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Oil Changes in Houston, TX

oil changes and auto repair in Houston, TX

When was the last time you had your car’s oil changed? When was the last time you checked it? Oil changes are one of the cheapest, but most important maintenance tasks you can have performed on your vehicle. They’re absolutely vital, though, to heading off expensive auto repair down the line. Pay a little now for routine maintenance, or pay a lot later for major auto repair. Choose McIntyre Auto and schedule an appointment for all oil change and auto repair needs in Houston, TX. 

Oil Change Intervals

For years, auto repair shops pushed the 3,000 mile interval for oil changes. With older formulations of motor oil that didn’t feature detergents and other additives, that was a pretty accurate recommendation. Today’s oils, though, can easily go 5,000 miles between oil changes without causing any problems that could lead to an auto repair job. Synthetic oils, while more expensive, are generally considered to outperform conventional motor oils in all respects, and are stable enough to go 7,500-12,000 miles between changes (always check manufacturer’s recommendations). Diesel engines and turbocharged engines tend to generate more soot – to avoid carbon deposits and expensive auto repair, many manufacturers recommend more-frequent oil changes for diesels. 
You don’t have to be well-versed in auto repair to keep tabs on your oil level, though. Raise the hood and look for a handle marked “Engine Oil”; that’s the dipstick, and it goes straight down into the crankcase. Pull the dipstick, wipe off the oil on a rag or paper towel, and re-insert it into the dipstick tube. Check it again and see if the oil level falls in the acceptable range on the dipstick. The oil should be clean and honey-colored; it’s easy to spot dirty oil due to its brownish-black tinge. Don’t overfill the crankcase above the “full” line on the dipstick. Overfilling can allow the crankshaft to whip the oil into a froth, leading to all kinds of problems and an expensive auto repair bill. 

What Happens When You Don’t Get Regular Oil Changes

The combustion process generates a lot of heat, carbon and chemicals. Motor oil helps lubricate and cool moving parts, reducing wear and friction from metal-on-metal contact. The additives in motor oil are designed to suspend the carbon and other contaminants that result from combustion; in addition, the paper element in the oil filter traps particles so they won’t circulate through the engine. Over enough time, though, those particles will begin to build up on rotating assemblies like bearings and valvetrain parts, speeding up engine wear, shortening engine life and leading to – you guessed it – unneeded auto repair work. 

oil changes in Houston, TXDangers of Used Oil 

Used motor oil is some nasty stuff. It’s full of carbon, acids, petrochemicals and combustion byproducts; because of its weight, it can persist in the environment for years. If it makes its way to groundwater, a gallon of used motor oil can pollute 1 million gallons of water; in a water treatment plant, concentrations as low as 50 parts per million can interfere with the treatment process. 
Auto repair shops, oil-change stores and most cities offer recycling for used motor oil; it can be filtered and re-refined or distilled and used as fuel for boilers and industrial heaters. If you do your own auto repair and oil changes, don’t dump the stuff down the storm drain or pour it on the ground…do the proper thing with it and have it recycled.