Most of us will fill up our fuel tanks regularly, get our vehicles serviced annually, and occasionally remember to put air in our tyres or use the dipstick to check the oil level. Other than that, oil is often forgotten unless there is a problem. You can avoid a lot of problems though by having regular oil changes. In fact, did you know that you should have an oil change every 4,000-5,000 miles, regardless of whether you are due for a service?
Using the dipstick to check the oil level is important, but it is not the whole story. This month we explore why oil is so important to the smooth running of your engine and what oil changes are about.
Why oil is important for your engine
Oil is a lubricant. Its job is to ensure that all the various moving engine parts do so smoothly. With so many moving parts – and often moving at high speed too – the engine will quickly heat up. Left unchecked this could wear the engine down quickly. Using oil will lubricate the process, reducing that heat and friction build-up and its resulting wear and tear. A reduction in friction will also keep your engine cooler and avoid potential overheating.
Why it needs to be changed
When oil goes into an engine it starts out as a thick but flowing golden honey colour. Over time and with regular use, it begins to degrade, and the result is a liquid that is black, almost tar-like. Engines, and their component parts, will also collect dirt which can cause engine corrosion. These particles are picked up by the oil as it lubricates the engine, turning it into sludge over time.
By changing the oil – draining it from the engine – and replacing it with fresh oil, you are not only removing the old lubricant, but also the dirt particles it has picked up on its journey through your engine over the miles.
Oil will not only prevent overheating, but by keeping your engine well lubricated it will keep it working more efficiently. In turn, this will improve your fuel efficiency as your engine is not working overly hard to cover the same distance. The changes may be small – in the order of around 1-2% – but over time this can add up and save you money at the pump.
Longer engine life
Add all these things together and you get an engine that runs more smoothly, works more efficiently, and requires fewer component part replacements over the life of the vehicle, giving you greater longevity. A well-running engine will also increase the resale value of your vehicle.
Getting an oil change need not be a costly or lengthy process. Factor it into your vehicle maintenance budget and you will save money and time in the long run with a healthier engine. For an oil change or for more information on why oil is important for your vehicle just get in touch with our mechanics at Double Dee Autos. Call us on 020 8460 3040 with any questions or to book in your next oil change.