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Can I Add Oil Instead of Changing it?

In today’s fast paced world, vehicle maintenance can be easy to place on the back burner. If you’re wondering if simply adding oil will extend the life of your last oil change, there are a few things to consider first, besides accidently overfilling and causing issues.

First, how to check your oil level properly.

To check your vehicle’s oil properly:

  1.  Make sure your engine is cold.
  2. Pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean with a lint free cloth.
  3. Push the dipstick to resting position and pull out to access the level and color.

Taking a look at your oil dipstick will tell you a great deal about the health of your vehicle. The level of oil on the dipstick will tell you how much oil your car has, and the color will tell you if your vehicle needs an oil change.

Fauquier Oil Change at Global Automotive in Bealeton VA

Second, determine your current oil level.

If your vehicle’s current oil level is below the acceptable level, add your vehicle’s specified oil right away.

Oil lubricates every moving piece in your engine, keeps your vehicle from overheating and ensures things flow properly. It’s much more dangerous for your car to drive without the proper amount of oil than it is to drive with a mix of new and old engine oil. 

What happens if you put new oil on top of old oil?

When you mix new and old oil, the new oil becomes “watered down” with the lack of interfacial tension and strains to do its’ job. Be sure to have your oil changed as soon as possible.

If oil dipstick is low:

The amount of oil that may be acceptable to make up for due to burn off will depend on your make and model, type of engine, wear and tear as well as age. The dipstick is your first indication of excessive oil consumption. If your vehicle is one quart low for every 1,000 miles, you most likely have a leak that could become very serious quickly.

What if oil level is high:

There are a few things that could cause a dipstick to read high, but all of them should be checked out by a professional quickly, as this could indicate serious issues arising.

These potential issues may include:

  • Water from combustion.
  • Condensed Fuel.
  • Coolant leaking into engine (Milky Look)
  • Accidental Overfilling.

If oil dipstick is dark:

Clean oil has the color of light honey. Dark colored, cloudy or gritty textured oil is a sign the lubricating components of the oil have been exposed to heat for too long and needs to be changed. Adding oil instead of an oil change at this point could cause engine issues. This used oil needs to be removed to allow new oil to lubricate your engine’s parts.

What happens if you go too long without oil change?

Oil that has been exposed to heat for too long loses its lubricating ability. Oil is responsible for lubricating every moving piece in your engine, keeping your vehicle from overheating and ensuring things flow properly. If you wait too long between oil changes, you could face expensive auto repairs or worse. A lack of quality oil can cause your engine to overheat and seize or blow a gasket.

Okay, I'll Schedule an oil change!

When does MY vehicle need its oil changed?

Your vehicle’s owner manual is the best place to start when it comes to the best maintenance schedule for your vehicle. Industry standard recommends every 3,000 miles for standard oil, but your owner’s manual may state 5,000 or even 7,500 miles as acceptable if your make and model recommends synthetic instead.

The type of oil you choose, conventional vs. fully synthetic, can help prolong the life of your oil changes. If you aren’t sure to your owner’s manual specifications, our mechanics can let you know the details of your vehicle.

An Oil Change at Global Automotive on Mustang

All in all....

An oil change is one of the simplest, most cost friendly services that help keep your vehicle healthy and help you to catch issues early. Don’t put it on your back burner, when a slightly longer lunch break could save you the stress and time an auto repair will cause you. Need to schedule your oil change? We’re conveniently located across from Messick Farms Market and have their menus on hand for you. Global Automotive’s mechanics have been trusted in Fauquier for over 27 years.

1 thought on “Can I Add Oil Instead of Changing it?”

  1. It really helped when you elaborated on changing a car’s oil and what happens if you don’t. My younger cousin is buying his first car next month and wants to learn how to keep it in good shape. Your information will help my cousin avoid costly auto repairs due to an overheated engine.

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