Oil is the elixir, the fountain of youth and the supreme lifeblood of our vehicles. Just like water keeps a human alive, oil keeps a vehicle's motor running.
So when the light that reads "Change oil soon" flashes in our cars, drivers need to respond quickly.
Bert Blackson, owner of Fastlane Auto Repair in Warren, said that the standard time people should change the oil on their cars is every 3,000 miles. He said that not keeping up with oil changes is unsafe for the car.
Hector Soto, an assistant at Lube Stop, checks an air filter. Soto said that the air filter cleans any air going into the engine.
"The oil breaks down and turns into sludge and residue," he said. "This can plug up passages and cause damages to the motor. This can also cause permanent wearing of the bearings and rings in the motor."
Bob Young of Austintown said he generally neglects getting his oil changed.
"I also usually pass the 3,000-mile mark way sooner than expected, so I am caught off guard," he said. "In fact, I am past the 3,000-mile marker at this moment."
Frank Matyi, owner of Partner's Auto Repair in Youngstown, said that how often a driver should get an oil change in a car varies.
"It depends on what year the car was made. Some of the newer cars are 7,500 mile intervals, while the older cars are around 3,000 mile intervals," Matyi said.
Blackson said that changing the oil requires getting the car on a lift so the old oil can drain out from underneath the car. Next, the oil is drained from the fan and the oil filter is changed.
Matyi said that it's always important for car owners to change their filter when they get their oil changed.
"That keeps the debris from circulating in the oil. It traps the debris and cleans the oil as it circulates through the engine," Matyi said.
While many people seek out a service station or auto shop for an oil change, some people prefer to change the oil in their cars themselves.
David Gordon of Boardman used to change his oil on his own but decided that going to a service to get his oil changed was a better option for his schedule.
"I take my car to a service to get my oil changed for convenience," he said. "I used to change my oil myself when I had a lot more time. Right now, I do not have enough time, so it's just easy for me to go to a service to get it done."
Joe Lenzo of Austintown said, "I used to change the oil myself with my dad's help. When I moved out, I lost the time to change my oil, so it was easy just to go somewhere to to get it done."
As Young learned, keeping your oil levels at the ideal mark can save trips to the gas pump.
"Before my last oil change, I realized just how badly it affects the car's fuel efficiency," Young said. "I was pushing 6,500 miles at that point. I had been buying gas way more frequently and actually ran out of gas once because I thought the amount of gas I had at the moment would get me farther."
John Berena, service manager at Coates Car Care in Niles, said that not keeping up with regular oil changes can cause problems.
"Worst case, the car will have internal engine failure. The engine will sludge and thicken," Berena said.
Hector Soto, assistant at Lube Stop in Boardman, said that keeping up with oil changes helps the inside of the car's engine.
"Using high mileage oil conditions the seals in your engine, and those should not go bad or your car will start smoking," Soto said.
An oil change is not something for a car owner to underestimate.
"If a person neglects to get their oil changed, the car will have engine failures and internal failures," Berena said.
Hubbard resident Drew Kensinger says she tries to keep up with oil changes, but sometimes it can be difficult with her schedule. Kensinger takes her car to a mechanic to get the oil changed.
"I know I have so many other things to worry about that an oil change really isn't at the top of the list," she said. "Finding time to get an oil change is difficult, although I know it only takes 15 minutes.''