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Getting your oil changed is one of the most basic and important routine maintenance tasks you can do for your car. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about oil changes.

Why do I need my oil changed?

Oil keeps everything running smoothly in your engine. However, oil breaks down and gets dirty over time and if this used, it can cause severe problems, including sludge build-up and eventual engine failure.

Why do I need a filter change?

The oil filter does exactly what it sounds like. It filters out the contaminants in the oil and prevents them from running through your engine. When the filter gets full or clogged, these contaminants flow freely through the oil and then into your car’s engine causing sludge to build-up.

How often do I need to get my oil changed?

For this answer, you need to read your owner’s manual. If you drive a Nissan, you can check this online Maintenance Guide. You also need to consider your driving habits. If you frequently drive under “severe” conditions, you need to get your oil changed more often—closer to the standard 3,000 miles/3 months recommendation. Severe driving conditions include frequent short trips under 10 miles, driving in dust or sand, stop-and-go driving, pulling heavy loads, extended idling, and harsh weather.

Why is there a time recommendation for oil changes?

Even if you don’t drive your car, there is still activity in your engine. The air temperature (heating and cooling) can cause acidic moisture to build up in certain engine parts. If the engine isn’t run long enough to burn off this moisture, it can add contaminants to your car’s oil. That is when it would need to be changed at a specific time interval as opposed to mileage.

What engine fluids should I be checking?

Sometimes, it can seem tedious just to refill your tank with gasoline – let alone to check up on all of your vehicle’s many fluids. However, this vital process not only keeps your car running smoothly, but also could prevent a breakdown or accident.

To help you out, here is a quick rundown of some of your car’s major fluids, what they do, and how frequently you should check or change them:
  • Engine oil – lubricates the many working parts of your vehicle and absorbs heat, keeping the interior mechanisms functioning smoothly and protecting your engine. It should be checked about once a month; should be changed about every 3,000 miles or six months, depending on the vehicle​ 
  • Transmission fluid – similarly lubricates the working parts of your transmission, also functioning as a coolant that transmits power from the engine to the transmission. This should be checked about once a month and should be changed somewhere between every 50,000 and 100,000 miles​ 
  • Coolant – also known as antifreeze; keeps your car cool and prevents overheating. It should be checked a couple of times per year, especially before summer and before winter. Furthermore, it should be changed every two to three years​ 
  • Brake fluid – keeps your brakes working properly and should be checked at least every two years. In addition, it should be changed about once every two years or whenever your brakes seem to be working improperly​ 
  • Windshield washer fluid – works in conjunction with windshield wipers to clear your windshield and give you maximum visibility. It should be checked more frequently depending on how often you used it; should be refilled whenever necessary​ 

If you have any questions or would like to visit our service department for more information, contact us or stop in anytime at Rothrock Nissan!
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