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What Is a Full-Service Oil Change?

Taking care of your car is super important, and one key part of that is making sure you get regular oil changes. See, oil is like the lifeblood of your car’s engine. It keeps everything running smoothly by reducing friction and stopping parts from wearing out too fast. But over time, oil gets dirty and thick, which can mess up how well it protects your engine. That’s where oil changes come in. They help keep your engine clean and working well, which means your car lasts longer and performs better.

Now, there are two kinds of oil changes: standard and full-service. A standard one is pretty basic. It’s all about draining out the old oil, putting in new oil, and changing the oil filter. It’s good for keeping things ticking along but doesn’t do much more than that.

A full-service oil change, though, goes the extra mile. Along with changing the oil and filter, they’ll also check other important stuff in your car, like coolant and brake fluid. They’ll make sure all your levels are where they should be and give things like belts and hoses a once-over. They’ll even look at your tires and air filter. So, it’s like a full check-up for your car, making sure everything’s running smoothly and catching any problems before they get big.

What You Get in Full-Service Oil Change?

In a full-service oil change, you’re not just getting a quick oil swap. It’s more like a thorough check-up for your car’s vital systems. Here’s what you can expect from a full-service oil change:

First off, they’ll take care of the oil change itself. That means draining out the old, dirty oil and replacing it with fresh, clean oil that’s just right for your car’s engine. They’ll make sure to use the type and viscosity of oil recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Along with the oil change, they’ll also install a brand-new oil filter. This helps keep your oil clean and ensures that your engine stays running smoothly.

But that’s not all. A full-service oil change often includes several additional checks and top-offs to make sure your car is in top shape:

  1. Engine Coolant Level: Coolant, also known as antifreeze, is essential for regulating your engine’s temperature. Without it, your engine could overheat and suffer serious damage. By ensuring that your coolant level is topped up to the right level, they’re helping to safeguard your engine’s health and performance.
  2. Washer Fluid Level: It might seem like a small thing, but having enough washer fluid is crucial for maintaining visibility on the road, especially during those messy drives. By checking and refilling your washer fluid, they’re helping you keep your windshield clean and clear, enhancing your safety while driving.
  3. Brake Fluid Level (Visual Inspection): Brake fluid is what allows your brakes to function properly, so it’s vital that it’s at the correct level. Without enough brake fluid, your braking performance could be compromised, putting you at risk on the road. By visually inspecting your brake fluid and ensuring it’s where it should be, they’re helping to maintain your braking system’s effectiveness and your safety.
  4. Tire Pressure: Proper tire pressure is crucial for several reasons. It affects your car’s fuel efficiency, tire wear, and overall safety on the road. By checking your tire pressure and adjusting it if needed, they’re helping to ensure that your tires perform optimally and that you stay safe behind the wheel.
  5. Belts and Hoses (Visual Inspection): These components play a critical role in running essential systems in your car, such as the alternator and cooling system. If belts or hoses are worn or damaged, they could fail, leading to costly repairs or even engine damage. By visually inspecting them and making sure they’re in good condition, they’re helping to prevent potential breakdowns and keep your car running smoothly.
  6. Lights and Other Safety Features (Visual Inspection): They’ll meticulously check your lights, including headlights, brake lights, and turn signals, to ensure they’re all working correctly. Additionally, they may inspect other safety features like wiper blades and horn functionality, leaving no stone unturned when it comes to your safety on the road.

Some shops might even offer additional services as part of their full-service oil change package. For example, they might provide chassis lubrication, which helps reduce wear and tear on suspension parts and steering components, ensuring your ride remains smooth and responsive. They might also check and replace your air filter if it’s dirty or clogged, promoting better engine performance and fuel efficiency.

In essence, a full-service oil change goes beyond just swapping out your oil, it’s a thorough inspection and maintenance regimen that ensures your car is in top condition. By catching any potential issues early on and addressing them promptly, they’re helping you avoid costly repairs down the road and ensuring that your car stays reliable and safe for years to come.

The Advantages of Regular Oil Service:

Keeping up with regular oil changes from professionals has some big advantages for your car.

Clean oil is super important. It helps reduce friction and wear on the moving parts inside your engine. Think of it like how oil keeps gears running smoothly in a machine. When your engine parts are well-lubricated, they don’t rub together as much, which means less damage and a longer-lasting engine.

Using the right type of oil is also a big deal. Different engines need different kinds of oil to work their best. If you use the wrong oil, it can mess up how your engine performs and how much fuel it uses. Manufacturers tell you what kind of oil your car needs, so it’s important to follow their recommendations.

Getting regular oil changes isn’t just about fresh oil. It’s also a chance for professionals to check out your car and catch any problems early on. During an oil change, they’ll take a look at things like belts, hoses, and filters. If they spot something that’s starting to wear out or isn’t working right, they can fix it before it becomes a big, expensive issue.

So, by staying on top of your oil changes, you’re helping your car run smoother, use less gas, and avoiding costly repairs down the road. It’s like giving your car a little TLC to keep it running strong for miles to come.

How Often Should You Get an Oil Change?

When it comes to determining how often you should get an oil change, it’s crucial to refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual. This manual provides specific recommendations from the manufacturer based on factors such as your car’s make and model, engine type, and year of production. These guidelines are tailored to your vehicle’s needs, ensuring that you maintain optimal engine performance and longevity.

Let’s discuss some Factors Affecting Oil Change Frequency:

Mileage: Typically, older vehicles or those with higher mileage may require more frequent oil changes to keep the engine running smoothly.

Driving Conditions: If you frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic, extreme temperatures, or dusty environments, your engine may require more frequent oil changes to compensate for the added strain.

Oil Type: The type of oil you use can also impact how often you need to change it. Synthetic oils generally last longer than conventional oils and may allow for extended oil change intervals.

While the owner’s manual provides general guidelines, it’s essential to pay attention to your vehicle’s specific needs and any warning signs that may indicate you need an oil change sooner. Signs such as engine knocking or ticking noises, dark or dirty oil on the dipstick, decreased fuel efficiency, or the check engine light coming on could signal that it’s time for an oil change. Ignoring these signs could lead to engine damage or costly repairs down the road.

By staying informed about your vehicle’s recommended oil change intervals and paying attention to warning signs, you can ensure that your engine stays well-lubricated and protected, keeping your car running smoothly for miles to come.

Signs Your Engine Needs Fresh Oil:

Keeping an eye out for these signs and addressing them promptly can help prevent potential engine damage and maintain the overall health and performance of your vehicle. If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to schedule an oil change as soon as possible to ensure that your engine remains properly lubricated and protected let’s discuss it:

  • Illuminated oil change warning light: Many modern vehicles are equipped with an oil change warning light that illuminates when it’s time for an oil change. If you see this light on your dashboard, it’s a clear indicator that your car is due for an oil change.
  • Unusual engine noises: If you notice strange sounds coming from your engine, such as knocking, ticking, or rumbling noises, it could be a sign that your engine is not properly lubricated due to old or insufficient oil.
  • Burning oil smell: A strong smell of burning oil inside or outside your vehicle could indicate that oil is leaking or burning in the engine due to low oil levels or degraded oil quality.
  • Low oil pressure (indicated by gauge): If your vehicle’s oil pressure gauge shows lower than normal oil pressure, it could mean that the engine is not receiving enough lubrication due to low oil levels or oil that is past its prime.
  • Dark, gritty oil on dipstick: Checking your oil regularly with the dipstick can give you a visual indication of its condition. If the oil appears dark and gritty, it’s a sign that it’s overdue for a change and may not be effectively lubricating your engine.

How to Check Your Oil Properly?

Checking your car’s oil level is an essential part of regular maintenance. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it properly:

  1. Park on level ground and turn off the engine: To get an accurate reading, it’s important to park your car on a flat surface and ensure the engine is turned off. This allows the oil to settle evenly in the engine.
  2. Locate the dipstick under the hood: Open the hood of your car and look for the dipstick. It’s usually a brightly colored handle labeled “Engine Oil” or something similar. If you’re having trouble finding it, refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for guidance.
  3. Remove the dipstick and wipe clean with a rag: Once you’ve located the dipstick, pull it out of the engine and wipe it clean with a rag or paper towel. This ensures that you get an accurate reading without any residual oil from previous checks.
  4. Reinsert the dipstick fully, then remove again to check the oil level: After wiping the dipstick clean, reinsert it fully back into the dipstick tube. Then, pull it out again to check the oil level. Make sure to hold the dipstick horizontally to get an accurate reading.
  5. Oil should be between the minimum and maximum marks on the dipstick: On most dipsticks, you’ll find two marks labeled “MIN” (minimum) and “MAX” (maximum). The oil level should fall somewhere between these two marks. If the level is below the minimum mark, you’ll need to add more oil. If it’s above the maximum mark, you may have too much oil in the engine, which can cause issues.

Once you’ve checked the oil level and ensured it’s within the recommended range, securely reinsert the dipstick back into the engine. If you find that your oil level is consistently low, it may indicate a leak or excessive oil consumption, and you should have your vehicle inspected by a professional. Regularly checking your oil level helps ensure that your engine stays properly lubricated, which is essential for its performance and longevity.

Where to Get a Full-Service Oil Change:

When you’re looking to get a full-service oil change, there are a few places you can go. One option is to visit a dealership service department. They’re the places where you bought your car, and they often offer full-service oil changes as part of their maintenance services. 

They use parts and fluids approved by the car manufacturer, so it’s a good choice if you want to stick to what your car maker recommends, even if it might be a bit pricier. Another option is independent repair shops. These are smaller businesses that aren’t tied to any specific car brand. They can offer personalized service and might be a bit cheaper than dealerships. 

Just make sure to find one with good reviews and qualified technicians. Finally, you can try quick-lube service chains. These places focus on getting your oil changed fast, and they often offer extra services like checking fluids and basic vehicle inspections. They’re convenient if you’re in a hurry, but be sure to check that they have trained staff and use good-quality oil and filters. No matter where you go, it’s important to research the place beforehand to make sure they know what they’re doing and treat your car right.

Secure Your Vehicle’s Future with American Dream Auto Protect:

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With a network of over 50,000 ASE-certified mechanics, 24/7 customer service, and over a decade of experience, we are the trusted experts in the industry.

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Invest in protecting your vehicle with American Dream Auto Protect today and secure your financial future.

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I am completing and submitting this form so that American Dream Auto Protect will contact me quickly by phone, text, and/or e-mail to discuss my vehicle