Essential Car Maintenance – Engine Oil

Your car’s engine oil is absolutely essential to the smooth running of your engine – or in fact, the running of it at all. Lubricating the engine, it hugely reduces the friction and stops the build up of excessive heat from the many metal on metal moving parts that would otherwise spell disaster for the engine.

The seamless interaction of the moving parts of the engine, such as the cylinders and pistons, made possible by the oil goes unnoticed until it goes away. When you notice the engine running rough or increased noise coming from it – it might be time to look at your oil levels.

As well as keeping the oil topped up, it is also best practice to change the oil regularly. This will be determined by your vehicle’s manufacturer and details can most likely be found in the vehicle handbook, if not then try the internet. As a rule of thumb, oil change intervals have gotten longer in recent times, but realistically they are just suggestions – there will be other factors that affect the performance of the oil, potentially meaning it will have to be changed sooner than the guidelines recommend.

Certain conditions and other factors can have a huge effect on how frequently you will have to change your oil, here are a few:

  • Sitting in Stop and Go traffic
  • Short trips
  • Long trips on motorways, at sustained speed
  • Dirty or dusty roads
  • Cold weather
  • Towing a caravan
  • Diesels and particularly turbocharged engines

These factors, combined with the fact that some cars like to drink oil a little more quickly than others, must be taken into effect for you to keep your car running efficiently.

Why do you have to change your oil at all? After all it does not get used up like petrol does, so why change it?

Well, the oil is subjected to a massive range of temperatures while your engine warms up and is running. Over time it will also be contaminated by airborne elements like dust and detritus from the roadside. The oil filter will filter this out, obviously, until it cannot take any more and becomes clogged up. At this point the oil is now not being filtered to the required level, so it needs changing before it does damage to your engine.

So, when you get your oil filter changed that is why your oil gets changed too and that is why your oil needs changing at all. Also as the oil ages it loses some of its additives – the lubricating agents, detergents, friction reducers and dispersants.

There is a 3000 miles myth surrounding oil changes – this is the point at which you should change your oil – now it is a lot less than a lot of manufacturers would suggest, so why is it pervasive within the industry?

After 3000 miles your oil will still lubricate the engine, but it will have lost some of the additives as mentioned earlier.

Longer intervals between changing your oil might help the environment, but this will be at the expense of your engine. So weigh up the options carefully – if you want to extend the life of your engine, get your oil changed regularly.

A1 Clutches offer oil checks and changes, give us a call today to book your car in and let our technicians keep it running smoothly.