What Happens if You Never Change Your Oil?: You Should Know

Last Updated on February 1, 2024 by John Robinson

Your engine will first build up sludge. The oil will then begin to dry up, and because there is no lubrication, the metal parts of the engine will grind against each other. These parts will then begin to warp, break, and crack, and eventually, the engine will seize due to overheating.

Your oil is the life-blood of your engine. It lubricates the engine, functions as a coolant, and even a sort of protector. Without oil, the engine will begin to break down. And leaving in dirty oil will be like poisoned blood in your system. The engine will die.

Here’s a brief breakdown of everything that goes wrong without that essential life-blood

  • Sludge build-up is when the oil becomes contaminated with particles, dust, and water. When the oil becomes contaminated, it loses its viscosity and begins to break down. This, in turn, creates the thick sludge in your engine, which prevents the oil from getting into the small nooks and crannies of the machine.
  • When the oil begins to dry, the machine has no protection against itself. Meaning it will start to grind the metal parts into one another. You can imagine the number this will do on your engine. As it keeps grinding, some features will begin to warp and bend as the heat builds up, which will cause even further problems.
  • Finally, as the heat builds up because there is no oil to keep it cool, the engine will seize and die, and you’re left with a broken machine that you need to repair.

When an engine breaks down so completely, most people will scrap it and buy a new one. The damage is usually too extensive to have it simply repaired. To prevent this, keep up with your oil changes, and your engine will be safe and sound.

What happens if you don’t change your oil for 10 000 miles?

What Happens if You Never Change Your Oil

This depends on if you have conventional oil or synthetic oil in your engine.

The old rule that you must change your oil at 3000 miles has been debunked for years, especially with synthetic oils.

Depending on the engine, conventional oils can usually last around 3000 to 5000 miles. After that, the oil will start to break down. This, in turn, will cause sludge, will cause lesser protection, lubrication, and coolant, and at around 10 000 miles, your vehicle will have seen some decent wear and tear on the engine.

  • Synthetic oil

Synthetic oil will last much longer than its counterpart. It can easily reach around 7 500 miles, while an excellent product can get you 10 000 miles before it starts breaking down. A good thing about synthetic oil is that it doesn’t build up sludge as quickly as its counterpart, so even if you push the mileage, your vehicle will be safer for much longer.

  • Synthetic blends

A blend is a mix of synthetic and conventional oil. As expected, it usually averages between the two 5000 – 7500 before it starts breaking down. But it depends on the engine, the weather, and the type of oils you’re mixing. 

The best thing to do is keep your engine healthy with consistent oil changes and check-ups, lest you sit with a broken engine on your hands.

Can I add oil to my car instead of getting an oil change?

Can I add oil to my car instead of getting an oil change

Topping up your oil periodically is undoubtedly better than never changing the oil.

Adding oil to the engine, you are giving it more to work with, but this does not mean you won’t still need to change to the oil eventually. Even if you top-up the oil, the dirt and debris in the old oil will mix in with the new, and you’re still at risk for sludge and other problems like inadequate lubrication.

The oil will also become thicker and darker as time goes on. No matter how much fat you add, it will still turn into a thick black substance. This is a pretty good sign you need to get your oil changed. 

But if you’re running low, and you can’t do an immediate oil change, a top-up will do you fine.

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John Robinson
John Robinson

Howdy! I’m John Robinson from Levittown, New York. I am a mechanical engineer for 15 years and already had an established car repair company. I developed a personal relationship with cars since I was a kid. I always love the sounds and smell emitted by a car or truck and even at construction machinery. Since then I have been married but my love for cars only grew.