Kwik Fit | Wednesday 10th February 2016 3:04pm
An oil change is one of those essential pieces of car maintenance that can be very easy to put off. It can be a case of out of sight, out of mind as your car may appear to be running fine despite not having an oil change in recent memory. But in reality by delaying your oil change you could risk causing irreversible damage to your engine components which could land you with a steep repair bill down the road.
Motor oil serves several purposes, the most notable being to lubricate the moving parts of your engine and protect these parts from seizing up. Without proper lubrication the intricate components within the engine will rub together which could ultimately cause severe damage to the engine. Motor oil also serves to cool the engine and draw heat away from the combustion chamber where the temperature can get dangerously hot if it wasn’t for the liquid properties of the oil to help cool things down.
Why do you need to change the oil in your car?
So why does the oil in your car need to be changed so frequently? Perhaps you’ve checked the dipstick recently and found that the oil level is fine so, by that token, no action is needed, right? Wrong. The oil level in your engine is of course very important but it’s just one factor that needs to be considered. The lubricating properties of engine oil do not last forever and over time, oil accumulates dirt and foreign particles and its chemical makeup degrades. The change is in fact very easy to see as the oil that goes in your car is a golden liquid very similar to maple syrup, what comes out after 4,000-5,000 miles is a black tar-like substance that is much thicker and far less effective as a lubricant.
How often should I change my oil?
Knowing when to change your oil isn’t an exact science but most vehicle manufacturers recommend doing this every 3,000-5,000 miles. A full oil and filter change will be included in your vehicle’s annual service but if you clock up a lot of miles or regularly spend a long time sitting in traffic jams it’s recommended that you have your oil changed sooner rather than later. The best advice is to check your vehicle handbook to find out the recommended oil change interval for your specific car.
Get your oil changed – Essential Car Care from Kwik Fit
Need an oil change but not yet due your interim or full service? No problem. At Kwik Fit, our essential car care package includes an oil and filter change plus a number of important vehicle safety checks. Perfect if you want to keep your engine lubricated and running smoothly without the cost of a full service.
Topping up – which oil should I use in my car?
Between oil changes it’s important to make sure your oil remains topped up. Oil can evaporate over time once water enters into the mixture and as the oil gradually loses its lubricating properties, your engine will use more of it to ensure moving parts keep running smoothly. If you’re topping up your oil yourself, it’s essential that you choose the right one for the job or, more specifically, the right viscosity. Most bottles of engine oil are considered ‘multigrade’ and come with a viscosity rating featuring two numbers like 10W-30. In layman’s terms the number represents the thickness of the oil at different temperatures. The first number shows the viscosity of the oil at a cold temperature (The W stands for Winter), while the second number represents the viscosity at 100oC. All this means is that recommended oil thickness varies from one car to the next so make sure you put the right one in. As usual, your vehicle handbook should provide all the information you need as to which type of oil to use in your car. Failing that, the viscosity rating is often printed on the oil cap under the bonnet. One final point, if your vehicle handbook states that you should use synthetic oil, it could void your warranty if you opt for a non-synthetic, conventional variety.
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