An oil change is considered basic maintenance, but there is nothing basic about the damage that is caused if you skip an oil change. Knowing these five things that could go wrong should convince you to avoid skipping this car service.
1. Friction Leads to Wear and Tear
Oil is a lubricant, so by its very nature, it is designed to keep the moving parts in your car's engine moving smoothly. Over time, the oil that runs through the engine picks up small particulates. The more particulates there are, the more friction there will be in the engine since the oil can't lubricate as well. This increased friction also increases the chances that something will become damaged and a major repair will be necessary.
2. Your Car Becomes Noisier
Friction does more than just wear out parts. It also makes them noisier. The more things in the engine rub together from lack of lubrication, the more the engine will shake or rattle. If you can suddenly hear an engine that once ran quietly, the cause is very likely that the oil needs changed. Not only does the increased noise mean that parts are being damaged, but the increase in shaking and vibrations can also cause additional damage to various parts throughout the engine compartment.
3. Emissions Become Worse
As the oil collects sediment and slowly becomes sludge, another problem will surface — increased dirty emissions. You may notice darker smoke coming from the tailpipe as the sediment in the oil begins to burn. Your car will also begin to stink, particularly when you press on the gas or rev the motor. In locales that require emissions testing for vehicle registration, you may end up failing the emissions test.
4. The Engine Begins to Knock
A knocking noise will eventually develop in the engine if you continue to drive without having an oil change. As the oil turns to sludge, the level of oil reduces. Leaks also become more likely, which increases the chances of low oil in the engine. This lack of oil causes fuel to combust unevenly in the cylinders, which then in turn results in the knocking noise. Adding oil can temporarily solve the knocking issue, but only an oil change will remedy it. Further, once knocking begins, damage is already occurring, so you will need to have the car inspected and tuned.
5. Engine Failure Becomes Imminent
Finally, if you still drive the car without an oil change after the knocking begins, it will soon break down completely. This isn't likely to be a minor breakdown either — you will likely need to completely replace the engine. This is because, without proper lubrication, the moving parts in your engine will completely seize up and become stuck.
Don't skip your oil change. It is an important car service that you need to drive safely.