Omaha Oil Change Service Guide: Everything You Need To Know

oil change service

You rely on your vehicle’s engine to run smoothly every time you start it up. Routine oil change service is a critical part of ensuring that this always happens. Plus, it is one of the fastest, easiest, and least expensive preventative vehicle maintenance services.

Owner neglect is the leading cause of engine failure. Staying on top of the recommended oil change schedule for your vehicle will help extend your engine’s lifespan.

In this guide, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about an oil change service in Omaha. This includes the benefits of having it done routinely, how often it should be done, and more!

The Benefits of Routine Oil Change Service in Omaha

Aside from knowing that it is something that needs to happen occasionally, if you are like most other drivers, you haven’t given oil changes much thought. But having more knowledge about this important service can help you take better care of your vehicle.

Besides just acknowledging that routine oil change service keeps your engine running smoothly and efficiently, there are some specific benefits, including:

Reducing Excess Friction & Engine Wear

The last thing that should be happening in your engine is metal rubbing on metal. And when the oil and filter get too old and dirty, that’s exactly what can happen. Clean oil keeps sensitive engine components properly lubricated. But overly dirty oil cannot sufficiently protect these parts. They will eventually start to wear against each other, leading to the risk of the engine seizing up. If this happens, you will need to have your vehicle towed to your closest auto service shop for extensive repair.

Keeping the Engine Clean Inside

For optimal operation, your engine needs to stay clean and free of gunk. This is another critical role that clean oil performs. While cycling through your engine, the oil traps dirt, grime, and other contaminants that can naturally accumulate in your engine. But oil can only hold so much of this. If oil changes aren’t done routinely, all of that gunk can clog the filter and engine, causing costly damage.

It is important to understand that it is not good to continually top off the existing oil with new oil when it gets low. Diluted oil can’t sufficiently keep an engine clean and protected.

Absorbing Excess Engine Heat

There are a lot of metal parts moving around inside your engine when it’s running, and they generate a lot of heat. Clean oil absorbs this excess heat and helps prevent your engine from overheating. But oil loses its ability to sufficiently absorb heat as it ages, and it can even begin reflecting heat, causing an even bigger problem inside the engine.

Maximizing Fuel Efficiency

The less your engine has to work, the less fuel it uses. When there is clean oil in your engine, it can run smoother without added stress, which helps maximize gas mileage. Alternatively, dirty oil forces the engine to work harder, significantly reducing fuel efficiency.

Preventing Rust & Corrosion Buildups

Both rust and corrosion can wreak havoc on the metal components within your engine. With routine oil change service, you can ensure that you’ll have clean motor oil that can adequately prevent them from building up inside your engine.

Catching Other Issues Early

Another significant benefit of a professional oil change is that it gives your mechanic the opportunity to check for any other issues that may be present. The sooner the small issues are caught, the better the chance of preventing them from turning into much bigger problems down the road. This will save you from having to spend money on serious repairs.

Changing Oil Close up

What is Involved in a Professional Oil Change Service in Omaha

Though performing your vehicle’s oil change yourself can be tempting, it is something better left for the professionals. A professional oil change service is much more in-depth than you may expect.

During an oil change at a professional auto service shop, the mechanic will:

  • Lift the vehicle and drain all of the old oil.
  • Replace the old oil filter with a new filter.
  • Refill the engine with the proper amount of new, clean oil.
  • Inspect the engine air filter and in-cabin filter.
  • Lubricate high-wear areas, including the chassis, door hinges, and hood.
  • Inspect the other system fluids, including the brake, transmission, and power steering fluids.
  • Top off the coolant and windshield washer fluid, as needed.
  • Inspect the hoses, belts, tire pressure, battery, lights, and wiper blades.

As you can see, quite a few things happen during an oil change to help keep your vehicle running optimally and safely.

How Often an Oil Change Should Be Done

It is also important to understand the importance of bringing your Omaha vehicle in for oil change services at the correct intervals. If an engine is not serviced according to the specific manufacturer-recommended schedule, it can experience decreased performance, increased emissions, reduced fuel efficiency, and potential breakdowns.

Your owner’s manual is the best source for a more exact answer about how often your engine needs oil changes. Most newer-model vehicles have a computerized oil life monitor that will also help you determine when an oil change is necessary. Usually, when the vehicle is due for service, the oil light or service light will illuminate on the dashboard.

But there are some general specifications for how often an oil change service should be performed:

  • Conventional oil should be changed approximately every 3,000 miles.
  • Synthetic blend oil will need to be changed approximately every 5,000 miles.
  • Full-synthetic oil should be changed between every 5,000 and 7,500 miles.
  • Higher-mileage vehicles will need more frequent oil changes.
  • If you’re frequently driving in stop-and-go traffic or carrying/towing heavy loads, the oil should be changed more often.
  • If your engine starts to burn a lot of oil and/or generate smoke, you need to have an oil change done more frequently.

Our ASE-certified mechanics here at our Omaha auto repair shops can help you determine the best schedule for oil change service for your vehicle.

A Breakdown of the Different Types of Engine Oil

There are several types of oil to meet the needs of the different types of engines, mileage, and driving habits.

But first, it is important to explain two important factors that apply to all types of engine oil—viscosity and weight:

  • Viscosity is the measure of how easily the oil pours; the thinner the oil, the lower the viscosity and the faster it pours, while the thicker the oil, the higher the viscosity and the slower it pours at low temperatures. The viscosity rating is assigned to all motor oils by the Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE). You’ll usually find the viscosity rating printed on the bottle of oil.
  • The weight of the oil, also assigned by the SAE, is another measure of viscosity. This number is based on how well it flows at 210 °F (the operating temperature of most engines).

Now, here’s a quick breakdown of the different oil types:

Conventional Oil

Conventional oil, sometimes referred to as “standard” or “regular” oil, comes entirely from crude mineral oil and is only partially refined. This makes it cheaper thanOil Change Coupon other oils. Though it will get dirty faster and require more frequent oil changes, this oil can still provide adequate protection for most engines. When routinely changed, conventional oil can help an engine reach 150,000 miles or more.

Full Synthetic Oil

Full synthetic oil is made entirely in a lab or factory and is highly refined. This oil can withstand high temperatures better and breaks down slower than conventional oil. It is more expensive than other oil types but will provide your engine with the highest level of performance. Manufacturers of many of today’s vehicles recommend the use of full synthetic oil.

Synthetic Blend Oil

Synthetic blend oil merges the best features of conventional and full synthetic. This is a great option for drivers who can’t (or won’t) pay the higher price for full synthetic oil.

About 45% of today’s vehicles use either full synthetic oil or a synthetic blend. When trying to choose between a synthetic blend or a full synthetic for your vehicle, there are a couple of things to consider:

  • Full synthetic oil extends the life of your engine better than synthetic blends. This is because of its more stable chemistry, better overall viscosity, and improved performance at both high and low temperatures. Plus, it resists oxidation, thermal breakdown, and the buildup of sludge more effectively.
  • There is some level of mineral oil in synthetic blends, so the performance depends on exactly how much mineral oil is present. The higher the amount, the shorter the oil’s lifespan and the lower the performance. But synthetic blend oil is cheaper than full synthetic and only needs to be changed slightly more often.

High-Mileage Oil

High-mileage oil provides the extra protection needed by older engines with more than 75,000 miles. This oil attacks common problems in older vehicles, including faster oil burn-off, gasket leaks, and engine corrosion. High-mileage oil provides outstanding protection with viscosity modifiers, anti-corrosion agents, specialized cleaners, and seal conditioners.

Diesel Motor Oil

A larger diesel engine naturally runs dirtier than a gasoline engine, so it needs an oil that can keep it clean and protected. Diesel motor oil contains powerful ingredients that do just that. But a diesel engine will need oil change service more frequently because of the large amount of dirt and other contaminants that the oil absorbs.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the type of oil you should use in your engine. Your best bet is to go with what your vehicle manufacturer recommends. In many cases, a range of oils will be recommended by the manufacturer to account for a variety of environments and driving habits.

Signs That It Might Be Time For an Oil Change

There are several red flags that indicate it’s probably time to bring your car into our Omaha auto shop for an oil change service. These include:

  • When the oil warning light or the “Check Engine” light comes on.checking the car oil on a dipstick
  • When the oil is darker than usual (especially if it is black).
  • When the engine performance is reduced.
  • When loud and unusual noises are coming from the engine.
  • When the dipstick shows a low oil level.
  • When metal flakes are present on the dipstick.

If any of the above things are happening with your vehicle, come into your closest T.O. Haas Omaha location for an inspection and oil change.

The Common Oil-Related Warning Lights

Your vehicle’s instrument panel contains a variety of warning lights, including the tire pressure light, the brake light, and the "Check Engine" light. There are also a few that are specifically related to the vehicle's engine oil.

“Oil” Light

The "oil” light is the most common and serves as somewhat of a catch-all. This red light often resembles the shape of a genie's lamp and alerts that there’s an issue with the oil pressure, though it does not give specifics.

If this light is on, it can mean that the oil level is low, the oil is contaminated and no longer holding the correct pressure, or that your oil pump is failing. The oil light is an indicator of a potentially severe problem. If yours is on, take your vehicle to our Omaha car repair shops for an inspection immediately.

“Low Oil” Light

Newer vehicles have built-in oil level sensors that will display a red indicator that says "Low Oil" or "Low Oil Level." This warning light alerts when the oil level is at or below the recommended level. If this light comes on, stop and check the oil immediately, top it off as needed, and get your vehicle to our Omaha service shop for an inspection.

"Oil Change Due" Light

Another common warning light in newer vehicles is the "Oil Change Due" (or “Change Oil”) light, which is usually orange. This light alerts you when it's time to get an oil change service done in accordance with your mileage and driving habits. This light will usually be reset appropriately as part of your service.

How to Properly Check the Engine Oil

It’s extremely beneficial to know how to properly check your oil. Doing so can help keep your engine running optimally between routine oil change appointments. Most vehicles have a metal or plastic oil dipstick that goes from the top of the engine down to the oil pan.

Checking the Oil in a Vehicle With an Oil Dipstick

Just follow these easy steps to properly check the oil using the oil dipstick:

  1. Park on a flat surface. Turn the engine off and let the vehicle sit for five minutes if you have recently driven it. This allows the engine oil to settle back into the oil pan.
  2. Locate the oil dipstick. It will have a brightly colored handle and be at, or near, the top of the engine.
  3. Pull the dipstick upward and all the way out.
  4. Use a clean rag to wipe the oil from the dipstick.
  5. Fully reinsert the dipstick, pause, and then slowly pull it back out.
  6. Check the oil level at the end of the dipstick; it should be within the crosshatched area between the "E" and the "F." Some dipsticks have different markings, such as “Low,” “Add,” and “Safe,” while others only have two lines indicating empty and full.
  7. Wipe the dipstick off again and fully reinsert it.
  8. If the oil level is low, add a quart of the proper oil and take your vehicle to the shop ASAP. You should not ignore a low oil level. Doing so can quickly lead to substantial and costly engine damage.

Note: Some newer vehicles use a computerized oil-level indicator that is built into the vehicle information system or infotainment system. Check your owner’s manual for more specific info on how to check the oil in your vehicle. You can also contact the dealership’s service department and ask them exactly how to check your vehicle’s oil level.

Routine Oil Change Service in Omaha Keeps Your Engine Protected & Running at Its Best

With the information we’ve covered above, you’ll be better equipped to confidently keep your engine running at its best. Oil change service is a vital part of preventative vehicle maintenance. It can help keep your engine protected and running smoothly, prevent costly repairs, and reduce emissions. Not having oil changes can lead to engines that overheat, worn internal components, and even totally seized engines.

Here at T.O. Haas Tire & Auto in Omaha, our ASE-certified expert mechanics can help keep your engine protected and running smoothly. We provide top quality auto care services backed by unmatched customer service. From routine oil change services to in-depth transmission repairs and everything in between, we’ve got you covered.

Make sure to check our Coupons page for the latest oil change specials and other deals to help make your vehicle service even more affordable!

Schedule your oil change service online today!

Frequently Asked Omaha Oil Change Service Questions

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