Changing the engine oil of a car is one of the very few maintenance aspects. Yet, most vehicle owners do not have the appropriate knowledge regarding engine oil and the role that it plays in the overall functioning of a car.
They mostly follow what they are told by either the representative at the dealership or their mechanic.
However, is this right?
Living in the hustle and bustle of a city like Toronto, should a vehicle owner spend time thinking about these things?
Well, the short answer is, ‘Yes’. At least, if you care about the lifespan of your engine.
Here are a few things to know when looking for an oil change service.
1. The Function of Engine Oil
The engine oil serves three purposes.
- First, it provides lubrication for all the moving parts inside your engine.
- Second, it cleans the sediments and contaminants from your engine, protecting it from damage.
- Third, it maintains the temperature of the engine, preventing it from overheating.
2. Why do you need to change Engine Oil Regularly?
As time passes and the vehicle is increasingly utilized, the engine oil becomes contaminated with microscopic debris from the engine parts as well as external contaminants like dust and even small insects. If the quantity of these contaminants exceeds a certain limit, they begin to damage the internals of the engine.
Further, the viscosity of the engine reduces with use. If not replaced in time, the oil may become too thin to lubricate the engine, leading to catastrophic outcomes and huge expenditures.
3. When to Change Engine Oil?
It is fairly simple to check if your engine oil requires changing.
Every vehicle comes with a dipstick. You have to simply pull out the dipstick and look at the physical characteristics of the oil to gauge whether it requires changing.
Start with the color. New oil is clear and becomes increasingly darker with use until it is completely black. It’s time for an oil change if the oil is black.
If the color of the oil is somewhere in between the two opposing spectrums, you can simply check it by rubbing a drop of it between your fingers. If you can feel any grit, i.e. any sort of friction, or if the oil is thin, it is time to change it.
4. How to Choose the Right Engine Oil?
Before you search for ‘oil change near me’ or head to the closest garage that provides car oil change services, find out which engine oil your vehicle uses. This can be easily found in the vehicle’s manual. It is essential that you use engine oil that is approved by your manufacturer. Using incompatible engine oil can be just as bad for your vehicle as not changing the oil regularly.
It’s also a good idea to research the types of compatible engine oils available for your vehicle and choose one depending on the type of vehicle, its usage and also the climate it will be used in.
5. Do You Need the Professional Help?
While you can change your car’s engine oil yourself, it’s wiser to go with the professionals. However, it can be of great help if you already know when to get it changed.
The recommended intervals between oil changes specified in the vehicle’s manual can be used as a reliable reference, it is always better to periodically perform manual checks on the status of your engine oil to determine the appropriate time to get it changed.
While it may seem like one of the more basic and simple straightforward aspects of maintenance, regularly changing the engine oil of your car is crucial. It affects not only the lifespan of the engine but also the performance and mileage of the vehicle. Don’t wait for that ‘Change Oil’ light to come on, as by then, it may be too late. Vigilance in this matter will go a long way (along with your car).