a non-renewable resource, meaning Earth will run out of it one day. With less frequent oil changes, you’ll help conserve oil as a resource and can even help reduce the carbon emissions from your vehicle. Extended oil change intervals can be beneficial for both you and your car — if done correctly and effectively. Be sure to consult with your auto shop before extending your oil filter change intervals and keep these tips in mind.
1. Check the Owner’s Manual
Today’s oils are significantly improved from what they used to be. They’re able to protect engines from heat and wear while keeping emissions low. The introduction and wider use of synthetic oils have changed the necessary frequency of oil changes, as they last much longer. While oils have advanced to work more efficiently with a vehicle’s engine, most consumers don’t realize how often they really need to change their oil.
This is in part because of the age-old belief that your vehicle’s oil should be changed every three months or every 3,000 miles. Many vehicle owners today may even remember their parents telling them to follow these intervals religiously. However, consumers still believe in these intervals because many service departments and shops still recommend short intervals for oil changes. Unfortunately, service shops use this tactic to keep their service bays full and earn more money.
So, how often should you get an oil change? As a vehicle owner, it’s important to know what the recommended intervals are as suggested by your car’s manufacturer. This information will be outlined in your owner’s manual. Now, it’s common for owner’s manuals to read between 5,000-15,000 miles, and oil change intervals for diesel engines fall between 7,000-10,000 depending on the conditions. So look and find out how many unnecessary oil changes you might be able to avoid.
2. Bypass Filter
Oil filters remove contaminants that build up in your oil over time. If your oil is left unfiltered, the particles can wear down your engine’s surfaces. Using an oil filter that meets the engine manufacturer’s specifications is a great practice. Installing a secondary, or bypass, filter is an even better practice. Oil flows very slowly through bypass filters, allowing them to remove smaller contaminants.
For example, the Frantz Filter removes smaller particles that pass through the OEM filter, down to 2 microns, lowers the oil temperature and removes moisture from the oil. With a Frantz Filter, most oil can go 50,000 miles before needing to be drained because it keeps the oil cleaner. If you use a bypass filter, we recommend oil analyses every 25,000 miles to ensure the oil’s total base number is still at optimal levels.
3. Oil Analysis
Bubba from Bubba’s Quik Lube can’t look at engine oil on a dipstick and know it needs to be changed — even if he says he can. Sending your oil out for an analysis is the best way to learn the condition of your engine oil, detect issues before they become headaches and determine a safe oil change interval. An oil analysis can also help you determine how many miles your oil can run before it needs to be serviced again.
For example, if you suspect you may need an oil change soon and want to avoid a premature oil change, purchase an oil analysis kit to have your oil tested before scheduling an appointment at your local service shop. The analysis may come back informing you that you have another 2,000 before service is necessary.
4. FR3 Friction Reducer
FR3 Friction Reducer is an oil additive that helps increase lubricity and reduces the wearing properties of your oil.
FR3 will extend the host oil’s performance in shear stability, oxidation stability, film strength and wear reduction. An innovative synthetic PAO/ester base offers complete compatibility with all diesel and gasoline engine oils, as well as all conventional, semi-synthetic and full synthetic engine oils. FR3 can be used in any viscosity engine oil and with any OEM full-flow or aftermarket bypass filtration system.
5. Boost your TBN
TBN, or total base number, is a measure of how much active detergent and dispersive additive is left in your engine’s oil. While the base oil in engine oil doesn’t wear out, over time the TBN in your oil is depleted. When TBN is less than five, your oil has lost its effective capacity to neutralize acid and break down dirt. When paired with quality filtration, Hot Shot’s Secret TBN Booster can extend your drain intervals by tens of thousands of miles.
Excessive heat is one of the biggest causes of needing an oil change. Any amount of scale, debris, or rust in the cooling system can raise the oil temperature, and while a bypass filter or oil cooler can help lower oil temperatures, even your cooling system can affect oil temperature. Because of this, staying on top of cooling system maintenance is crucial and can extend the intervals between oil changes.
You should also continually check your engine oil level as low oil level accelerates degradation. Topping off the system with oil can also slightly replenish the TBN that may have been depleted.
Extend Intervals Between Oil Changes With Hot Shot’s Secret
Using these methods to extend your oil change intervals can help save you money since you’ll need oil changes less frequently. Find the necessary oil and additives you need to help keep your vehicle’s engine running smoothly at Hot Shot’s Secret. Contact us for more information and tips or find what you’re looking for in our expansive inventory.