Car Talk with PJ

Oil Price Illusion

Every vehicle needs a regular oil change, and that means the price of oil is always a factor to consider in order to control your vehicle’s operating cost. One of the best ways to do that is to use oil that meets the specifications of the manufacturer of your car, and use the oil change intervals that are recommended. More is not better. Changing oil more frequently than recommended is a waste of money and resources. It increases the volume of waste entering the environment with no positive effect on vehicle performance, longevity or costs. Recommended service intervals include a time and mileage factor, whichever is first, and it is important not to exceed those criteria. These intervals only work with oil that is recommended by the manufacturer. The specifications, which are in your owner’s manual, must also be printed on the oil bottle. If they are not printed on the oil bottle, that oil is not approved for use in your vehicle no matter what the manufacturer of that oil claims. Also, do not use additives. Oil companies pay thousands of dollars to car manufacturers to have their oil approved for just one application and the car maker engages in exhaustive testing to ensure that their engines meet strict emissions and warranty requirements while maximizing longevity. Additives can cause harm to catalytic converters, oxygen sensors, particulate filters, piston rings and camshafts. The same goes for a low quality oil or the wrong oil. It is almost without exception that when we replace a catalytic converter on a VW product, we discover the owner had been using the wrong oil.

Again, more is not better. Frequent changes with products that have cheaper oil prices, will not protect the aforementioned components. In fact using this strategy will do more harm than leaving a high quality oil in too long. For more information on oil change frequency see our article titled How Often Should I Change My Oil.  Be an informed consumer and save money in the process. Make sure your oil change establishment is using the correct oil in your car. Robert’s Automotive can answer any questions you may have, or see our oil change page for more information. Ask to see the label to make sure, or go online and check the oil company’s website for a list of approvals for that oil. You’ll be rewarded with many thousands of miles of trouble free operation.