When do I need an oil and filter change on my car?
Having an oil change on your car is probably the least expensive service when it comes to car maintenance. However, having it done regularly can preserve the life of your car’s engine and save you a lot of money long term.
Oil is the lifeblood of your car engine. It keeps all the components running efficiently and helps reduce the buildup of debris in the system. Oil helps to pull heat away from the combustion chamber which occurs from thousands of small explosions taking place every minute.
Oil becomes less liquid like and more sludge like as it collects debris from around the engine. No matter how good the oil is that’s in your engine, it all has a lifespan and will all end up in the same way. The most expensive oil does not necessarily last longer, it may just enhance the performance of your car and contain more additives. Eventually those additives will diminish as well as the oil itself.
So, what kind of oil should you use? Well it depends on many factors such as:
- How many miles you drive annually.
- What kind of driver are you. (hard excellerator)
- What kind of driving you do. (motorway, short journeys, rough terrain)
- Do you use your vehicle to tow a caravan or trailer.
- If you live in a hot or cold country.
The main factor though is what kind of car you have and the type of engine. Your car handbook will usually state the specific type of oil your car requires. Engine manufacturers will specify certain additives the oil should contain to maintain engine performance. Garages will use all these factors when selecting the correct oil for your car.
It’s very important to adhere to the signs that your car needs an oil change, as once the oil is past its lifespan replacing your car’s engine or parts of it is something no car owner wants to have to do. Don’t wait until it’s too late and end up with a costly bill.
So what is involved in an oil change?
Most people think it’s just out with the old and in with the new, however there is a bit more to it than that.
At every oil change, the oil filter will be replaced too. Oil filters come in many shapes and sizes and are vehicle specific. The oil filter plays a vital part in the performance of your car. As oil flows around the system it picks up tiny parts of metal, dirt and debris. When the oil passes through, the filter holds all the debris to stop it returning into the engine and flowing through the system.
Oil passes through the filter four times for every mile you drive. So every 3,000 miles, the oil has been filtered 12,000 times, so you can see why it is changed at every oil change.
Oil filters are made up of many fins of paper like material held together at the centre to form a cylinder like shape, encased in a metal can.
When was the last time you had that all important oil change? As mentioned, having it done regularly could save you a lot of money in the long run.
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