One of the most crucial aspects of being a good car owner is performing basic maintenance tasks. It’s not enough that you can handle your vehicle while on the road; you should also be able to ascertain to a respectable degree that your vehicle is safe to drive. Besides helping to keep the road safe for other drivers and pedestrians, properly maintaining your vehicle also helps ensure the longevity of your car in the long run.
1. What are oil changes?
One of the most important maintenance tasks that you can do for your car is changing your oil regularly. When talking about oil changes, most car enthusiasts are referring to changing a vehicle’s engine oil.
This is an important distinction to make, as there are actually several kinds of oil present in a particular vehicle, all of which perform specific functions. For its part, the engine oil is responsible for lubricating your engine and regulating its temperature to ensure full functionality. Provided that your engine has no design problems and does not suffer damage from accidents like a collision, regular oil changes are all it typically needs to last more than 100,000 miles.
Changing your oil is one of the simplest yet crucial maintenance tasks that you can do for your car. However, if you’re not comfortable with tinkering around your engine or just don’t have the proper tools, you should leave it to professionals to handle.
If you don’t have a mechanic yet, you can use our service to book a mobile oil change.
2. How often do I need to change my engine oil?
Nobody knows your engine better than the vehicle manufacturer—so it’s best to consult your manual to truly know the specific answer to this question. If your car didn’t come with a manual when you bought it, you could try looking it up on the internet or asking a mechanic. This is especially important if the car itself is older, as it may have different requirements than more modern engines!
The type of oil that you use matters as well. If you use conventional oil, then you’ll need to change it every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. However, you can typically get away with up to 10,000 to 15,000 miles in between oil changes if you use fully synthetic oil! That being said, not all engines do well with synthetic oils. For this reason, it’s best to consult a mechanic or book a mobile oil change service from a specialist instead.
3. I bought my vehicle second hand. How do I know if it needs an oil change?
The best way to know is to ask the previous owner. However, if there’s any doubt in your mind, the most prudent thing to do is to change the oil anyway and take note of the mileage when filled it in with fresh oil. This way, you’ll never miss an oil change again!
It’s also a good idea to inspect the state of the oil and its levels periodically. You can do this using your engine’s dipstick, which is in the left portion of the engine in most models. Assuming that your car is parked on level ground, pulling out the dipstick should allow you to inspect the color and levels of the oil.
Once you’ve located your dipstick, pull it out, wipe it down with a clean rag, put it back inside its metal tube, and pull it out again. Most dipsticks will have two lines indicating the oil levels. Anywhere in between the two lines is fine—but it’s always better to have it filled.
Once you’ve checked the levels, inspect the oil itself as well. Fresh oil will be transparent and have a smooth consistency. Having oil that’s turned black is not always a sign for concern, as all oil turns black eventually if it’s been used regularly. However, if it also comes with gritty and solid particles, then it’s best to consult a mechanic immediately!
We cannot stress this enough: be diligent in your oil changes. As mentioned before, barring any external damage, all an engine really needs to maintain its longevity are consistent oil changes. Remember that the engine is typically the most expensive part of a car, while oil is cheap. Therefore, it makes sense to stick to a consistent oil change schedule for engine longevity.
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