Does Changing Oil Improve Performance (2023 – 2024)? [Expert Opinion]

There is no doubt that engine oil needs to be changed at some point. Manufacturers quick lube and oil companies continually tell vehicle owners about this. However, many consumers do not know why oil changes are necessary or do change oil improves performance.

While changing your car’s oil at manufacturer-recommended intervals may seem like a small thing, it actually improves its performance in multiple ways. One of the vehicle maintenance items not to neglect is changing the oil, as it not only boosts performance but not changing it reduces vehicle performance.

Although it may seem unbelievable, it is something everyone should be doing, whether they want a faster, more efficient car or not.

Does Changing Oil Improve Performance?

Transfer of Heat

The temperature inside an engine is extremely high. As soon as fuel ignites in a cylinder, it is like a mini explosion, accompanied by flames. Also, as metal components move, they generate heat as well.

The oil in an engine reduces friction, so regular maintenance can help maintain the engine’s heat source.

The majority of car owners don’t realize that oil actually soaks up some of the engine’s heat. A high-performance engine can even use air coolers, similar to small radiators, to transfer heat away from high-heat areas. As it flows away from these areas, heat is transferred elsewhere.

Dirty oil cannot carry nearly as much heat as clean oil can. Through regular oil changes, you ensure your engine is receiving clean oil. If you plan to tow or drive aggressively, this principle is especially important since the engine can be pushed to its limits.

It is possible for the engine to overheat just because of dirty oil, which can be very dangerous and expensive.

Debris Removal

Every engine, regardless of its age, requires an oil change to get rid of debris in the oil.

Several ways exist for debris to enter the engine. The fuel system has filters to prevent it from flowing in that way, but some debris can still get through. The air intake, however, is even more common. It’s also got a filter, but it can get overly dirty and doesn’t filter out every dust particle. This is particularly true if you drive on dirt roads a lot.

Oil helps by picking up foreign objects and transporting them to the oil filter, where they are trapped, by reducing the amount of debris in engines. In some parts of the engine, debris can blow through oil passageways, causing components to grind against one another until they fuse or break.

In engines, metal shavings are produced by various components, sometimes due to friction, and sometimes due to debris. As with other debris, metal shavings are moved all the way to the filter by the oil, just like the other debris. They are especially dangerous as they can wear down components very quickly.

Oil can break down into a sludge substance as it ages, which can put considerable strain on the engine, causing it to perform poorly. During an oil change, sludge is removed, along with dirty oil and filters, which are replaced with clean lubricants.

Longevity of Engine

If you don’t keep on top of your oil changes, you will be rebuilding or replacing your engine sooner rather than later.

Overheating, debris, blockages in the oil passageways, and starvation of different areas can all result from using old oil, which can kill your engine. Compared to rebuilding or replacing an engine, car oil changes are relatively cheap.

Use of Synthetic Oil

There’s some question among a good portion of car owners if synthetic oil is worth the extra expense. Synthetic oil changes are often promoted by shops, citing that they offer a number of benefits. Many people assume the shop is just trying to get more money out of you, but that’s not the case.

In addition to improved lubrication, reduced engine damage, improved heat transfer performance, and debris removal from engines, synthetic oil has been engineered on a molecular level in order to maintain its viscosity longer than conventional oil.

Synthetic oil is more expensive, but it protects engine parts and ensures a car’s performance.

Oil Change Intervals

A lot of car owners still believe that changing the engine oil every 3,000 miles is the appropriate time. However, that simply isn’t true in today’s world.

You can find the recommended interval for oil changes in your owner’s manual. Instead of listening to someone else’s advice, you should follow what the manufacturer recommends. This is how you care for your vehicle.

Reasons to Change Motor Oil

The reason why motor oil needs to be changed can be understood by looking at what causes it to deteriorate over time. Oil deteriorates for many reasons and cannot lubricate and cool engine parts properly:

Contaminants such as:

  • Abrasives
    • Dirt and Dust
    • Metal Particles
  • Combustion By-products
    • Water
    • Acids
    • Soot and Carbon
  • Changes in the oil’s chemical composition due to:
    • Dilution of the oil
    • Depletion of additives
    • Extreme Heat
  • Fuel Efficiency

The abrasives

Dirt and dust

Several factors contribute to the accumulation of dust and dirt in engines, including the design of air cleaners, some oil fill caps, and crankcase ventilation systems, while leaks in intake systems may allow unfiltered air to flow into the engine.

As a result of the oil circulating dust and dirt through the engine, the wear rate increases.

Excessive oil consumption is widely known as a result of contaminants in engine oils. Poor equipment reliability is often caused by particle contamination. The ingress of excessive particles may cause valve stiction and seal wear, resulting in progressive or sudden fluid loss.

In order to extend the engine’s life, it is important to maintain the engine and its accessories properly. This will minimize the number of contaminants entering the lubrication system.

Metal Particles

Metal particles are normally produced by engine wear and are picked up by the oil. The oil circulates larger, even more, abrasive metal particles generated by these metal particles, which increase wear rates.

This leads to excessive blow-by due to abrasive wear between rings and cylinders. Oil is burned in the combustion chamber as a result of blow-by, where it leaves the engine through the tailpipe after passing through the sump.

In addition, blow-by reduces the effectiveness of anti-wear additives in the oil due to increased soot loading. A vicious cycle of lubricant degradation and engine wear is created as a result of increased ring-to-cylinder wear.

These particles can be reduced by oil filters, but they cannot be completely removed.

By-products of combustion

The water

It is important to remember that combustion produces more water than fuel in your engine.

In high-temperature engines, most of the water goes out of the tailpipe, but in cold engines, most of it condenses in the crankcase, causing sludge, corrosion, and rust.

As a result of sludge deposits on oil pump screens, oil flow is restricted, resulting in the rapid wearing of engine components.

In particular, short-trip drivers should avoid emulsified and free water in their engines. When you use an alcohol-gasoline fuel blend with your flexible fuel vehicle (FFV), condensation may be even more acute.

Related Article: Will High Mileage Oil Cause Leaks

The acids

The Total Acid Number (TAN) increases as oil ages and oxidizes, causing more and more acids to be generated and built up. High acid numbers indicate corrosion, rust, and oxidation potential. An oil change may also be indicated by this sign.

In addition to heat and pressure, heat also accelerates the oxidation of base oil. Rusting is another common oxidation reaction.

Organic molecules are degraded by atmospheric oxygen as a result of oxidation. Oxidation of oil molecules results in a catastrophic and permanent chemical change, just as rusting and other corrosive processes do to metal substrates.

A prolonged oxidation process causes the oil to become acidic, resulting in corrosion, while increasing its viscosity. Under ideal conditions, oxidation will occur slowly; however, as the oil’s health decreases, degradation will accelerate.

In addition to heat, air, water, and metallic particles, there are several other factors that can increase oxidation rates if not controlled.

The darkening of the oil’s color and foul odor are two common field tests that can indicate possible oxidation. The odor of oxidation is typically sour or pungent, similar to that of rotten eggs. A chemical reaction occurs when oil’s hydrocarbons combine with oxygen.

Oil’s ability to neutralize acids is reduced when it is burned with low-quality fuel that is high in sulfur. The sulfuric acid produced creates an attack on the oil and reduces its Total Base Number (TBN).

Formulations based on synthetic materials retain BNs more effectively than formulations based on petroleum. Lubricants can last longer if they resist turning to acid.

By Analysing oil will allow you to determine whether your oil has reached the end of its lifecycle by tracking the TAN and the TBN of the oil.

Soot and Carbon

Soot, carbon, and other deposits can form from incomplete combustion.

It is possible for contaminant levels to increase in engines that run too “rich”. Gasoline engines operated at light loads and low speeds, as well as diesel engines operated at high loads and low speeds, generate higher levels of these combustion by-products.

Change in Chemical Composition

The dilution of the oil

You may have noticed an increase in oil levels since the last time you checked.

You may experience this as a result of condensed water (from combustion), condensed fuel, or a coolant leak. When the engine is operated at high speeds or temperatures, this can only cause minor problems, but if the vehicle is consistently used for short trips, it may be a significant problem.

Unburned fuel can leak into the crankcase when an engine is started or run abnormally. Oil viscosity and thin additive concentration can be substantially reduced when fuel is diluted into motor oil (by blow-by or leakage).

Oil film strength and oil consumption are also affected by fuel dilution. Dipsticks can often detect the odor of diesel fuel.

A high oil level can also lead to a coolant leak. It is possible that coolant (water and antifreeze) has leaked into your engine if you see brown bubbles on your dipstick or a crusty-brown residue above the oil level line. There is even a possibility that the oil on the dipstick looks like chocolate milk.

An exhaust smoke with a sweet odor is also a sign of a coolant leak.

Additives depletion

Many chemicals (additives) are added to motor oil when it is blended. As a result, additives enable oil to function in the desired manner when used to lubricate engines. Fluid performance is improved by additives.

In addition to enhancing the base oil’s beneficial properties, additives help make up for its deficiencies and help it withstand extreme operating conditions.

It is impossible for the best base oil to protect against the effects of heat, shearing forces, chemical and water dilution, corrosion, and wear particles without additives. In other words, additives make good base oils even better.

As high-tech engines demand more and more chemicals, modern lubricants are able to meet those demands with the help of additive systems. Approximately 70 to 80 percent of the final product is based on base oil, with 20 to 30 percent made up of additives.

Additives are sacrificial, which means once they are gone, they’re gone. As they deplete, their protection also decreases.

Heat extremes

In conventional oils, high heat leads to oil oxidation, deposits, and thickening due to increased horsepower, turbocharging, and aerodynamic styling.

Heat is more likely to affect conventional motor oils because they are composed of impure, irregular molecules.

In conventional oil, small, light molecules tend to evaporate when it is heated, leaving large, heavy molecules behind, leading to increased oil consumption and viscosity.

In addition to breaking down and forming deposits on component surfaces, those large, heavy molecules can also form deposits that further inhibit the release of heat into the oil stream if they are chemically unstable.

Oxygen breaks down some of the chemicals in conventional lubricants even at relatively mild temperatures. Engines actually promote the formation of oxidation at extremely high temperatures.

The lubricant becomes thick, hard to pump, and incredibly poor at transferring heat when conventional oil contaminants break down, coating components with varnish, deposits, and sludge.

Fuel Efficiency

By changing your car’s oil regularly, you’ll enjoy better gas mileage, which will save you money and help the environment. You’ll also be able to go further on a full tank, which will benefit everyone.

Basically, motor oil keeps the engine running properly by lubricating its different moving parts. That may not sound exciting, but it is an essential part of the engine.

It is important to change your engine’s oil according to the manufacturer’s recommended intervals as it loses viscosity as it ages, which reduces its ability to lubricate the various components.

As the engine works harder, it consumes more fuel because the oil has lost viscosity. Dirty oil keeps the different parts of the engine flowing freely.

As the engine works harder, it consumes more fuel, so keeping the oil changed regularly improves performance here.


1. Does a car oil change improve performance?

There are also a number of noticeable benefits to changing your oil. The gas mileage of your car is improved by regular oil changes. Oil lubricates metal parts in the engine, increasing its performance and making it run more efficiently and consume less gas.

2. Can you feel a performance difference after an oil change?

Better engine lubrication will likely result in better gas mileage. Additionally, because it increases compression and reduces friction, you’ll be able to accelerate a little better, as well as drive more efficiently.

3. Does oil change affect car acceleration?

Your engine’s moving parts can become gummed up as a result of this change in oil, resulting in sluggishness and eventual power loss. When the horsepower decreases, you may notice more difficulty accelerating, going up hills, and traveling at consistently high speeds.

4. Why is my car faster after an oil change?

Keeping the engine’s parts flowing smoothly requires clean oil. For the engine to maintain the same speed, dirty oil with lost viscosity must work harder. The engine consumes more fuel as it works harder. Therefore, changing your oil regularly boosts performance in this vital area.


There is no doubt that the engine oil needs to be changed. However, many car owners do not know why oil changes are necessary or do change oil improves performance.

Oil does not improve over time like fine wine. Motor oil ages are based on conditions such as engine age, driving conditions, fuel quality, climate, and motor oil quality. Your engine will fail to protect itself if your oil is not changed in time.

It is primarily contaminants accumulating in motor oil and chemical changes within the oil that lead to its demise. Dirt and sludge will eventually contaminate the oil, and engine pressures and temperatures will eventually cause it to break down.

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