Maintaining our cars and looking after their health, so to speak, means having a mechanic carrying out some work from time to time to make sure everything is as it should be. The most important part, however, is probably making sure the oil is good and clean. That is why it is so important to have it checked and replaced regularly.
Oil’s Role in the Engine
In order for the engine’s running parts to move smoothly, the oil must be clean. When it gets old it no longer does a proper job, since the consistency changes from a smooth substance to a sludge-like one. The oil acts as lubricant to keep parts moving smoothly and to prevent them from rubbing against others, which can lead to damage. Old, dirty oil will prevent moving parts from carrying out their function and you may be forced to spend huge amounts to have the engine repaired. Smoother engine movement can also help reduce petrol usage.
What does ‘’Regular’’ Mean?
How often should I have it changed? The car’s manual should be consulted to advise what’s best. However, rule of thumb will tell you that every 5,000 miles travelled means that it is probably time to consider a change. If, however, you use synthetic oil or another good, expensive product, it may last longer – up to 10,000 miles. Apart from mileage, factors to consider are:
- Age of the vehicle – Older cars need more regular changes as they’re more prone to damage than newer models. So look out for any oil leaks or drips, unusual sounds when the engine is running and the oil pressure light that may come on.
- Time – Even if you don’t drive all that much, you still have to change the oil as it degenerates even without regular driving. Even when the car is not used the oil can attract dirt and mix with water and acids.
- Driving Conditions – If you drive fast all the time you will need to change more regularly than someone who does not. Also, a lot of stop and go – which means high city traffic – driving will necessitate earlier changes.
- If you tow a trailer regularly or drive often on unpaved or dusty roads you will have to change more often than others.
If you change the old oil in time, you could save yourself some expensive repair work in future. A car that runs on old oil will be prone to engine damage. Keep the oil clean – you have a much better chance of driving it for longer. It’s also worth noting that routine car maintenance can help to retain a car’s maximum residual value – you can see for yourself by checking with an online car buyer.