5 important things to know before doing an oil change

5 important things to know before doing an oil change

Automobiles are like the human body. They need to be maintained in periodic intervals for them to function smoothly. The maintenance ranges from refueling the gas tank to checking engine oil, brake fuel, and coolant levels. Apart from checking oil levels, it is also important to check if there is a need for an oil change to avoid engine malfunctioning. Here are five top things you need to know regarding oil change.

Minimize engine friction

This is the most primary reason for an oil change. Engine oil acts as a lubricant that reduces the friction between the engine components. It also keeps the components cool by drawing away the heat generated, thereby avoiding an engine breakdown due to overheating. The engine oil is stored in a sump and cooled via air before reaching the car engine.

Oil change interval

Changing the oil in your engine in equal intervals is yet another important factor regarding engine maintenance. The oil change interval depends on factors like age and type of car. An average oil change is required every 5,000 to 7,000 miles or six months, whichever is sooner. Cars using synthetic engine oil can go up to 15,000 miles or 12 months without changing. Older cars may require oil change in shorter intervals. Car experts suggest following the factory maintenance schedule to ensure the car engine’s smooth functioning.

Know when your car needs an oil change

Even if you are following a factory maintenance schedule, it is important to keep a close watch on your car if it needs an oil change, even if the ‘check engine oil’ light is off. Reduction in oil levels can increase the engine noise due to metal-to-metal brushing, resulting in a knocking or rumbling noise. Increased engine friction can also decrease your car’s fuel efficiency, thereby negatively affecting car mileage. Apart from the proprietary car dealers, there are car servicing centers or auto garages across the country that offer monthly or quarterly maintenance. Some of the auto services include Firestone Complete Auto Care, Jiffy Lube, Pep Boys, AutoZone, and American Automobile Association (AAA).

Types of an oil change

There are primarily four types of engine oil. Fully synthetic oil is chemically engineered to increase engine performance without forming impurities. Fully synthetic oils have higher viscosity and uniform oil molecules. They have better resistance against corrosion and oxidation. It is more expensive than other types of engine oils. Semi-synthetic or blend oils combine conventional base oils and synthetic properties that improve resistance to oxidation. They are more affordable than fully synthetic engine oils. High mileage oils are required for cars that have traveled more than 70,000 miles. The oil contains additives that prevent oil leaks, emissions, and oil burn-off. Conventional oil is the most affordable type of engine oil. The industry standard oil is manufactured from crude oil and is available in a wide range of viscosities. Conventional oils are typically used in cars that do not clock excess miles daily. It is recommended to consult an auto expert to choose an engine oil that best suits your car and driving habits.

Motor oil grades

This is one of the most important factors when looking to buy engine oil. Motor oil grades are printed on containers. For instance, 5W-50 is divided into two parts: 5W, which denotes dynamic, and 50, denoting kinematic viscosity. Collectively, the combination denotes the oil’s ability to stick to the engine parts under extreme temperature and gravitation. The lower the first number lesser its resistance to the flow during a cold start—likewise, the lower the second number, the lesser the resistance during normal operating temperatures. Oil thickens with an increase in temperature. Hence, thinner oils are preferable in colder temperatures, and thicker oils are preferable in hotter temperatures.

An oil change is an important aspect of car maintenance. Hence, auto experts suggest preferring top brands to increase your car’s engine performance. Some top engine oil brands with a wide range of viscosity grades include Castrol, Valvoline, Pennzoil, and Shell. At the same time, top-quality synthetic oil costs around $25 for a five-quart bottle, conventional and semi-synthetic oils cost under $20.