Acura Oil Change Questions & Answers

How often should I change the oil in my Acura?

For some, an oil change is like heading to the dentist: inconvenient but necessary.

Today’s newer-tech engines using synthetic oil are engineered to go anywhere from 7,500 to 15,000 miles between oil changes. Thanks to more exacting standards in engine-building technology, the quality of the synthetic oils has improved. And there’s another factor: more than half of today’s new cars have monitoring systems that give you a heads-up when it’s time to change the oil.

Your driving style and needs can also affect how often you need to change your oil. If you just drive around town and put 6,000 miles or so on the odometer every six months, you might change the oil twice a year. If you do a lot of highway or long-distance running or operate your vehicle in sandy or dusty surroundings like the deserts of Nevada or Arizona, you might be a candidate for more frequent changes.

Once upon a time, local service stations and Quick-Lube franchisees recommended changing traditional oil and oil filters every 3,000 miles. That was mostly a marketing ploy. Lately, with the use of synthetic blends and full synthetic oils, owners are now able to push out or extend the vehicle’s oil life further to 10,000 miles or even as much as 15,000 miles.

Regular maintenance won’t just keep your car running well, it’ll help protect your car’s value over time. For more ways to do this, see How to Maintain the Value of Your Car.

Why is changing the oil in my Acura important?

Engines have made quantum leaps in technology, but the one thing that has remained constant is the way we lubricate them – and the need to keep that oil clean to ensure long engine life. This entails draining the oil, replacing the filter and refilling the engine with new lubricant.

Use of high-compression engines, auto start/stop technology, turbocharging and more has put increasing demands on oil and lubricant technology. Conventional oils are derived directly from crude oil. Newer synthetic oils are a blend of traditional oil with lubricants and other additives that enhance its performance, but comes at a higher price, on average, than regular oils.

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Do I need synthetic oil in my Acura?

To decide what type of lubricant is suitable for your vehicle’s engine, it’s always a good idea to consult your owner’s manual. Inside you will find the type, grade, and frequency of change for your engine’s oil.

There are several types of motor oils offered today. Widely available, either at your dealership or the local auto parts and big-box stores, they are tailor-made for the type of driving you do.

  • Traditional motor oil has always been a safe choice, but it requires replacement more frequently. The same applies to the filters that trap many impurities from the oil flow as possible during its lifetime. Traditional motor oils should be changed after approximately 5,000 miles of service.
  • Semi-Synthetic motor oil combines traditional and synthetic blends and are a good choice for vehicles that operate under heavier loads and extended driving sessions. Semi-Synthetics last longer than traditional oils and could safely provide proper lubrication to around 8,000 miles.
  • Synthetic motor oil is the perfect choice for today’s high-tech engines, whether high-performance or high-efficiency. They offer better performance from a viscosity standpoint (the ability to flow through engine parts) and increased protection from foreign deposits. Good all the way out to 10,000 or even 15,000 miles in some usages, it is the perfect choice to protect your investment whether it’s a Grand Tourer, a “Ranch Edition” pickup truck or a Plug-in Hybrid.

When choosing an oil, consider the heat relief. Temperature fluctuations affect the duration of your motor oil’s effectiveness. But care in selecting the proper grade of oil for your vehicle should be at the fore, to make sure it gets just what it needs for years of uninterrupted service. Where you live and how you use your vehicle is just as important as how much it is driven. The introduction of higher temperatures can cause oil to break down sooner than expected while at the same time wind-blown sand and grit can be introduced into the engine especially under extreme conditions.

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), all vehicles can benefit from the use of synthetic oil.

What’s involved in an oil change?

Nobody knows your Acura better than your local dealership service department. They’ve undergone factory training to properly maintain and repair your vehicle. While traditional oils are still in widespread use and were most likely what your vehicle was using when it came from the factory, your dealership service department stocks a wide variety of brands and types of oil that will suit the needs of your specific vehicle and its type of usage.

Consult your owner’s manual for oil type, oil amount, oil pan location, drain plug and oil filter sizes and locations.

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How do I change my oil?

The days of having to change your oil every three thousand miles or so are long gone. However, it remains a critical aspect of vehicle maintenance to ensure long engine life for your Acura. Whether you do it yourself or use a professional, it’s important to not only stay on schedule but keep records of the changes. It’ll help enhance the resale value of your vehicle if the next owner knows that you’ve been diligent in maintaining it. And by keeping the oil fresh and clean, you can rest assured that your vehicle will be ready to go when you are.

  • Park on a flat, level surface. Apply your vehicle’s parking brake and turn the engine off. If needed, raise the front end of your vehicle with a pair of jack stands. Open your hood and remove the oil dipstick to allow complete drainage of oil from your crankcase.
  • Put on safety glasses. Once your vehicle is secure on the jack stands, crawl under and move to the engine’s oil pan. (Consult with manual for directions.)
  • Locate the drain plug at the bottom of the pan.
  • Position a catch pan under the drain plug. Make sure it is large enough to capture all the oil that will be draining from your engine. (Consult with manual for capacity.)
  • Using the proper socket wrench or box-end wrench, loosen the drain plug over the catch pan so that the draining oil will flow into the pan. CAUTION: The oil may still be hot!
  • Inspect the drain plug for any stripping of the threads or the bolt itself. If it’s okay, replace it once the oil has completely stopped draining. If in need of a replacement, hopefully you will have already acquired it. Retighten with the wrench used to remove it.
  • Locate your oil filter. Have your oil catch pan ready in case there’s any oil left. Loosen the oil filter with an oil filter wrench. Check the gasket to make sure it was removed with the filter. Replace with a new filter, after applying a coat of oil to the gasket of the new filter.
  • Remove the oil filler cap and pour the proper amount of fresh synthetic or conventional oil back into the engine. Use a funnel to avoid spillage. Replace the cap.
  • Start the engine and let it idle for at least a minute. Check underneath for any leaks. If all is good, turn off engine and lower the vehicle by using the jack and removing the jack stands.
  • Once on solid ground, check the oil level using the oil dipstick as a gauge. Add more oil if necessary.
  • Properly dispose of the old oil by taking it to your local dealership service department or auto service center.

For more info about caring for your car long-term, see Top 10 Car Care Tips.

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