What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Oil – Know Unavoidable Troubles

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What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Oil

In today’s hectic lifestyle, on-one has plenty of time to maintain their vehicle. And most people skip that oil change once, then twice, and then find out they’re running late.

And then we face a commonly asked question: What happens if you don’t change your oil? Changing the oil is a critical function of car maintenance

If you don’t check this off your to-do list and don’t, you create bigger problems down the road. Oil in the engine is vital and regular changes simply should not be skipped.

By avoiding oil change, you might have several negative consequences that can occur in your vehicle. Engine oil plays a crucial role in lubricating, cooling, and cleaning the engine, so neglecting oil changes can lead to various issues

You also need to know how much oil your vehicle needs. If you skip this task for your vehicle. Then you have big problems with your vehicle.  In this article, we are going to reveal the functions of engine oil and the major consequences if you do not change the oil. 

Top 5 Functions of Engine Oil in Your Car

If you want to know what happens if you don’t change the oil in your car. First of all, you need to know how the oil works in your car.

Engine lubricant is like blood in your car. Without it, you cannot think about the correct operation of your car.

It is critical to the proper operation of engines, reducing fuel emissions, and improving engine performance.

Fuels in engines perform many functions for an engine to function properly over time. These are the main ones:

1. Lubricate Engine Component

Engine oil lubricates engine components in such a way that they can easily pass each other without appreciable loss of performance due to friction.

This is especially true at the beginning. When an engine is stopped, oil tends to enter the oil pan.

Therefore, when the engine is started, the oil must be pumped rapidly through the engine to provide a sufficient starting speed for the engine to rotate.

Once the engine is running, the engine oil must form a film between the moving parts to make    them “slippery”, increasing power, performance, and efficiency.

2. Eliminate Engine Wear

One of the main functions of engine oil is to reduce or eliminate engine wear on a variety of components. 

It acts as a protective layer and reduces friction when metal parts move on top of each other. Modern oils contain friction reducers to make this protective layer even more complete.

Also Read: 11 Salient Questions to Ask When Buying A Used Car

Without this layer, your engine would stall and stop working. This metal-to-metal friction is fatal to any vehicle’s engine, so you should avoid it entirely.

3. Cool Engine Parts

By reducing friction, heat on moving parts is minimized, reducing the overall operating temperature of the device.

Fuels also absorb heat from contact surfaces and transport it to a place where it can be safely distributed, such as an oil pan.

Heat transfer capacity is usually a characteristic of base oil viscosity; lighter oils tend to transfer heat more easily.

4. Protection Against Corrosion

Burning fuel produces corrosive acid that can damage metal parts of the engine. With additives in modern motor oils, corrosion slows down.

However, over time and in contact with oxygen, engine oil can oxidize and no longer fulfill its corrosion-inhibiting function. Therefore, the engine oil must be changed regularly.

5. Form a Seal

The motor oil acts as a dynamic seal in places like the combustion chamber. Helps seal piston rings against the cylinder wall to prevent oil contamination from hot exhaust gases 

And maximize engine compression. A good seal also helps keep oil out of the combustion chamber to reduce oil consumption.

These are the main functions of oil in your car. That makes oil an important component of any vehicle.

What Happens if You Don’t Change Oil in Your Car? – 7 Engine Problems

As we discussed major tasks of fuel in your vehicle. Failing to change the oil and the filter on time means you’re running your motor with essentially dirty oil. 

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Now you will get the answer to your question of what happens if you don’t change the oil in your car. These are the top 7 problems your vehicle faces.

1. Poor Engine Performance

In addition to providing lubrication, oil also keeps your car’s engine clean. Detergents, dispersants, and other additives transport dirt and deposits to the fuel filter, which is replaced when the oil is changed. 

Once the filter becomes clogged, all of that debris is forced to circulate back through the engine. Smooth, clean oil gradually turns into dirty mud. 

The moving parts of your engine have to fight this sludge, forcing you to work harder. This makes engine performance down.

2. The Wear Down

Engine parts wear out the longer you wait to change the oil. This is because dirty oil is thick and abrasive, so it picks up more and more dirt as it passes through the engine.

It wears out engine parts even though they remain properly lubricated. In general, the longer an oil change is put off, the more problems the engine presents.

Most of the time, your engine gets too hot, which can cause it to run less efficiently.

3. The Loss of Effectiveness

The additives in engine oil that make up the oil, like detergents, dispersants, oxidizers, and friction reducers, wear out over time if the oil has not been changed. 

The result is a sharp drop in the oil’s lubricity, which is already being affected by accumulated dirt and debris. Eventually, it gets dirtier and dirtier. 

This will not happen after a month but over time and many thousands of kilometers. But fast enough, especially when time goes by and life gets busier and busier.

4. The Complete Engine Failure

Your engine failure happens over time, but it happens when oil is ignored for an extended period. With nothing to prevent the engine’s moving parts from coming into contact.

Metal-on-metal friction causes such severe damage to components that the engine will eventually stall and simply stop running. 

This shows the importance of oil, as it is a lubricant that allows the metal to press against metal without damaging it.

5. Engine Overheating

The lubrication by the engine oil helps to keep the engine temperature in the ideal range. When the oil turns to sludge, the friction in your engine increases dramatically. 

As the friction increases, so does the average temperature when the vehicle is in operation.

6. The Buildup of Sludge and Deposits

Old, dirty oil can form sludge and deposits in the engine. These contaminants can clog the oil passages, leading to restricted oil flow.

Reduced oil flow means less effective lubrication and cooling, which can result in engine damage and decreased efficiency.

7. Poor Fuel Efficiency

Inefficient lubrication and increased friction due to old oil can lead to decreased fuel efficiency. Your engine has to work harder to compensate for the lack of proper lubrication, which can cause higher fuel consumption.

The Significance of Regular Oil Changes In Your Vehicle

Regular Oil Changes In Your Vehicle

The engine, often referred to as the heart of a vehicle, relies heavily on clean and well-maintained oil to function efficiently. So, we delve into the significance of regular oil changes in your vehicle and highlight the far-reaching benefits they offer.

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– Prolonged Engine Life

Oil changes contribute to a longer-lasting engine. With proper lubrication, the engine experiences less stress and wear, leading to a reduced risk of major mechanical issues. This prolongs the overall life of your vehicle.

– Improved Performance

A well-lubricated engine performs optimally, delivering smooth acceleration, responsive handling, and overall enhanced driving experience. Regular oil changes help maintain consistent engine power and responsiveness, ensuring that your vehicle performs at its best.

– Contaminant Removal

Over time, dirt, debris, and microscopic metal particles accumulate in the oil. These contaminants can form sludge if left unchecked, impairing oil flow and clogging vital engine passages.

Regular oil changes remove these impurities, ensuring that the engine operates with clean oil, free from harmful debris.

– Improved Fuel Efficiency

Clean and high-quality oil reduces friction and allows the engine to operate more efficiently. It also requires less energy to function, resulting in improved fuel efficiency and cost savings at the pump.

Some Important Points for You While Changing Oil in Your Car

There are some things you need in your mind while changing the oil in your car. Like which type of oil is required for your car or how much oil is required for your car. 

We will discuss these points one by one. So go ahead and read these point:-

1. Types of Oil Required for Your Car

Whether synthetic, synthetic blend, high mileage, or conventional motor oil is best for your vehicle depends on several factors.

  • Full Synthetic Oil

Fully synthetic oil is ideal for vehicles that require the best performance and high lubrication.

Fully synthetic oil offers higher viscosity, resistance to oxidation and thermal degradation, and helps combat oil sludge.

  • Synthetic-blend Motor Oil

This is the best of both worlds. It is a blend of synthetic and conventional base oils with additives found in both. 

It has excellent motor protection properties at a lower cost than fully synthetic.

  • Mineral Oil

Mineral oils are formulated in various viscosity classes and quality grades. They are recommended for drivers with a simple engine design and a normal driving style.

  • Conventional Motor Oil

Conventional oil is the most commonly used type of oil. It is ideal for new light, low and medium mileage vehicles with a simple engine design.

2. How Much Oil is Required by Your Car

  • Most engines require between 5 and 8 liters of oil, depending on the size of the engine. A 4 cylinder engine normally needs around 5 liters of oil.
  • A 6-cylinder engine takes about 6 liters. An 8-cylinder engine requires between 5 and 8 liters, depending on the size of the engine. 
  • This amount also varies depending on whether the mechanic changes the oil filter when changing the oil.

3. How to Check Oil Level For My Car

  • Let it cool down for at least ten minutes to allow all of the oil from different parts of the engine to collect in the lower oil pan. 
  • Make sure the car is parked on level ground. Open the hood and find the yellow dipstick cap, which is usually in the center of the engine bay. Some vehicles also have electronic oil level control which totally depends on the make and model of the car. 
  • Take out the dipstick and wipe it with a clean cloth. Reinsert the dipstick completely after cleaning. Wait for a second and take it out. 
  • Note the brand of oil; ideally, it should be between the minimum and maximum grade. If the level is low, add engine oil. Be sure to use the same type of oil to avoid damaging engine parts.

Top FAQs if You Don’t Change Oil in Your Car?

What happens if you don’t change your oil for 10000 miles?

It depends on many things like your engine condition, which type of oil you used and whether you are making short trips or long trips.

If engine condition is good and oil quality is good and you are making short trips then there is no problem. And over that you might face difficulty.

If I rarely drive my car, is it still necessary to get a regular oil change?

You can change once in a year if you rarely drive your car. Because after some time engine oil quality degrades. And you need to change it.

What is the function of motor oil in a car

For proper working of the engine you need oil for it. Its main function is to cool down engine parts, works as lubricant and protection against corrosion. It works as blood for the engine. 

When is the best time to check the oil level in a car?

If you check with a commercially available oil dipstick: after the vehicle has been idle for at least a few minutes.

If you have a vehicle with electronic oil level control, it depends on the configuration for the particular make and model. For more information, see the manual that came with the vehicle.

How do I check the level of engine oil in my car?

Most car engines have a dipstick. If you have one, use this one. Some cars need to be checked at operating temperature, others need to be checked cold. Engine oil is checked with the engine off.

What if you don’t change your oil?

You might face difficulty with your engine. And from it the performance of your engine will go down and might stop working or start malfunctioning like heating. Everyone who uses a car or any vehicle must change after a regular interval which is given in the manual book provided by the service provider.

How often should I change my oil?

The recommended oil change interval varies depending on your vehicle’s make, model, and the type of oil used.

Generally, conventional oil should be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, while synthetic oil can often last longer, around 7,500 to 10,000 miles. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific guidelines.

Can I change the oil myself?

If you have the necessary tools and knowledge, you can change the oil yourself. However, many people prefer to have their oil changed by professionals to ensure it’s done correctly and to maintain warranty coverage.

Final Thought

A timely oil change is essential if you want your vehicle to keep running for as long as you own it. It can also alert you to potential problems with your engine that you don’t know about. 

Especially if you haven’t checked the oil level between changes. In most cases, identifying these problems early can save you a lot of money in the long run. 

Do regular maintenance because the cost of maintaining a car is much less than the cost of repairing extensive damage, especially if you could have avoided doing so.


Ritambra is an absolute car fanatic who loves to drive and write about cars. Explore new car launches, automobile technologies, best car deals and more with entertaining, informative and delightful reading that will surely quench your thirst for automobiles.

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