Changing the oil on your car is essential not only for proper car maintenance but to expand the life of your car. How much you need to change the oil depends on a variety of factors including how much you drive your car, and what the car manufacture recommends. The basic rule of thumb however is to do an oil change every three thousand miles or three months, whichever comes first.
Oil is the life blood of your car and it keeps your car's components moving and working correctly. Old oil can contain contaminants such as dirt, carbon or metal shavings that can clog your oil filter or plug the screen in the oil pump causing your car to have problems working effectively.
When oil gets old in addition to becoming tainted with contaminants that can harm your car's engine, it also breaks down and loses its ability to lubricate properly. Once oil fails to lubricate your engine and the components of your car it can actually do more harm than good. A combination of heat, friction and oxidation can turn old oil into sludge and sludge will kill your engine or at the very minimum cause you to spend a lot of money to undo the damage.
Sludge acts like a sponge and once it is established in your engine it will quickly absorb the good oil around it and potentially cause your engine to seize up. The hardened oil on your engine would need to be scraped off in order to let the right parts move freely and interact properly again or worse case scenario, the sludge will have become to extensive and instead of a cheap oil change and oil filter change you are looking at a new engine replacement.
By changing your oil on a regular schedule and changing your oil filter with each oil change you are likely to reap the financial rewards of spending less than $100 on your car's oil changes a year compared to the thousands of dollars you would spend to replace your car's engine if you neglect this timely chore.
If you have the proper tools and knowledge you can change the oil yourself in less than an hour, if however you prefer to have a professional do the job for you there are certainly plenty of mechanics and shops that do nothing more than specialize in this task.
Be sure to know what type of oil you want when you have a professional do an oil change. If you are unsure your mechanic can likely advise you on the best type of oil for your car as well as tell you when your car should be serviced again to keep it going strong.