What Happens If You Don't Change Your Oil

  • Apr 15,2019
What Happens If You Don't Change Your Oil What Happens If You Don't Change Your Oil

Man with glasses on the side of the rood looking under his car's hoodWhat happens if you wait too long to change your oil? How bad can it be? We’ve all been in this position. Life gets in the way. You’re overwhelmed by work demands, family obligations, and a blizzard of small errands. One day, idling in rush hour traffic, you notice that reminder sticker in the corner of your windshield.

You’re overdue for an oil change.

It’s another task on your already long to-do list. You convince yourself to push it. Wait until next week, maybe next month, whenever life is more manageable. Plus, does oil really need to be changed every 3,000 miles? Putting it off couldn’t cause too much harm. Right?


Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle. It lubricates and protects all those meticulously engineered moving parts in your car’s engine. Having it changed at regular intervals is one of the most economical ways to get reliability and peak performance out of the vehicle you rely on to carry you through life.

Bad things can happen if your oil isn't changed. The following are just a few of the ways delaying or skipping oil changes could cost you time and money.

A Voided Vehicle Warranty

One of the best perks of buying a new car is the peace-of-mind that comes with a warranty. However, failing to have your car serviced according to factory specifications could render the warranty null and void.

Our oil technicians at Firestone Complete Auto Care will make sure that your car is serviced with manufacturer-approved oil, keeping your car purring and its warranty intact. We keep detailed records of your maintenance history should you ever need to provide documentation at the dealership.

Poor Engine Performance

Along with lubrication, oil also keeps your car’s engine clean. Detergents, dispersants, and other additives transport dirt and debris into the fuel filter—which is replaced during an oil change. Once your filter becomes clogged, all this grime is forced to circulate back through the engine.

Smooth, clean oil gradually becomes dirty sludge. Your engine’s moving parts have to fight through this muck, forcing it to work harder. Your car might have less punch and torque. And the harder your engine has to work, the more gas it will guzzle. That means you could be stopping at the pump more often to fork over your hard-earned money.

Complete Engine Failure

Go long enough without an oil change, and it could eventually cost you your car. Once motor oil becomes sludge, it no longer draws heat from the engine. The engine might overheat and either blow a gasket or seize up.

The milky white exhaust of a blown head gasket will force you directly to the side of the road. Fixing a blown head gasket can be a costly repair, one that may not make sense for your car depending on its age and value. You may find yourself at the dealership, contending with the headache of sales and finance people.

If the heat doesn’t cause a gasket to blow, it will warp the parts in your engine. With the oil’s lubricating qualities neutralized, metal will be grinding against metal. The engine will seize. There is no fix for this. A seized engine usually has to be replaced, and it's not hard to imagine how much that costs. Again, such a repair cost could put you precariously close to having to buy a new car.

All these problems—voided warranties, poor performance, decreased fuel economy, and seized engines—are much harder on your time and money than scheduling an oil change at Firestone Complete Auto Care. Our technicians use the Pennzoil Platinum line of motor oils, providing your vehicle with cleaner pistons, better fuel economy and horsepower, unsurpassed wear protection, and excellent extreme temperature performance.

An ounce of prevention—or five to six quarts of motor oil—is worth a pound of cure. Check out our latest oil change coupons and stop by for a quick oil change today. We’ll make sure the coffee is fresh.

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