The importance of oil changes
Motor oil is a relatively inexpensive automotive component that mechanics urge drivers to replace regularly. In this article we will discuss the functions of motor oil, the relative importance of regular oil changes, and the process by which you can change your own oil from the comfort of your home.
Motor oil is an incredibly important part of keeping your car running smoothly. In addition to lubricating the quickly-moving precision parts of your engine, motor oil also helps to siphon heat away from critical components, and to dissolve and prevent the accumulation of impurities and deposits in your engine chamber.
Over time and with frequent use, the detergents and additives within motor oil break down, hampering its ability to properly lubricate and clean your engine interior. If you wait too long to change your oil, you could be looking at a surprisingly hefty engine repair or replacement bill, so it’s a good idea to stay on top of your oil’s age and condition. When in doubt, it’s best to go ahead and change your oil, as most motor oils are very affordable, especially if you buy engine oil online in advance.
How often should I change my oil?
The general rule is that motor oil should be replaced every 5,000 to 8,000 kilometres, but many automotive experts argue that such a low figure is simply an old and outdated standard. Replacing your oil every 5,000 kilometres is certainly safe, but may be unnecessary as modern motor oils are far more sophisticated than older brands and break down much more slowly. Some synthetic oils are designed to go more than 16,000 kilometres before requiring replacement. To ensure you get the most life out of your motor oil, research the brand and type you intend to use and see what the manufacturers say about its longevity. If you plan to change your own oil, save some money by buying your engine oil online.
How do I change my vehicle’s motor oil?
Changing your car’s oil is a fairly straightforward process. Before starting, you’ll require a socket wrench, a car jack and jack stands, a drain pan, and some cleaning rags. Jack the car up and secure it on the stands. With the help of your vehicle’s owner’s manual, you should be able to locate the oil reservoir, along with the drain plug. Position the pan under the plug, and remove the plug with your socket wrench. If you also loosen the oil cap under your vehicle’s hood, the oil will drain much faster.
Now is also a good time to replace your oil filter as well, usually located adjacent to the oil reservoir, since changing your oil and replacing the filter require many of the same steps. Once the oil is fully drained, replace the drain plug (and the new filter, if applicable), and refill the reservoir with your desired new motor oil. Remember to take the old motor oil to a licensed disposal facility, as motor oil is considered a non-biodegradable environmental hazard and is illegal to simply throw away.