How You Could Be Ruining Your Engine

Under the Hood

Did you know that 75% of engine wear occurs from the moment you start your car to when it’s completely warmed up? Did you also know that depending on the weather, this process can take up to 20 minutes for your engine to heat up to optimal protection temperature? Don’t feel bad if you didn’t. Lots of people aren’t aware of what they could be doing for their engine aside from regular oil changes. However, knowing more about your engine, how it works with oil, and what products are best for engine maintenance can help. First, let’s chat a bit about how these parts work together and why their balance is important.

How your engine and oil work together.

When your car is running, a thin film of oil coats the engine’s moving parts to help it run smoothly and efficiently. Once you park your car and take the key out of the ignition, this oil drains back into the sump. The cause of engine wear happens next when you go to start your car back up again. Because there isn’t sufficient oil lubrication on your engine, parts grind and run less than optimally until your engine is heated and the oil is evenly redistributed once again.

Start-up is harder than hauling over long distances.

What do you think is more detrimental to your engine: a quick run to the grocery store or a road trip to trailer your boat to the lake? It turns out, short trips are actually much worse to the longevity of your engine because every time you start up your car, it needs time to lubricate the engine before it can run without damaging itself. 

“75% of engine wear happens while your car is warming up—and that usually takes 20 minutes.”

Synthetic vs Natural Oil

Synthetic oils trump natural oils these days when it comes to proper engine maintenance. That’s because these oils are produced in a lab and contain chemicals that are meant to run at cooler and warmer engine temperatures—the natural heat progression of when you start your car and drive it over a short or long distance. Synthetic oils are also more heat and oxidation resistant, so they last longer. Some synthetic oils can cut back on engine wear by 50%, offer three times more protection, and give drivers five times better cleansing power.

What you can do to help extend your car engine’s life.

There are a couple things you can do to help your engine run smoother and last longer, including:

Get regular oil changes.

Oil changes used to be recommended every 3,000 miles. With newer cars and advancements in motor oil, now that number is anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Luckily, newer cars have instruments that measure when your car’s oil levels are getting low and will alert you to go into the shop. Mechanics will also give you an estimate when you get an oil change. Generally, twice a year should suffice for drivers who put 12,000 miles on their car annually.

Try a different oil.

Castrol carries a motor oil that is meant to prevent wear that happens during warm up. The Castrol GTX MAGNATEC® MOTOR OIL includes compounds that stick to your engine better so your car’s engine doesn’t dry out when you stop your car. 

If you’re worried about your engine, treat it right by switching to a synthetic oil (after consulting a mechanic) and grouping your errands into longer trips so your engine has time to warm up and run properly.