Changing your oil is one of the most important maintenance tasks that you will do to your vehicle. You probably know how often an engine needs new oil, but what happens after it gets it can sometimes be a little confusing or even frustrating.
Oil changes are typically done at random intervals determined by the manufacturer or seller of the car. Some sellers may overstate the life of the engine due to cost cutting measures, while other sellers may under-estimate the lifespan in order to make more money. This article will clear up this confusion and give you some tips for ensuring your engine receives the best possible care.
Why does the engine need its own oil?
To understand why an engine needs its own oil, we must first talk about the three main components of an internal combustion engine. These are the piston (the part which goes up and down), the cylinder (where the fuel and air are mixed together) and the valve(s) (latching device used to let fluid out).
The valves and the cylinder require very close attention in order to work properly. If these parts become clogged or dirty, then less fluid can escape the engine causing it to run with too much liquid. This could lead to damage or failure!
As the oil becomes thicker, it takes longer to burn off during each cycle of the engine, and this could cause overheating and potential burning. Overheated engines also create noise which might scare away any drivers around you.
How often should I get my oil changed?
Changing your car’s engine oil is an important part of keeping your vehicle running smoothly. Unfortunately, some people tend to overdo it with frequent changes. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you need to make sure that you are changing the right type of oil for your vehicle and doing it correctly!
Oil change recommendations typically suggest performing a full service every 3-5 thousand miles. However, this recommendation varies depending on how much money you want to spend and what kind of fuel your car burns.
Regular maintenance can reduce your car’s operating costs. For example, if you perform a regular check under the hood, you may notice fluid drops coming from somewhere beneath the car. If you take your time to look closer, you may be able to tell just by eye what component needs its own special attention.
By paying close attention to your cars warning signs, you will know when it is time to have it serviced before things go wrong.
The best time to get an oil change
While most experts agree that changing your car’s engine oil once a year is enough, some say you should go more frequent than that. Technically speaking, engines require much finer tuned maintenance when they are running at full throttle.
Changing the motor’s oil too frequently can result in excessive wear and tear on the engine. This will cause it to work harder, which could be harmful. Also, some recommend switching out the new oil for old before it has had adequate chance to break down and fluidize properly.
However, research does not seem to indicate that doing routine oil changes makes a difference in engine performance or longevity. In fact, some studies show that performing regular oil changes may do the opposite by wasting valuable oil.
So what is the correct timing of your vehicle’s next oil change? Unfortunately, there isn’t one clear answer.
The average time for an oil change
Changing your car’s engine oil is a pretty straightforward process, but how long it takes to do so can vary. It depends on many different factors such as the type of oil you use, whether or not there are signs of fluid loss (such as smoke coming out of the vehicle) and what kind of mechanic you speak with.
There is some general rule-of-thumb that says changing the engine oil in most vehicles should take no longer than two hours. That seems like a lot, but remember these things while your engine gets cleaned!
Vehicle engines work by ingesting air and hydrogen gas, then mixing them together to create energy. As they run down, fuel is consumed and the leftover residue is left in the engine as acid. This creates corrosion which could lead to damage or failure of components.
By replacing the old oil with new oil, this is prevented and the engine will run more smoothly and efficiently. Also, doing so at the right temperature helps prevent engine overheating, destroying the engine completely.
A word of warning: even though your vehicle may tell you it needs an oil change before, does not mean it actually does! Many times, oil changes are just paid to get you into their shop. A good way to check if this is the case is to look online for reviews or talk to people who have done business with them.
How to perform an oil change
Changing your car’s engine oil is a pretty straightforward process.
You will need a source of heat, a bowl or container to hold the used oil, a new oil filter, lube for cleaning the old oil out of the holes in the filter, and finally, fresh oil.
The length of time it takes to complete all four steps varies depending on how experienced you are with cars and changing oils. The average time is around twenty minutes per person.
I will now go through each step in detail and talk about why they take so long. Then I will give some tips to save time when performing your first oil change!
Step 1: Using Heat To Melonize the Old Engine Oil
This is what makes the old worn-out oil come out of the engines pores and layers. Most people use their hand to do this but that is not ideal as dirt can get into the newly changed oil.
Using a hairdryer will work just fine. Simply wrap it in several towels to cover any sparks and to prevent burning yourself. Make sure there are no strings attached!
Never put too much power into the hairdyer, even if it seems like it would work. A low wattage one should be enough to burn off the old oil.
Burning off the old oil depends on how thick the layer of oil is. If it is very thin, then less power is needed.
What should I use for oil?
Changing your vehicle’s engine oil is one of the most frequent things mechanics do, which is why they have special tools to make this job quick and easy!
Most vehicles these days come with either 5 or 10 weight oil made by an organization called OE (Original Equipment Manufacturer). These oils are designed specifically for your car and will perform best if you change them every 3-5 thousand miles.
However, some cars may require more expensive higher quality oil that changes color and becomes thinner as it uses up fluid. This additional performance oil is better than normal grade oil because it lasts longer, but only if you keep an eye on it and never drop a bit too much.
We recommend using the same type of oil as your vehicle was originally equipped with unless you know how to tell the difference between those two types. The can design, colors, and logos also matter so check out our article here to learn more.
Reminder: Never mix generic brands of oil in your engine! They may not be high enough viscosity or contain the correct additives to work properly.
How often should I change the oil in my engine?
Changing your vehicle’s oil is one of the most important maintenance procedures that you can do to keep your car running smoothly. Engine oils play an integral part in ensuring proper function of both your automobile and our environment.
Oil acts as an antioxidant, preventing other fluids within the engine from breaking down and releasing potentially harmful chemicals. It also functions as a lubricant, helping reduce friction between moving parts so your engine doesn’t overheat.
However, when the oil becomes too old it loses its effectiveness. As such, there are recommendations for how many miles you can go before you need to have an oil change. This information varies by make and model, however, general guidelines say that you should have your oil changed every 3-5 years depending on how much you use your vehicle.
Changing the oil yourself is quite simple and we will cover all the steps here! If you would like more tips on changing your own engine oil, check out our article: Tips For The Average Automobile Owner.
What is the best oil for my engine?
Finding your ideal oil mix comes down to how you plan to use your vehicle! There are several different qualities of oils that determine how long they will last before needing an upgrade.
Oxygenated oils are more stable than hydrogen-based oils due to their chemical structure. These oils are also referred to as “omega” oils because they contain an ample amount of omega-6 fats which help reduce inflammation.
Regular, full service oil changes (three months minimum between services) are recommended for these oils. Due to the longer lasting nature of this type of oil, it is not cost effective to purchase a one-time use container.
Hydrogen-rich oils such as sunflower or canola oil may only require routine maintenance every six months or so. However, do note that these types of oils cannot be used in engines with direct fuel injection.
It is important to always check your car’s manual to see what kind of oil it recommends for your specific make and model.
What should I do when I’m running low on oil?
When your car tells you that it is out of engine fluid, it means one of two things. Either there is not enough oil in the engine to perform its function or the oil has been used up and replaced with something else.
If this happens during winter, chances are the temperature has caused the oil to solidify and therefore it cannot be poured out. This is called sludge and it will have to be cleaned out and mixed back into the liquid form of oil before it can be changed.
During hot weather conditions, some oils thin out and what was left in the tank may have evaporated, so check your vehicle manual to know how much stock oil your engine needs!
When cars were built, they did not have computer engines like we have today, so people trained themselves on how many miles an oil change was needed depending on whether the engine was cold or warm. This does not apply to most newer vehicles though!
How long oil changes take for different types of engines varies greatly, but general guidelines say that a 1-litre bottle of oil will last around 5–10 kilometers (3–6 miles) if done at the right time.