What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Oil?

Auto mechanic checking engine oil level in body shop

When your vehicle is running, motor oil is needed to absorb and redistribute the heat produced by your engine block. So, what happens if you don’t change your oil? You can start to experience some serious problems, and your vehicle may even start to suffer long-term damage. If you want to keep your vehicle working as its makers intended, you’ll need to maintain your oil levels at all times, and secure regular changes whenever necessary.

What Does The Oil Do?

Motor oil lubricates the engine and allows all of its myriad components to work together in moving you forward. However, this is only half the story. Motor oil also absorbs heat from the engine, pistons, and other components underneath your hood, thereby preventing a great deal of wear and tear. If you don’t change your oil, your pistons may even weld themselves into the cylinders, irreparably damaging these crucial components.

These are all things that can happen if you try to drive your vehicle without sufficient oil, but they’re not the only possible outcomes of such a scenario. If you’ve recently missed a service date, you might be wondering what happens if you don’t get your oil changed frequently enough? Older oil will hold on to all of the dirt and grime that it collects moving through your engine, and oil that’s too dirty may end up clogging portions of your machinery.

How Often Should I Change My Vehicle’s Oil?

Today’s vehicles can often go around 5,000 to 7,500 miles between oil changes, but if you’re not putting that many miles on the odometer, you’ll still want to have your oil changed at least twice a year! This is because oil naturally breaks down and becomes less useful over time. Heavy workloads, long-distance driving, and days spent in stop-and-go traffic can all accelerate the breakdown of your oil and may necessitate more frequent changes.

If you notice a leak or think you might be due for an oil change, you can always open up the hood and check your oil levels. In addition to determining if you have too much or too little oil running through your engine, you’ll be able to assess the color and consistency of the product. Oil that’s too dark, smells burnt, or has small particles in it should definitely be changed right away.

How Do I Change It Myself?

Someday, you may want to save by performing an oil change by yourself! As long as you’ve made sure to secure the right type of oil — check your owner’s manual — the process is pretty simple:

  1. Go underneath the vehicle to remove the drain cap and release the old oil. Then resecure the cap.
  2. It’s a good idea to remove the oil filter and replace it with a new one, but be careful–the old filter may still be hot with old oil.
  3. With the drain cap and the new filter secured, you’re ready to add more oil. Slowly pour your oil into the container, checking the levels periodically to make sure that you’re not overfilling.

If you don’t have time to change your own oil, don’t fret: the trained professionals at the Toyota of Hollywood service center can get you in and out with fresh oil in an hour. Be sure to check out our Toyota oil change coupons before you visit!

Get More Tips from the Team at Toyota of Hollywood

Whether you’re wondering how to reset the maintenance light on your Toyota Camry, or need to know how to lease with bad credit near Hollywood, you can get the help you need at Toyota of Hollywood near Los Angeles!

If you’re in need of an oil change, or have questions about the right way to care for your vehicle over time, don’t hesitate to schedule service or reach out to the experts at Toyota of Hollywood.