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Life > Experiences

Tips to Prolong an Engine’s Life

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

All my life, I’ve grown up around cars. My dad’s a master mechanic and has taught me everything I know about cars to the point where when I took automotive technology in high school, I knew everything the teacher was saying. I also learned some things from my dad that my auto teacher didn’t teach. One of those things was how often to change your oil. 

The most common cause of engine failure in a vehicle is low or dirty oil. As a mechanic, I have seen this happen pretty often, and have also heard horror stories about engines blowing/burning up because the oil wasn’t changed.  

    Now, if you make sure your oil is changed when the due date comes up, great. You’re on the right track to saving money. But now, I just want to give you some tips to prolong your engine’s life 

The first tip I want to give you is change your oil every 3,000 miles. I know there are oils out there that claim that you only have to change your oil every 8,000, or 10,000, or even 20,000 miles. That’s a bunch of cap. If you go by what those labels on the bottles say, I guarantee that your car will last half as long as it should. My dad’s truck is a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. It has 300,000 miles on it with everything original on the engine besides the spark plugs. You know why? The oil was changed every 3,000 miles. 

The next tip I have for you is don’t go to Jiffy Lube or places similar. Yes, places like that provide jobs and that’s good; we love seeing people work but for the health of your car’s engine, they’re not good. The reason why the oil changes are so quick is because they don’t actually do a complete oil change. An actual oil change takes about 45 minutes. It takes so long because you must completely drain the oil pan of all the old excess oil. That doesn’t happen within ten or fifteen minutes. And that’s the length of a Jiffy Lube oil change. 

The final tip I have for you is to use the oil recommended in the owner’s manual. I know this seems like a common-sense thing to do, but you wouldn’t believe the number of people who don’t use the correct oil for their engines. If the manual says to use 5W-20, use 5W-20. Don’t use 5W-30. It will work for a while, but your engine will eventually become clogged up and will die before it’s supposed to. 

I hope you learned something from this article and take at least one of my tips into consideration. I have seen all of these circumstances cause an engine to fail, and I would like to see yours not fail. Even if you don’t agree with my tips, I want you to take one thing away from this, and that’s to change your oil

Brooke Johnpier is a contributor to the SBU chapter of Her Campus. She writes about the more "manly" topics of the site, including automotive, motorsports, mechanical, technical, DIY, and anything hands-on. Brooke is also using this platform as her personal blog, of which she will talk about more personal things that she feels the world should hear about. Besides Her Campus, Brooke is a part-time motorsports journalist for Speedway Illustrated, a columnist for Race Pro Weekly, and a staff writer as well as a social media promoter for The Podium Finish, where she is interning. Brooke is also a writer for The Bona Venture (News, Features, and Sports), TAPinto Greater Olean, WSBU The Buzz (Music, and Sports), and PolitiFact NY. Brooke is also involved with St. Bonaventure's literary magazine, The Laurel. Brooke is currently a freshman at St. Bonaventure University where she is majoring in Sports Media with minors in Native American and Indigenous Studies & English. In her free time, Brooke loves reading, going to the local racetrack, riding four-wheelers, working on cars, and riding in tractor trailers. Brooke is a music lover, and will talk about most any genre, especially her favorites which are rock and rap. Brooke is also a percussionist, a published author, and a women's rights activist. Brooke is also a member of several lineage organizations, and currently holds a national position in one of them. As well as writing for campus media, Brooke is involved with Faith in Fiction, Jandoli Women in Communication, the History Club, College Democrats, and the Indigenous Student Confederacy. A fun fact about Brooke is that she was the only female to ever be in the top 5% of the Automotive Technology class at the trade school she attended in her junior and senior years of high school.