Do you know that engine oil is the lifeline of your car? Regular car maintenance keeps the vehicle running smoothly and in good condition. The idea of doing regular maintenance, be it cleaning or changing engine oil, can be an exhausting task for many people.
Dirty or contaminated engine oil can result in more wear and tear, which can harm the cars economy. Maintaining proper oil levels helps in preventing further damage to the car and protects you against unnecessary expenses resulting from the same.
The frequency of engine oil changes depends on multiple factors such as driving conditions, oil type, etc. If you are unsure about when and how to change your engine oil, read this blog, and we will walk you through the signs and necessary things you need to do to change the engine oil.
General recommendations - If You Need An Oil Change?
The general, standard, traditional recommendation is that the engine oil should be changed every 3000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first. However, not every car needs the engine oil changed after this period or these specific miles. The reason is that the need for an oil change depends on other factors, such as the average daily usage of the car and the driving conditions. So taking into consideration all of these factors, the decision regarding the frequency of car oil changes can be made.
Age of the car
Experts say that changing engine oil every 3000 miles can sometimes prove to be overkill, and even if it has no adverse effects, it can be a waste of time and resources. They recommend that cars over ten years old get the engine oil changed every 5000 to 9000 miles. Newer cars require full synthetic oil and can run 15000 - 18000 miles without an oil change.
The driving conditions aren't always optimal, so the manufacturers guidelines must be tweaked depending on the driving conditions. Hard driving can result in a lot of wear and tear and determine the oil levels in the car. Extreme weather conditions (extreme hot or cold), highly dusty roads, towing vehicles etc., also make frequent oil changes necessary than the manufacturers manual.
Usage of the car
If the car is not used much or rarely used, you need to change the oil at least once or twice a year because the oil degrades over time. If the car is new and used on average, it will need less frequent car oil changes. However, when the same car becomes old, the frequency of oil changes has to be increased. The reason is the compressed fuel and air that leak into the engines crankcase over time with usage. As more time elapses, grime and soot get deposited on the ring, making them a tad bit permeable. This can result in oil contamination, hence the need to be replaced more frequently. Therefore it is also advisable to use a high-quality oil filter.
Type of oil to be used
The proper oil for your car should have the viscosity as specified in the manufacturers manual, meet the set standards, and comply with all the specifications that your cars manufacturer's manual recommends. Synthetic oil is generally recommended because it gives a longer engine life, better driving conditions, and fuel economy. Experts have stated that with synthetic oil, the car oil change frequency can be reduced to 7500 miles.
Oil life monitoring systems
Many new modern cars are equipped with oil-life monitoring systems that automatically detect when the car needs a change of engine oil. They alert the driver via alarms set for a specific purpose. Within these systems, the previous ones used to be time and mileage based, but the newer ones also consider the operating and working condition of the car and accordingly calculate the life of the engine oil. Do not confuse the oil life monitoring system alarm with the oil pressure lights on your dashboard. Once the oil of these cars is changed, the oil-life monitoring system needs to reset. The service provider can do this, or you can do it by consulting the cars manufacturer manual.
Regular engine oil checks
Considering the car's economy and life, checking the car's oil once every month is beneficial for good long-term maintenance. Check that it is not leaking or burning. You can check the level and add oil if it seems low. You can match the colour. Generally, good fat is transparent brown and black. If coolant is leaking, it might appear whitish or milky. It might look opaque when it is time for it to be changed.
3 Crucial Signs To Change Your Engine Oil
Changing your engine is crucial to enhance the performance and maintain the longevity of your vehicle. Here are the five signs that recommend you change your car’s engine oil:
Colour Of Engine Oil: Check your engine oil regularly, and if the oil looks dirty, gritty or dark, it is a clear sign that it has become contaminated and it needs to be replaced.
Engine Noise: When the engine lacks proper lubrication due to worn-out oil, you may hear a weird noise or knocking sounds. Hence, it is recommended to use fresh oil, which will help restore the optical performance.
Exhaust Fumes: If you see black smoke coming from your exhaust pipe, it could be a sign of oil burning. It can also occur because of oil leaks or because of some technical issue in the engine. Hence, take your car for maintenance, address the issue, and ask the repairer to change the oil.
How To Change Engine Oil?
If you are wondering how to change engine oil, here is a step-by-step guide on how to change a car’s engine oil:
Step 1: Jack Up The Car & Open It
Firstly, lift the car high and have enough room for youtube work under it. Be safe with whatever you use, be it ramps, hoists, or jack stands. Leave the car for 10 to 15 minutes to cool the engine oil. Till then, gather all the essential tools and materials that you need.
Step 2: Unscrew The Plug
Unscrew the plug and quickly pull it out, away from the oil stream. Allow the engine to drain for five minutes till the oil flow slows down. Now, clean the plug and install a new gasket if needed.
Step 3: Replace Oil Filter
Replace the oil filter, which is generally located on the side or bottom of the engine. You can use the oil filter wrench to loosen and remove the old oil filter. Apply a layer of oil to the rubber gasket before installing the new oil filter to ensure a tight seal.
Step 4: Replace New Oil
Add new oil using the funnel and recap the bottle to prevent spills before throwing it into the recycling bin.
Step 5: Check For Leakage
Once done, wait for a few minutes and let the oil settle into the pan. Once done, clean the spills with the towel, and check that oil is lined up with the full marking on the tip of the dipstick. Afterwards, start the vehicle and let it warm up, and see if there is any leakage under the vehicle on around the filter.
Just like our body, a car also needs maintenance to sustain health. Regular engine oil changing is one of the critical factors contributing to the care of the car's health and long-term sustenance. If we know how and when to change the car engine oil, we can take the appropriate actions at the right time and increase the car engine's efficiency and hence the car's longevity. To read more car-related blogs, you can download the Park+ app or explore the Park+ website!