Updated October 9th, 2016

How important is it--really--for you to get your oil changed on a regular basis? How exactly does engine oil affect your car's performance? If you neglect to get your oil changed, will your engine's performance decrease? For that matter, what exactly is implied by the word 'performance' anyway?



Oil Changes: The Lifeblood of Engine Performance

While there are dozens of awesome things you can do to enhance engine performance, nothing matters more than keeping the oil changed on a regular basis. If you fail to change your oil according to the manufacturer's recommended schedule, your engine will begin to collect deposits of dirt, acids, particulates, and sludge, all of which can produce significant wear on engine parts over time. Not only that, but old oil begins to lose its effectiveness in terms of its ability to prevent heat buildup, which will increase the stress placed on your engine during active driving. Given enough time, this will degrade your engine to the point of causing some type of breakdown, potentially costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs. Not only that, but even before the point of an absolute breakdown, your engine's performance will be hampered by old, ineffective oil.

What Exactly is "Engine Performance"?

To sum it up succinctly, engine performance mainly refers to fuel efficiency. If you're running your engine with old, thick and sludgy oil, it decreases the oil's ability to lubricate the various engine parts, causing them to work even harder just to keep everything operational. This requires more "effort" from your engine just to keep everything running at normal levels, which can really put a drag on your gas mileage. Not only that, but overused oil will begin to break down due to engine heat, which affects its viscosity (i.e., its ability to move freely throughout the engine). In addition, oil that has a significant buildup of sludge won't be able to get to the critical areas of the engine where it is needed most, because the sludge contained in the oil essentially blocks its pathway, leaving certain engine parts barely lubricated. This will reduce the usable life of your engine parts, and hinder the efficiency of the overall engine.

As you can see, engine oil performs several vital functions in your car, and without maintaining quality oil in your engine, problems (and repairs) will be inevitable. To ensure that your engine will have a long life and operate at optimal levels, bring your car in to your local Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto Sterling facility and have a professional Northern Virginia auto mechanics take care of this vital vehicle maintenance item.

Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto can efficiently check all components of your vehicle as part of a vehicle tune-up. With 8 locations throughout the Northern Virginia area to serve you - convenience is at your finger tips. Visit for more information on all of our locations.

*Always check your owner’s manual for your vehicle model’s specific instructions before attempting any type of repair.