Regular maintenance is key to keeping your vehicle running in good condition. Maintaining a car entails many things, of which frequent changing of the engine oil is one of the most vital. At the same time, it is essential that the right engine oil is used for the same. Dirty or contaminated engine oil can result in more wear and tear, which can harm the car�s economy. Maintaining proper oil levels helps in preventing further damage to the car and protects you against unnecessary expenses resulting from the same.
The first and foremost thing to use as a guide is the car manufacturer�s manual instructions. Every car has a specified interval after which the engine oil needs to be changed. This can be used as a rough guide to follow because this specification is made considering the ideal driving conditions, which, most often than not, are not met in actual driving.
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.
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 manufacturer�s 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 manufacturer�s manual.
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 engine�s 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.
The proper oil for your car should have the viscosity as specified in the manufacturer�s manual, meet the set standards, and comply with all the specifications that your car�s 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.
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 car�s manufacturer manual.
Considering the car's economy and life, for good long-term maintenance, it is a beneficial habit to check the car�s oil once every month. 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. However, colour is not always a reliable marker of the condition of oil. So it should be interpreted in addition to all other factors. Newer versions of cars with the oil life monitoring system in situ remove the need for manual checking. However, attention must be paid to the alarm of the oil life monitoring so that intervention can be done at the right time to avoid further damage to the car engine.
So to summarise, 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.