Do I Need an Oil Change If I Haven’t Been Driving?

That Is The Question

Without sounding too much like a bad Shakespearean paraphrase, the question of whether or not to change the oil after your car has been sitting awhile may arise. It’s a legitimate consideration even if you haven’t been driving your car. The expert technicians at King’s Auto Service in Raleigh, North Carolina, can help you assess your vehicle’s specific circumstances as well as provide oil change and other maintenance services should you opt for them.

Two Schools of Thought

There are two prevailing notions about changing the oil in a car that has been sitting. Some car enthusiasts contend that motor oil does not deteriorate when a car is sitting unused. It is, they say, no different than oil sitting on a store shelf in a bottle and needs changing after the hiatus only if it already needed changing when the car was parked. Other auto experts, however, point to conditions other than miles driven that can cause oil to lose some of its essential properties over time. They recommend always changing the oil after a car sits unused for a while. Although the choice is yours as the vehicle owner, we want to provide you with facts to help you make an informed decision.

Factors to Consider

If your oil is not fresh and clean when you park your vehicle long term, you should definitely consider having the car serviced when you take it out of storage. At any time that you have degraded or dirty oil, your engine is not as well protected as it should be. The function of motor oil is to absorb and remove heat from the engine, to lubricate the moving parts to reduce friction, and to suspend and carry away corrosive debris. If your oil needs changing, it cannot do these things well, causing reduced performance and engine damage. Another consideration is the storage conditions. While you don’t have the excessive heat from a running engine breaking down the oil, you still may have environmental temperature changes that cause excess moisture to develop. Lengthy garage stays can also encourage chemical changes such as oxidation.

Local, Trustworthy Advice

When making your choice about oil change after auto storage, call or drop by King’s Auto Service to talk with us. We’re a local service provider that you can trust to listen to you and give you an honest answer. We’ll help you with essential questions such as: When was the last time you had an oil change before the car was parked? Where was it stored? How long did it sit unused? (We’re talking long term. If the car sat a few weeks or was just driven less frequently for a few months, that’s different than leaving a vehicle completely untouched for many months or a few years.) We’ll provide reliable guidance to help you make that important decision about your ride.

Written by Dean Bailey

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