I was actually a passenger in a car that was having an active oil leak. The driver knew what was happening, and was warned to pull to the side of the road and call a tow truck, but she wanted to try to make it home. Unfortunately, she didn’t. The engine seized up, never to run again. What a foolish and costly mistake.
The simple fact is that the engine in your car cannot run without lubrication from oil. Heat and friction would, as illustrated in the case above, cause the engine to come to a full halt.
When I bought a new car many years ago and took it in for it’s first oil change the mechanic said to me that if I kept the oil changed I’d get 200,000 miles out of the engine. He was right. I faithfully changed the oil every 3,000 miles and at 189,000 miles had to say goodbye to my faithful friend, not due to engine trouble, but due to a rusting frame. He also noticed that the oil filter that was on my vehicle from the manufacturer was larger than actually called for. He said this wasn’t a bad idea. A larger amount of oil meant more flowing through the engine cooling and lubricating and cleaning the engine. When I started to change the oil myself I kept on using the larger oil filter.
Most new cars today don’t call for their oil to be changed quite as often as every 3,000 miles. Generally it’s 5,000 and some even more. I like to have the oil in my car changed at least every 5,000 miles. That oil change is actually more than an oil change. The technician gets to give your car a once over, checking belts and hoses and other vital fluids. Generally we don’t even think about these things. It’s much easier to change a worn belt while your car is in the shop than be broken down on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.
The simple act of changing the oil in your car may be the best thing you can do to protect your car, and your investment in it.