Ultimate Oil Change Service Guide for Virginia Drivers

Car receiving oil change service in arizona

As a driver in Virginia, it is your responsibility to think ahead and make essential decisions for your vehicle that can keep it operating smoothly, help expand its lifespan, and keep you and your loved ones safe on the road. Not only is having a routine oil change service performed on your vehicle a responsible choice, but it also shows you care for your vehicle and are looking to get the most value out of your investment.

From understanding the importance of regular oil changes to identifying the right type of oil for your specific vehicle, we’ll share our oil change knowledge with you in our comprehensive guide. 

How Oil Changes Impact Engine & Car Performance

One of the most effective methods for maintaining your vehicle is also the most affordable. A simple oil change can improve your car's performance significantly in both the short and long run. When the oil has run out in your vehicle's engine, its metallic components will rub together to create friction while you're driving. If oil is in the engine, your car shouldn't overheat. But a lack of oil makes overheating a certainty, which can cause massive amounts of damage. 

What Happens During an Oil Change?

You may have heard the term oil change service several times, but do you know what's taking place under the hood? Several essential tasks are being performed to ensure a well-operating, longer-lasting engine, and vehicle. During these routine maintenance tasks, old engine oil is replaced with fresh, clean oil. 

Here's what typically happens during an oil change:

  • First, the vehicle will be raised on a hoist or supported with jack stands to provide easy access to the underside. A professional mechanic will then locate the oil drain plug, which is generally located at the bottom of the engine oil pan. The plug will be carefully removed, allowing the old oil to drain out completely into a collection container.
  • After the old oil has been drained, one of our expert mechanics will remove and replace the oil filter. The filter captures contaminants and debris, preventing them from circulating through the engine. Removing the old filter will ensure that only clean oil will flow through the system.
  • After installing a new oil filter, a mechanic will reinstall the drain plug and proceed to refill the engine with fresh oil. The recommended oil type and quantity will vary depending on your vehicle and manufacturer's specifications. It is essential to select the right oil grade and put in the right amount to ensure optimal engine performance.
  • Finally, a mechanic will inspect the oil level to confirm it is within the appropriate range on the dipstick. They may also conduct a visual inspection for any leaks and check the oil filter and drain plug for proper tightness.
  • In addition to changing the oil, some service providers may perform additional checks and services, such as inspecting the air filter, topping off fluids, checking tire pressure, and conducting a basic visual inspection of the vehicle.

What Happens When You Don’t Change Your Oil Regularly?

If you’ve never experienced the effects of frequently skipping out on oil changes, take it from us, it’s more time-consuming and costlier than scheduling routine oil changes with your local mechanic. If you’re lucky, you may end up with an issue on your hands that is repairable. Unfortunately, everyone can’t be so lucky. Some may end up having no choice but to purchase a brand-new engine, or worse. 

Below are a few common consequences of neglecting to change your vehicle’s motor oil regularly:  

Dirty Engine Oil

Poor quality of motor oil is a common symptom of neglecting to regularly change your oil. As time progresses, the oil in your engine will become contaminated with dirt, debris, and other particles. The more you drive your vehicle around the Virginia area and beyond, the more it will circulate through the engine, losing its lubricating properties and becoming less effective at reducing friction between your vehicle’s moving parts. Over time, this accumulation of dirt and sludge in the engine can clog oil passages, and prevent oil from properly flowing. This can lead to increased wear and tear on your engine’s components, which will also impact the oil’s ability to transfer heat over to the engine and reduce its overall efficiency.

Dirty engine oil, burning engine oil, and driving with little to no oil in your car are all sneaky culprits that can harm your engine. However, with regular oil change services, these can be avoided. Even if your oil has yet to run out entirely, replacing it on a regular basis makes it less likely that your engine will become damaged. Otherwise, you may have to contend with costly repairs and worse performance. While oil is moving through your engine, water, and dirt will accumulate in it, which makes it less efficient. Over time, dirt will deposit around the engine and become more compact. In this scenario, your engine would likely need a time-consuming engine cleaning.

A Damaged and Overheated Engine

Additionally, without regular oil changes, the oil can break down and lose its viscosity. As a result, it becomes less capable of properly lubricating the engine, leading to increased heat and friction. The engine may overheat, causing various issues such as warped cylinder heads, damaged gaskets, and even engine seizures.

Engine Failure 

The worst possible scenario you could face if you don’t change your oil regularly is engine failure. Your engine is the heart of your vehicle, and once it begins to go, it will either require an expensive auto repair or an even more costly replacement. While an overheated engine can cause significant damage, a failed engine is beyond repair. Scheduling regular oil changes is the best way to ensure that your car’s engine will never get to this point.  

In addition, below are several things you can do to prevent engine failure from occurring:

  • Routine engine maintenance checks are essential for optimal performance.
  • Inspecting your engine a little before a long journey can go a long way. 
  • Monitor fuel and oil levels regularly.
  • Keep an eye out for coolant leaks and if found, resolve them immediately.
  • Inspect the fuel filter regularly and drain all contaminants found until the fuel is clean.

By performing regular oil changes, you'll enhance your vehicle's gas mileage. When a fresh batch of oil moves through your car's engine, the metal parts become lubricated, which immediately improves the engine's performance and allows it to run more efficiently without using as much gas. While oil changes provide ample performance benefits, they only take around 30 minutes to complete. At Hogan & Sons, we deliver efficient oil changes that make an immediate difference.

oil change container with oil filter

Selecting the Best Oil Change Filters

Every vehicle is equipped with an oil filter that's meant to keep waste from entering your engine. Without this filter in place, your engine's efficiency and performance would deteriorate rapidly. When properly installed, an oil change filter captures dirt, debris, and small metal fragments. By keeping your oil and engine clean, you won't need to replace the oil as often. 

Your oil filter should be replaced regularly. Whenever you drive 1,000 miles, your oil is sent through the filter around 4,000 times. Over time, the filter will become dirty, which makes it less efficient and effective at getting rid of contaminants. It's highly recommended that you have your oil filter replaced with a new one whenever you obtain an oil change. Our team at Hogan & Sons incorporates filter replacements into our full-service oil changes. 

Some of the signs that indicate your oil filter should be replaced in the near future include:

  • A warning light illuminated on the dashboard
  • Strange vibrations 
  • Low oil pressure
  • Issues with acceleration
  • A heavy burning smell
  • Loud, metallic noises coming from beneath the hood
  • Changes to the color of your vehicle's exhaust

Different Types of Motor Oils

Motor oil, also referred to as engine oil or engine lubricant, is needed to lubricate your engine parts and protect your engine from heavy amounts of friction and corrosion. It can come in a variety of different formulas to address specific engine needs.   

At Hogan & Sons, there are four types of motor oil that our team can add to your car during an oil change: 

  1. High-mileage oil
  2. Conventional oil
  3. Synthetic blend oil
  4. Full synthetic oil

Knowing the qualities and benefits of each type of motor oil available can help you make a more informed decision for your vehicle. 

Full Synthetic Oil 

Full synthetic oil is chemically engineered, which means that every molecule in the oil is uniform with the others. This composition allows for high-quality properties and fewer impurities. Synthetic oil is capable of performing well in extreme temperatures. Premium additives are used to make full synthetic oils. One of the greatest benefits of using full synthetic oil is that it promotes better engine cleanliness and fuel efficiency. 

One of the greatest advantages to selecting this oil type is it can provide superior lubrication, which works to reduce friction and wear on your vehicle’s engine parts. Its advanced formula can coat these areas and act as a barrier against engine deposits and sludge buildup, to extend the lifespan of the engine. Full synthetic oil displays exceptional resistance to oxidation and thermal breakdown, preventing oil breakdown and maintaining stable viscosity over time. Its low volatility works to minimize oil consumption and evaporation loss.

Synthetic Blend Oil

Synthetic blend oil, also referred to as semi-synthetic oil, is a combination of conventional and full synthetic oils that performs better at low temperatures and is more resistant to oxidation. This type of oil offers some of the same benefits as fully synthetic oil, but it is generally less expensive than full synthetic oil. 

Synthetic blend oil consists of a conventional oil blend from crude oil, with a carefully distributed proportion of high-quality synthetic oil. This unique combination is known to boost the overall performance of the engine oil, making it ideal for a variety of vehicles and driving conditions. One of the greatest advantages to using a synthetic blend oil is its superior cold-start capabilities, almost guaranteeing efficient lubrication for you and your vehicle. Its improved resistance to oxidation provides a longer-lasting oil that requires less frequent changes. Not only does this help save you money, but it can also reduce waste–making it a better option for the environment. 

With synthetic blend oil, vehicle owners can strike a balance between performance, affordability, and durability, which is what makes it a popular choice among many drivers in Virginia and around the country. 

High Mileage Oil

High mileage oil is formulated specifically for relatively new vehicles or late-model vehicles that have more than 75,000 miles on them. This type of motor oil contains distinct additives that reduce the amount of oil burn-off that occurs. Oil leaks in older engines are also less prevalent. 

Beyond reducing oil burn-off and minimizing oil leaks, high mileage oil offers several other advantages for vehicles with more than 75,000 miles on them. One of the biggest advantages to choosing high mileage oil is its ability to combat engine wear and tear. The secret is that specialized additives that are included in high mileage oil, which help provide extra lubrication and protect vital engine components. It can also work to extend the overall lifespan of your engine, ensure optimal performance, and better reliability. For high mileage vehicles, reliability can be a huge factor and with high mileage oil, you can have peace of mind when driving an older, more experienced vehicle.

High mileage oil often includes detergents that effectively clean and remove deposits that can accumulate over time, improving engine efficiency and fuel economy. By selecting high mileage oil, drivers can rest assured in knowing that their vehicle will receive the tailored care it needs to thrive for many more miles to come.

Conventional Motor Oil

Conventional motor oil is the most affordable type that you can use with your engine. These oils are available at numerous quality levels and viscosity grades to meet your vehicle's needs. If your car is outfitted with a basic engine design, conventional motor oil may be right for you.

Conventional motor oil is one of the most cost-efficient oil types on the market. This oil is available at high quality levels and viscosity grades tailored to meet your vehicle's needs. If your car is equipped with a basic engine design, conventional motor oil may be the best oil type for you to go with. Its price point makes it an attractive option for budget-conscious car owners in Virginia who routinely schedule oil changes to maintain their engine's health and longevity. While it may not offer the advanced performance benefits that generally come with synthetic oil, conventional motor oil can still provide adequate lubrication and protection for most everyday driving conditions.

Many drivers decide to use conventional motor oil because it is easy to find. These oil types can be found at various retailers and service centers, making them one of the most convenient types to go with. If you schedule oil change service regularly, your decision to use conventional motor oil can help extend the lifespan of your engine and keep it running smoothly without breaking the bank.

neon oil change sign

Virginia Oil Change Schedules

Regardless of make and model, every vehicle requires regular oil changes. If you believe that your car's performance is getting worse, don't wait to have the oil changed. While there are some basic guidelines that you should stick to when it comes to oil change schedules, three factors that determine the preferred oil change interval are the type of oil, driving conditions, and the age of the vehicle. 

While most manufacturers recommend an oil change every 3,000 miles, modern engines that contain the best lubricants may only require oil changes after 5,000-7,000 miles. If you use full synthetic oil, you may be able to go 10,000-15,000 miles between oil changes.

Oil Change Coupons & Discounts

Obtaining an oil change is a necessary aspect of preventive maintenance for your vehicle. At Hogan & Sons, we provide oil change coupons to reduce the cost of having your oil and filter replaced. No matter the type of oil you use, we want it to be affordable.

Schedule Your Next Oil Change With Hogan & Sons

If you’re looking for quality oil change service in Virginia that you can trust, Hogan & Sons is the place for you. Our team of experts are committed to providing exceptional Virginia auto repair services for you and your vehicle. Not only are our mechanics knowledgeable and well-trained, but they also value your service so much, we strive to create a hassle-free experience for all of our Virginia drivers. 

Shop for Tires
Professionals You Trust. Service Beyond Expectations.

At Hogan & Sons, our highest priority is serving our customers. We are 100% committed to you, our valued customer. We strive to make every part of your experience with us hassle-free and pleasant.

Request a quote