What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Oil?

Oil Light


As life gets busy, it can feel natural to push car care to the side. This is especially true when it comes to routine, non-emergency care. While regular oil changes aren’t done in an emergency, neglecting them can be quite hazardous. So, what happens if you don’t change your oil? Well, engine oil is tasked with lubricating the moving parts in your engine. Along with that, oil keeps the temperature in your engine stable. 

If your engine gets too hot, serious damage can occur during your Cadillac commute. While you now know a bit of what happens if you don’t get your oil changed, you’ll want to read through our guide below with our service team to get the full scope on why you should prioritize car care. 

What Does Motor Oil Do?

As you learn what happens if you don’t change your oil, you may wonder what oil does under the hood. Engine oil is tasked with the following:

  • Primarily, engine oil is responsible for reducing wear and tear on moving parts caused by friction. 
  • If your oil contains dispersants, it will clean sludge from your engine. 
  • Detergents in oil also help to remove varnish from the engine. 
  • When changed on a routine basis, motor oil can help neutralize acids that form from fuels, promote better seals on piston rings, and keep the engine cool.

Take it from the experts, you don’t want to find out what happens if you don’t get your oil changed while commuting from Bellaire to Manistee!

How Often Should I Change My Vehicle’s Oil?

In the past, you were likely told you needed to change your oil every 3,000 miles. However, thanks to modern automotive technology, your oil change frequency is likely much more spread out. For most drivers, an oil change once every 7,500-10,000 miles is appropriate. However, this can change based on driving habits, vehicle, terrain, and more. Consult with our team if you’re unsure when your next oil change is needed. 

How Do I Change the Oil Myself?

Not only is it important to know what happens if you don’t get your oil changed, but learning how to check your oil and how to perform an oil change are valuable skills. If you’d like to try a DIY oil change in your Traverse City garage, follow these steps:

  1. Elevate your vehicle with steel ramps or jack stands. 
  2. Find the oil drain plug under your oil pan. Place your oil basin directly beneath it and unscrew the plug. Allow the oil to drain for roughly 15 minutes or until all the oil is fully drained. 
  3. Find the oil filter and remove it with an oil filter wrench. At this point, you can expect some extra oil to drain out, so keep your oil basin underneath it to catch it. 
  4. With your new filter, rub oil around the rubber seal. This essential step ensures that your filter will be watertight. 
  5. Replace the filter, tighten by hand. 
  6. Remove the oil cap and add the proper volume of oil. If you’re not sure what grade or amount of oil to add, your owner’s manual will offer the information you need. 
  7. Before you call it quits, check your oil volume with your dipstick. If the level is too low, slowly add extra oil until you’ve reached the proper amount. After that, you’re all set!

Turn to Serra Nissan of Traverse City for Oil Change Services

Now that you understand the importance of routine oil changes, you’re equipped to keep your vehicle in top shape for years to come. While you can always work through an at-home oil change, you can book an appointment with us if you’d rather let the pros handle the dirty work. Better yet, our rotating service coupons ensure that you’ll get a great deal. If you have any questions about caring for your vehicle, contact us right away!

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