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Why Oil Changes and Tire Rotations Are So Important

Basic vehicle maintenance is a necessary investment

Are you due for an oil change? Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, an oil change can cost between $20 and $100. Maintenance costs can add up between oil changes, tire rotations and replacing worn out parts, but those expenses are a necessity.

You might be wondering whether you can delay or skip routine maintenance to save money. Here's what you need to know about the importance of oil changes and tire rotation, and why you shouldn't delay auto maintenance.

Why are oil changes important?

Motor oil fulfills different functions:

  • It provides lubrication for moving parts like the pistons. Lubrication is essential for proper compression.
  • It creates a protective film that reduces wear and tear on metal parts
  • The circulation of the oil helps flush out debris and prevents any buildups inside of the engine
  • The combined action of the motor oil and antifreeze prevents your engine from overheating

Motor oil has an expiration date. If you keep running old oil in your engine, it will get thick and develop a poor flow. Old motor oil doesn't provide adequate lubrication and can increase your fuel usage since proper compression will be difficult to achieve. Oil sludge can form blocks in your engine, increase wear and tear on the moving parts and will generally result in poor engine performance.

Check your owner's manual to figure out how often you should change the oil and filter. Depending on your vehicle and type of oil used, you will need an oil change every 3,000 to 7,500 miles.

What about tire rotations?

If you use a penny to check the tire tread depth on your vehicle, you will probably notice a difference between the front and rear tires. You might also notice different tread wear patterns.

Tires don't wear out evenly because the front tires have to handle steering and cornering. Additionally, front tires wear out faster in a front-wheel-drive vehicle, while the same holds true of rear tires for a rear-wheel-drive vehicle.

Besides putting an unnecessary strain on the drivetrain, uneven tread wear patterns can change how your vehicle responds, making your vehicle unreliable. Rotating your tires ensures that both sets wear out at the same pace and develop similar tread wear patterns.

Rotating your tires every 5,000 to 7,500 miles will improve the longevity of your tires and help keep you safe on the road.

Why you shouldn't delay car maintenance

Getting an oil change and rotating your tires are two simple ways to prevent issues that could result in costly repairs, such as needing new engine parts or having to replace your tires sooner than expected. Tire rotation is also crucial for ensuring that your vehicle is safe to drive. Car maintenance will also have a positive impact on fuel economy and the resale value for your vehicle.

You might feel that there is no room in your budget for vehicle maintenance. Credit First National Association offers automotive credit cards are designed to help you maintain your vehicle and cover necessary repairs without going over budget. You can choose your usual retailer, benefit from special offers, and stay updated on your automotive maintenance.

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