What happens if you don’t change your car engine oil?

What happens if you don’t change your oil on a timely basis? Is it really that bad? This is a situation that we’ve all been in. Life has a tendency of getting in the way. Work pressures, family obligations, and a snowstorm of minor errands have piled up on you. You see that reminder sticker on the corner of your windshield one day while stuck in rush hour traffic. You’re overdue for an oil change.

It’s just one more thing to add to your already long to-do list. You persuade yourself to go for it. Wait till next week, maybe next month, when life is a little less hectic. Is it really necessary to change the oil every 3,000 miles? It couldn’t hurt to put it off for a while. Right?

Wrong. Your vehicle’s lifeblood is oil. It lubricates and protects all of your car’s engine’s finely constructed moving parts. Having it changed on a regular basis is one of the most efficient ways to get reliability and peak performance out of the vehicle you rely on to carry you through life.

what happen if you don't change your car engine oil

Read more: Understanding High Mileage Oil

Well, in this article, the following questions will be answered:

  • What are the functions of oil in engines?
  • What does the oil protect the engine from?
  • What happens if you refuse to change your car engine oil?


Read more: How to change car engine oil?

What are the functions of oil in engines?

The fundamental purpose of your engine’s oil is to keep the moving parts lubricated so that they can run smoothly. The oil pump will circulate the oil through the filter before it reaches the bearings, pistons, valve train, and other engine components. It then returns to the oil pan, where it is recycled and re-pushed through the filter and engine components.

But that isn’t the main reason for its existence. Engine oil contains special qualities that provide the protection your engine need. Without it, metal parts will rub against one another, causing the engine to break down.

Read more: How long does it take to change a car engine oil?

What does the oil protect the engine from?

The additives in your engine’s oil maintain all of the interior parts clean and friction-free while also decreasing air bubbles in the liquid. Antioxidants are added to motor oil to prevent oxidation, which causes the oil to break down and the motor to wear out more quickly. Detergents protect metal surfaces from corroding, and dispersants bind to carbon deposits and other debris, keeping them away from the motor and delivering them to the filter, where they will be trapped.

Zinc is also present as an anti-wearing agent. Foam inhibitors work to limit bubbling inside the oil, while this mineral acts as a barrier, preventing parts from wearing down too soon. Otherwise, the oil pressure would drop and protection would deteriorate until parts broke down and stopped working.

Read more: How does an oil pressure gauge work?

What happens if you refuse to change your car engine oil?

If you don’t replace your oil, bad things can happen. Here are a few examples of how skipping or delaying oil changes can cost you time and money.

  • Wear of components
  • Overheated engine
  • Built-up dirty
  • Increased fuel consumption
  • Voided car warranty


Read more: How does an oil pressure gauge work?

Wear of components

Many moving parts, such as pistons and valves, make up an engine. The lubricating qualities of your engine oil help to safeguard these parts by minimizing friction. The engine oil will deteriorate after the prescribed oil change interval and will be unable to adequately protect the components from friction, resulting in wear and damage.

Overheated engine

Your coolant system is insufficient to keep the engine cool. Engine oil also plays an important role in this since it can reach regions where coolant cannot. Because of the exposure to high temperatures, engine oil breaks down and thickens over time. This thermal breakdown of the oil prevents it from absorbing heat, which could cause the engine to overheat, blow gaskets, wear out and deform parts.

Built-up dirty

Engine oil cleans the inside of the engine in addition to lubricating and cooling it. It cleans the air of microscopic particles and trash. This dirt can accumulate over time, causing the oil channels to clog. This can shorten the engine’s lifespan dramatically. The engine will have to work harder as a result of the dirt buildup, resulting in a loss of power.

When an engine’s oil isn’t changed for a long period, it starts to gel or harden, finally turning into sludge. When this occurs, oil will be unable to reach all sections of the engine, resulting in oil starvation in the crankshafts, bearings, camshafts, and other valve train components. This could cause major damage to the engine, necessitating its replacement.

Increased fuel consumption

The engine will have to work harder when the old engine oil hardens and becomes sludge. This means that for the same level of power, you’ll require more fuel. This 1% to 2% increase in gasoline use can make a significant difference. Furthermore, as old engine oil burns, your car may emit hazardous fumes into the surroundings.

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Voided car warranty

If you follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance, your automobile will be covered by a warranty. The warranty will be void if you do not have it serviced properly. In the event that your engine is damaged, you may incur expensive charges that the manufacturer will not cover.

It is significantly less expensive to perform an oil change and replace your oil filter than it is to repair a damaged engine. High-quality engine oil, changed at the prescribed intervals, will help your car reach its full potential while also extending its lifespan. Apart from gasoline, engine oil is the most crucial fluid for your automobile, so be sure you choose the proper one.

In summary

Oil changing is a vital process that all working automobiles must experience. This is a maintenance procedure that helps increase the lifespan of the engine and its entire part. When engine oil is not changed for long, its lubricating performance reduces, the parts wear, dirty is build-up, and it increases fuel consumption.

That is all for this article, where the following questions are being answered:

  • What are the functions of oil in engines?
  • What does the oil protect the engine from?
  • What happens if you refuse to change your car engine oil?

I hope you learn a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with others. Thanks for reading, see you around!