What Happens When You Wait Too Long for an Oil Change?

changing engine oilWe’ve all probably done it once or twice. Waited just a little longer than we should have for an oil change.

It is almost embarrassing when you finally take your vehicle in, not wanting to admit how long it’s been. But life gets in the way and things happen, so sometimes this seemingly small detail just isn’t a top priority in our busy lives.

But before skipping your oil change with frequency, you might want to know what REALLY happens if you wait too long to get your oil changed.

In order to answer that question, we have to clear up one thing first:

Why do you change the oil in your vehicle in the first place?

Engine oil needs to be changed because it gets contaminated. The purpose of engine oil is to cool the engine, clean, seal, and lubricate. When the oil is old and dirty from constantly flowing through the engine and cleaning it out, it can no longer do any of its four functions.

Another reason to change your oil is due to your vehicle’s tendency to burn it up. If your oil change is prolonged to long, the engine could potentially burn up all of the oil, causing a real issue in the function of your engine.

Once common solution to this problem is to simply top off the oil, but this is merely a short term solution. Which brings us back to the question:

What happens when you wait too long for an oil change?

There are several potential scenarios for skipping your oil change.  The first, and least likely, is that absolutely nothing will happen. While it is a possibility that depending on your climate and typical driving habits that your vehicle may go unaffected by this skipped step, this is not always the case.

The reality is that even though you may not see any adverse effects right away, not changing your oil is hard on the engine causing long term problems. If you have a turbo engine, it is especially important you change your oil at the recommended frequency. Just remember, changing your oil too often can also become a problem!

Ultimately, the trouble with skipping this maintenance step is that there is no guarantee you will not have any major issues as a result. It all depends upon the type of engine and the type of driving that you’re doing with your vehicle.

Changing your vehicle’s oil is one of the most simple steps you can take to maintaining a healthy engine. If your lucky, nothing will happen, but why take the chance when a simple step can ensure peace of mind?