Motor Oil, the Life Blood of Your Vehicles Engine

The most important thing you can do for your vehicle engines is to maintain a clean engine using regular motor oil changes. There are two types of oils out there, regular oil which is petroleum based and synthetic, which is (you guessed it) synthetic based. Towards the end of this article I will explain the benefits of both and why in my opinion you should go with a   synthetic motor oil.

There are a lot of questions out there on the subject. I have created this frequently asked question guide to hopefully guide you in the proper direction of proper car and truck care . questions and answers go for both diesel and regular gasoline engines unless suggested differently .

Q. Is it necessary to change my oil and how often ?

A. The general rule of thumb that has been going on for many years is to change the engine oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months. This is good practice if you use conventional motor oil and live in the following climates:


  • Hot and dusty climates such as the desert.
  • Areas where the temperature drops below freezing on a regluar basis.
  • If you drive to work during rush our traffic and are succumbed to stop and go traffic on a daily basis .
  • Do you constantly do a lot of towing? This is one of the biggest strains you can put on an engine and its oil .


Q. What is this I hear about synthetic oils and are they better than conventional motor oils ?

A. synthetic motor oils hit the market back in the early seventies and were mainly touted by two companies, Amsoil and Mobil1. They both claimed the benefits of their oils by providing the following advantages over petroleum motor oils:


  • The molecules in synthetic oil tend to be very uniform in molecular makeup while in petroleum ( conventional) motor oil the individual molecules tend to be of varying sizes that can be quite substantial . The general meaning here is that the more uniform the size of the molecules the more uniform it will be dispersed throughout the engine . The Benefit to you is the motor will have no dry or hot spots which will lead to motor wear and possible costly repairs .
  • The burn-offs of synthetic oils is reduced overall so you won’t lose upwards of a quart of oil between oil changes . Many people have their oil changed with standard oil never check to see if they’ve lost any oil, which will also lead to engine failure . With the reduced burn-off that synthetic oils give burn-off is no longer an issue .
  • Synthetic motor oils also also have less chemical break-down due to shear forces along the cylinder walls. The fact that conventional oil have some very large molecules are that they can be ripped apart due to the extreme friction of the pistons against the cylinder walls, plus their molecules don’t have the overall strength of synthetic oils .


If you use a synthetic oil and it doesn’t specify any extended drain intervals you should still change it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. The benefits of this oil is you will develop less sluge and varnish in the long run over conventional oils, the negative is the fact that it will be more expensive, roughly twice the cost of a conventional oil change.

To iterate further on synthetic oils is the fact that companies like Mobil1, Pennzoil, Havoline, Amsoil, etc. are now offering synthetic oils with extended drain intervals that not only provide your engine with better protection but may also save you money in the long run. Not only that think of the convenience of only having to go to the oil change shop twice or even once a year instead of four. The DIY oil changers out there can really benefit from this.

The following list will show the benefits you will receive with the use of synthetic oil:

    • Reduced engine varnish and sludge
    • Cooler running engines due to less internal friction
    • Engine seals will virtually last forever due to the reduction in sludge and varnish. The reason here is the oil will now constantly reach the seals to keep them moist and lubricated and prevent their degradation by not allowing them to dry out.
    • You will also notice an increase in fuel mileage due to the fact of reduced internal friction. The amount of fuel mileage increase is not very significant unless you own a trucking company that puts hundreds of thousands of miles on their trucks yearly.


So as you can see here definitely stick with a synthetic motor oil if falls within your budget , it will save you time and money in the long run due to less truck repairs. People using synthetic oils constantly get over 200,000 miles from their vehicles without any major problems. I have over 150,000 miles in my 2001 Toyota 4runner and the motor still runs very smooth.

Don’t forget that changing your oil filter along with each motor oil change is necessary . It is common practice to do so anyway. I was in an oil change shop and the customer was getting mad at the manager for the following reason. The manager was insisting on changine his motor oil filter also . The customer kept saying he didn’t want it , “I don’t want to pay for a useless oil filter” was his response. Well the manager refused to change his oil at all after that. Do people realize that the oil filter is more important than the oil ? I guess this gentleman was oblivious to that fact. Oil filters are vitally important!

I hope this answers your general questions about motor oil engine maintenance . Keep your engine running with high quality synthetic motor oils and be sure to have regular oil and filter changes.

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