Motor oil is the lifeblood of an engine for a number of important reasons. The purpose of the engine oil is to ensure that the internal components are kept lubricated and cool. It is responsible for carrying lubricant through the cylinders so that the moving parts are protected against damage. Without fresh oil, dirt can build up in the engine.
This will eventually lead to serious damage and may require an engine replacement in the future. Because oil is crucial to your car’s optimum performance, keep reading and learn everything you need to know about changing your oil.
How often should the oil get changed
While many car owners are advised to get their oil changed every 3,000 miles, the best thing to do is to follow the specific recommendations for your car indicated in the owner’s manual. Your manual serves as your bible for everything related to car maintenance and operation. Don’t always rely on the guidance of experienced mechanics because the oil change schedule may have evolved over the years.
In fact, newer car models get alerts on their service reminder monitors telling them when it’s time to change the oil. If you have something like this in your vehicle, be sure to get your oil changed as soon as you get this alert. Remember that fresh oil is a must whether you drive a lot around or not.
When to check the oil level
An important part of car maintenance is monitoring the oil level on a regular basis. Keep an eye on your car’s oil level and have it checked at least once a month. This will keep you informed of any possible leaks. You can do a manual inspection using a dipstick or if your car has electronic monitors, you may rely on those, too.
If you are doing a manual inspection, make sure that the car is parked on level ground. Rid the end of the dipstick of any oil and insert it into the tube all the way. Check where the oil is by pulling the dipstick back out. If the oil is at the minimum mark of the dipstick, be sure to add oil immediately.
Also, you need to pay close attention to the oil’s color. It should be either black or brown. If it has a lighter shade or has a thick and milky texture, there is a possibility of a coolant leak in the engine. Check for any metal particles as it may indicate potential internal engine damage. Have the car immediately inspected by a mechanic if you notice any of these conditions.
How to choose the right oil for your car
Before you decide on which oil to use for your car, the first thing you need to determine is the viscosity recommended for it. Check your owner’s manual for this information. The next step is to decide whether to use conventional oil, synthetic or synthetic blend. Conventional oils, because they are petroleum-based and organic, offer limited protection. Synthetic oils are known to work better because they have fewer impurities and provide a boost in engine performance.
Again, it’s imperative that you know the recommended oil type by your automaker. This way, you will have full control over the oil added to your car when you bring it to a mechanic.
How often should the oil filter be changed
Your oil filter also plays an important role in keeping the engine clean. Be sure to have it changed each time you change your oil. This should be included in your scheduled oil change service.
Getting an oil change may seem like a very simple process but it’s one of the things that many car owners overlook. Remember that an oil change is a critical part of car maintenance. If you want to ensure its maximum performance and increase its longevity, don’t skip this important step.