It's no secret that engine oil is an essential component of your car. It helps to keep the engine running smoothly and prevents wear and tear. That's why it's so important to change your engine oil regularly. Not doing so can cause all sorts of problems for your car, including decreased performance, reduced fuel efficiency, and even engine failure. In this blog post, we'll discuss why you need to change your engine oil regularly and how to go about doing it.
You’ve seen that little symbol on your dashboard that indicates the oil levels in your engine. It starts getting low, but you kind of choose to ignore it. You’re still driving your car, nothing bad is happening, so why bother changing the oil?
Eventually, when it completely runs out, you’ll fill the engine oil back up again. However, this is such a bad habit to get into. If you leave it too long between engine oil changes, you could be doing some serious damage to your car. Not only that, but some of the damage could be irreversible and very costly to deal with.
If you still need some convincing, here is why you must change your engine oil every so often:
You Could Permanently Damage Your Engine
Your car’s engine is what helps it move around. It needs good oil levels to lubricate all the little moving parts inside it. When oil levels start dropping, there’s less lubrication in the engine. Consequently, parts start rubbing against one another and causing damage. Eventually, too much damage is done and your engine will stop working entirely. In turn, you’ll have to either pay for a new engine or a new car - neither of which is cheap!
Old Oil Leads To Inefficient Engine Operation And More Pollution
Old oil in your engine will clog it up and make your car generate dirtier emissions. If you see someone with loads of black smoke coming out of their exhaust, it’s likely due to a lack of oil changes in the engine. New oil keeps everything lubricated and helps to remove dirt and debris from the engine. Also, think about it, if the engine isn’t properly lubricated, all the parts have to work harder to make it function properly. Extra work means more emissions are released. So, changing your oil can help you decrease carbon emissions from your car.
Oil Changes Improve Your Gas Mileage
Following on from the previous point, what also happens when your engine is forced to work harder? It burns up more fuel, which means your mileage decreases. This is actually a good sign that your engine needs a change of oil. If your miles per gallon suddenly starts dropping, it shows there’s an issue with the engine. Change the oil, and you may see an immediate difference as you can drive longer between refueling.
How Often Do You Need To Change Your Oil?
The simple answer is that you should change your oil based on the recommendation posted by the engine oil manufacturer. The general rule of thumb would be to change your oil every 3,000 miles or six months.
There are however many variables that can affect those guidelines including weather and climate, type of oil used, type of driving - highways vs city, age of the vehicle, and of course the type of vehicle being driven.
If you have doubts, it is always best to ask an independent mechanic that you trust for a good recommendation. However, the old go-to of 3,000 miles or six months will never be a bad suggestion.
Should You Change Your Oil Yourself Or Have An Expert Do it For You?
You can change your car oil all by yourself, but you can also find places like https://kwikkardenton.com/ that provide this service for you. It depends on if you’re comfortable changing the oil or would rather the professionals do it for you.
Additionally, having a professional change your oil usually comes with additional services such as changing other fluids and checking parts of your vehicle such as brakes and tire wear.
Most places will also allow you to bring your own oil too. This will allow you to save some money, but more importantly it will allow you to use higher quality synthetic blends that may last longer and offer performance advantages compared to traditional motor oils.
If You Change Your Oil Yourself, Here's How
If you do it by yourself, you will need to purchase the correct oil type for your car as well as an oil filter. You’ll also need a few tools including a socket wrench set, an oil catch basin, and a funnel. Once you have all that, follow these steps:
- Park your car on level ground and turn off the engine. Place newspaper or cardboard underneath the car in case of any drips.
- Locate the drain plug at the bottom of the oil pan and position your catch basin underneath it.
- Use your wrench to loosen but not remove the drain plug. Allow all the old oil to drain out into the basin - this could take up to 15 minutes.
- Replace the drain plug and tighten it with your wrench.
- Remove the old oil filter - it should be located near the engine. Again, place your catch basin underneath to catch any drips.
- Coat the rubber gasket on the new filter with fresh oil and screw it on hand tight.
- Pour new oil into the car - refer to your owner’s manual to see how much you need. You can use a funnel to make this process neater.
- Start up the engine and let it run for a minute before checking the dipstick to ensure you have enough oil. Wipe off any excess with a clean rag.
- Check under your car for leaks and dispose of all used oils and filters properly.
As you can see, changing your car’s oil is a pretty simple process that you can do at home. However, if you’d rather not get your hands dirty, there are plenty of businesses that will be happy to take care of it for you. Whichever route you choose, make sure you keep up with regular oil changes to prolong the life of your car and improve its performance.
Changing Your Oil Regularly Is The Easiest Way To Keep Your Engine Running Smoothly
Changing your car's engine oil regularly is one of the simplest ways to keep your engine running smoothly and extend its life. Not only does it improve performance, but it also helps prevent costly repairs down the road. If you're not comfortable changing your own oil, there are plenty of businesses that will be happy to take care of it for you. Whichever route you choose, make sure you keep up with regular oil changes!