There is more to owning an automotive vehicle than driving and refueling. Seasoned car owners know for a fact that to extend the lifespan of their vehicles, they need to perform regular upkeeps. Changing engine oil is one of the primary basics of car maintenance.
Oil generally allows metal parts in an engine to move and press against each other without damage. Remember that metal-to-metal movement causes friction. Without oil, this friction will generate too much heat that can overheat the entire engine or cause metal parts to weld themselves together. Friction also leads to wear and tear. Engine oil essentially works as a lubricant.
Why change oil: Reasons for changing engine oil
Take note that oil in the engine accumulates dirt over time. This dirt further clogs the built-in filter system used for separating particulate matter from oil.
Dirty oil will eventually bypass the filtering system and will further seep into the metal parts of the engine. Because dirty oil is denser and less viscous, it damages these metal parts due to abrasion and reduced lubrication.
Engine oil also gets less efficient and unusable over time. This is because the quality of additives such as detergents, dispersants, anti-rust substances, and friction reducers gradually degrade. Unchanged and overworked oil becomes counterproductive to the operation of an engine nonetheless.
When to change oil: Schedule for changing engine oil
As part of processes involved in regular car maintenance, it is very important to note when an oil change should take place. Of course, it is impractical to draw the oil out of the engine just to check if it remains usable.
The best way to determine oil change is to base it from mileage. Traditional recommendation claims that engine oil should be changed for changed for every 3000 miles to 5000 miles of driving mileage. This is applicable for vehicles that are regularly used in severe conditions such as long driving.
In some extremities, others recommend an oil change of every 1000 miles. However, too frequent oil change is impractical due to its monetary cost and environmental impact. Newer vehicles require less frequent oil change due to their latest engine technology. Developments in oil chemistry have also reduced this frequency.
A driving mileage of every 10000 miles is a general recommended for vehicles subjected under regular moderate driving conditions such a s short driving and city driving. In addition, manufacturers and newer vehicles have recommended mileage of 7500 miles to 10000 regardless of driving condition.
Periodical oil change of five to six months can also be used as a determinant aside from mileage. Note that this applies to vehicles used for regular moderate driving conditions. A period of every four months is the recommended indicator for changing engine oil for vehicles regularly used under severe conditions.
Remember that not all engines and vehicles are built the same. Automakers have different ways of designing and engineering their products. This is why it is very important to consult the manual that comes with the vehicle or an experienced mechanic for oil change recommendations that are appropriate to a particular engine or vehicle.
How to change oil: Processes in changing engine oil
Oil change is relatively easy to perform because the processes are almost universal across different vehicles. Take note of the following steps in changing engine oil:
Step 1: Look under the car for the drain plus. Remove this plug using a wrench and let the oil drain in a container or a catch basin.
Step 2: Draining the oil from the engine should be accompanied by draining the oil filter or changing it entirely.
Step 3 Screw back the drain plug and put the drained or new filter back in its place. Pour in the new engine oil into the filler hole. Note that filling should be gradual to allow the oil to run down effectively.
Step 4: Use an oil dipstick to check if the amount of oil poured down has reached the recommended level. Once it does, run the engine for 30 to 60 seconds and recheck the oil level.
Step 5: The level usually goes down as oil further seeps through the engine. Continue the process of checking, running the engine, and rechecking until the oil level becomes consistent with the recommendation.
Step 6: Used oil should be disposed properly. . This substance is a pollutant and can contaminate the environment. Proper disposal means consulting with a nearby recycling center.