Every single person who owns a car wishes to take good care of it and provide better maintenance. It is a fact that you need to change your car oil after a certain acceptable duration to ensure its safe and smooth run. But this is where a lot of questions arise.
How often should you change your oil? What is an acceptable time duration or mileage between your intervals? You will find answers to all these questions and more in this article, which will make changing your car oil a manageable and uncomplicated task.
Let’s begin with the basics. The frequency of your oil change depends on the recommendations of the manufacturer, environmental conditions, use of the vehicle, and many other factors.
A Basic Guide on Car Oil
1. Right Time to Change the Oil
Many car owners usually come with the same set of questions, the most popular out of which is, “How do you know when to change your car oil?” Usually, the mechanics might advise you to change it every 5,000 km as they make a profit from the job. Your neighbor, friend, or a regular person might suggest that you change the oil twice a year.
There are also some people who will recommend you to go without changing the oil as long as you can. The more people you approach, the more diverse answers you will get, which will confuse you and doubt your decision.
People will try to answer your question differently according to their own knowledge and experience, but the best way to find the right answer is by going through the car’s manual. When you have the manual to your help, you don’t need to listen to anybody else like the mechanics or anyone else claiming to know the answer to your question.
With time, our automobiles are being modified and improved, making it easier for people to find the answer to their oil changing problem. For example, many vehicles contain service reminder indicators that work just like your phone’s notifications and inform the driver when the oil needs to be changed.
These indicators work by sensing and scrutinizing the distance covered by the vehicle. After the system alerts you, make sure to change your car’s oil as soon as possible.
Most drivers use the standard oil changing rule: changing it every 5,000 km, but this can’t be set as a standard for all vehicles. Many new vehicles do not necessarily need to get their oil changed every 5,000km, so always follow the car’s manual to check the suggestions regarding oil change.
2. Checking Your Car Oil Levels
If you think you don’t have to regularly check your car because it won’t need an oil change before six months, you are wrong. Even with a new car, you have to be careful and check your car’s oil level at regular intervals so that it doesn’t become a problem in the future.
Like we said before, read the manual. It will help you understand everything about the car and its maintenance. Many new cars that come equipped with an oil indication sensor do not require a manual check by using a dipstick, but if you are performing the inspection with a dipstick, a few pointers might help you.
The first step requires you to pluck the dipstick and rub it on a clean, lint-free cloth. Before you check the oil levels, make sure that your engine has been off for some time and not heated. After cleaning the dipstick, put it back inside the pipe just the way it was. Take it out again to check the oil present on the lower end of the stick.
Based on the nature and color of the oil present on the stick, you can change the oil. The ideal color of the oil should be between brown and black, whereas a white, milky color can indicate the leakage of coolant into the engine. Generally, it is recommended to get your car’s oil level checked every month so that you can detect leaking or other problems at an early stage.
If you don’t find any problem with the oil level, clean the dipstick again and stick it back into the tube and make sure it is placed properly.
3. Frequency of Oil Change
One of the most important questions comes now. How often do you change the oil? It is something that pretty much every car owner wishes to know. Well, we’ll begin with a plain and simple answer. There are two components that work as the deciding factors: time and mileage.
Your car needs oil to efficiently lubricate its engine and keep it from getting damaged, which is why changing the oil on time is the fundamental care that your vehicle needs.
When changing the oil, think about both the factors – time and mileage. Even if you have only covered 5,000km with your car in six months, your oil still needs to be changed because it keeps losing its effect and potential with time.
Many mechanics recommend a change of oil every 3,000 miles, which is actually more beneficial for them than for you as the more you visit them, the more money they earn. According to most car manuals, you should get the oil changed after every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
Many people have started adopting this standard for changing oil, but still, this might not be the best solution as your oil’s condition also depends on your driving manner and habits.
4. Consequences of Not Changing the Oil
As time passes, the oil in your car starts to break down, not producing its desired effect (the lubrication of the engine). The lack of lubricant reduces friction, hence causing heat that can damage your car.
When your car’s engine gets heated, it affects the oil in several negative ways. The anti-wear additives and antioxidants present in the oil protect your engine from damage. But due to their vulnerability to heat, the additives start degrading, leading to a significant loss in their activity.
Apart from their incapability to protect the engine from damage, the degraded additives also make the oil slimy, reducing its ability to flow.
The oil in your car offers a wide range of functions, including the cleaning of the engine. It is responsible for the entrapment of carbon deposits, dirt, etc., and removing the possible blockage in its parts. The oil filter has the job of eliminating the larger chunks of debris, but if you don’t change car oil on time, the filter can get blocked, making the elimination of particles impossible.
5. Most Appropriate Oil for Your Car
When choosing between different oils for your car, there are several factors you should consider before going for it. The first factor that you need to consider is your vehicle. With time, car engines are becoming more efficient and improved. With these new and better engines, new oil products are formulated according to your engine.
The selection of oil also depends on climate and weather conditions. Extreme conditions can affect your engine, making it hard for the vehicle to keep up with the surrounding. Based on the model and type of your vehicle, you can choose between mineral or synthetic oil of various grades.
Mineral oil provides excellent lubrication to the engine at a decent cost but often contains many impurities that can produce sludge aggregates, and for that reason, it requires frequent changing. On the other hand, synthetic oil provides impressive thermal and chemical stability with remarkable engine protection. Moreover, synthetic oil has comparatively low solubility with high cost.
Keeping in view all these deciding factors, you must choose the oil you think is a better fit for your car.
Many car owners often come with the same old questions regarding their car oil changes and find it hard to select the right oil for their cars. We hope this article will provide you with a broader explanation for all your questions and help you choose the most suitable oil for your vehicle.