Why You Should Get Your Oil Changed at a Certified Dealership

January 8th, 2021 by

Gloved hands are removing the oil plug under a car.

The best way to ensure your Nissan runs great and lasts for years to come is to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and to have all your service performed at the dealership. Opting for Nissan service at Newton Nissan South means you can count on your technician to know exactly what your car needs at every service interval. Whether you paid $5,000 or $50,000, the life of your car depends on how well you take care of it.

All Nissan vehicles are covered by a 3-year/36,000 mile limited warranty and a 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty, which covers major components like the engine and drivetrain. The warranty offers protection against expensive repairs, and it’s nice to have that peace-of-mind, but regular maintenance – like oil changes and tire rotations – is necessary to keep your car running great between visits.

Oil changes are an especially important component of a well-maintained car because motor oil runs in, around, and through your entire engine, playing an integral role in overall vehicle health. Because independent shops and national oil change chains use a variety of motor oil, including conventional, synthetic, and synthetic blends, it can be confusing to decide which variety is right for your car. What’s the difference between these oil types, and why should you choose Newton Nissan South for your oil changes? Let’s review your options and show you why servicing and maintaining your car at an official Nissan dealer is the best way to go.

The Role of Motor Oil in Engine Performance

A gloved hand is pouring oil into a funnel as part of a routine Nissan service oil change.

Motor oil performs two important jobs for your engine; first, it lubricates engine parts. Second, it eliminates dirty, gunky build-up by collecting dirt and particles. Motor oil also reduces friction and helps keep the engine from overheating. Before the advent of synthetic motor oil, it was common to use different grades of motor oil in winter and summer. Now, most high-quality motor oil maintains an effective viscosity over a wide range of temperatures.

What is viscosity? It’s a term used to describe a liquid’s thickness, which is critical to providing proper engine lubrication. However, viscosity does not remain constant. Temperature greatly affects viscosity by slowing down (cold) or speeding up (hot) how fast a fluid can move. Consider maple syrup: it’s thick and sluggish right out of the fridge, but if you warm it in the microwave for 20 seconds, it thins and pours easily.

It’s essential to keep the oil that runs through your engine as clean and consistently viscous as possible, which means following the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for oil and filter changes and using the exact motor oil specified in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. As oil gets dirty, it loses viscosity and, ultimately, its ability to perform the essential tasks of engine lubrication and cleaning.

You may wonder what oil letter and number combinations (e.g., 10W-30) mean. The numbers are a viscosity grading system determined by an independent agency. The higher the number, the thicker the oil blend. The letter stands for the season – W equals winter – and this was important back when it was necessary to use different oil each season. The number before the letter (the 10 in our example) refers to the oil’s cold viscosity, while the higher number refers to its hot viscosity. Remember, today’s blends stay viscous over a wider temperature range, so our example motor oil adjusts viscosity from 10 to 30, depending on the temperature.

Conventional Motor Oil

Conventional motor oil is a formula that uses crude oil as its base. The oil is mixed with additives and other chemicals necessary for compatibility with today’s car engines. The biggest benefit to using conventional motor oil is that it’s cheaper than synthetic blend and full synthetic oil. It’s not uncommon for a conventional oil change to cost half as much as an oil change that uses synthetic oil.

Choosing conventional oil is usually a budget-based decision because synthetic oils simply last longer and are better for your engine. They hold up better in extreme temperatures, and they’re easier on the environment. Conventional motor oil gets dirty faster and doesn’t adapt as well to big temperature swings, but at the time of the oil change, it can be hard to resist a $40 bargain.

If you’re driving a vehicle with a standard engine (not turbocharged or high performance) in a consistent climate for fewer than 15,000 miles per year, you can probably get away with using less expensive conventional oil and save a few dollars. But if any of those variables change, it’s probably better to spring for better quality oil. Also, the manufacturer’s recommendation always trumps everything. If you use the wrong oil, it may void your factory warranty.

A closeup shows an oil filter.

Synthetic vs Synthetic Blends

Nissan-certified service centers offer three types of motor oil: a synthetic blend, a full synthetic, and an advanced full synthetic oil from Mobil 1. While the synthetic blend may seem like a good idea because it is less expensive, Nissan recommends using full synthetic oil for all newer vehicles. What’s the difference?

First off, synthetic and synthetic blends are mostly man-made. They’re designed to contain consistent properties at the molecular level to withstand extreme temperatures and maintain viscosity. Because they’re higher quality, they last longer, which means longer mileage intervals between oil changes. Full synthetic oil is purer than a synthetic blend. For that reason, it’s almost always recommended for high-performance vehicles. Synthetic blends offer similar levels of protection, but the best possible choice is a full synthetic.

Now that you know more about different types of motor oils, it’s time to decide where you’ll go for your next oil change. The danger of using an independent repair shop or an oil change chain is that they’re not focused on your specific vehicle needs – they’re not experts on your specific make and model. They see countless different cars every day, so the potential for making mistakes is higher. Unfortunately, a mistake like using the wrong grade of oil could cost you your warranty.

Many folks believe it costs more to change your oil at a dealership. Nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, oil changes are economical here at Newton Nissan South. Not only do we get you in and out quickly, but our prices are consistent with what you’ll see in the quick drive-through chains. The benefit is, we know Nissan vehicles inside and out, and the oil we use is guaranteed to meet manufacturer guidelines – in fact, the oil we use comes straight from the manufacturer itself.

The other benefit to bringing your car to a certified dealer is that it’s a great opportunity to get a multi-point inspection that ensures your vehicle is in excellent mechanical condition and doesn’t have any underlying issues. We use only genuine Nissan parts, and we stock a huge inventory of them, so if we do find something else wrong – perhaps you need new wiper blades, for example – we’ll have the part in stock, and it will be a Nissan-approved replacement.

Are you worried about it taking too long at the dealer? Some consumers cite convenience as the reason they choose a quick oil change facility over their local dealer. However, most auto dealers – including Newton Nissan South – offer drop-in, same day oil changes in 30 minutes or less. That means no appointment necessary, and you’ll be in and out fast. So don’t take a risk with your car, truck, or SUV and visit a certified Nissan dealership for your next oil change.

Posted in Nissan Service