A stock photo of oil being poured into an engine.

How bad could skipping oil changes really be? Bad. Very bad.

What happens if I don’t change my oil? 

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it millions of times: The best way to keep your vehicle in peak condition is to keep up with regularly scheduled maintenance. At the top of that list is getting the oil changed, on time, every time. It would really surprise a lot of people to find out how many times someone in our service department gets asked, ‘What happens if I don’t change my oil?’ This is as terrifying of a question as there is in the automotive industry. Basically, a vehicle that doesn’t get regular oil changes will eventually cease to work. The engine will literally explode to some degree and the driver will be stranded on the side of the road. Let’s take a closer look at a few other things that you should know. 

READ MORE: Toyota has developed a handy app for service reminders 

What does motor oil do? 

A person doesn’t need to be a master mechanic to understand that modern automotive engines are incredibly complex pieces of engineering — a lot of parts move at high speed, very close to one another. At the most basic level, motor oil stops these metal components from actually touching. 

As motor oil ages, it breaks down and it can’t take the heat. A vehicle that always has fresh oil in it will last for a long time and give the owner a wonderful return on their investment. 

Almost any fluid that is used in an engine will travel through a filter at some point. Motor oil is no different. As oil flows around the engine, it is natural that it will pick up contaminants along the way. These deposits are removed by the oil filter. This is why it is so important that the oil filter every time the oil is changed. Failure to change the filter will only exacerbate existing dirty oil problems. 

How often do I need to change the oil? 

Unfortunately, there is no single rule that will be correct for every vehicle. The owner’s manual will clearly lay out how often things like oil changes and tire rotations need to be done. Sometimes older or high-mileage vehicles will need to have the oil changed more often. The same is true for vehicles that are routinely driven in dirty environments

If you ever need some help getting the most out of your vehicle, make an appointment to speak with a Lexington Toyota service advisor today.