Oil is the lifeblood of a car. It’s an essential component, without it your car can’t get you where you need to go. So, the least you can do for your vehicle is keep up on oil changes.
Most drivers have varying views on when an oil change should be done. Their knowledge could be based on what their parents taught them or what they’ve read online. But are the best practices you’ve been following accurate? Here’s what you need to know about oil changes:
First, check your owner’s manual. If your car didn’t come with one, most can be found online. See what it suggests for oil changes. Generally, manufacturers base oil changes on the kilometres driven.
Next, listen to your car. Most new cars will alert the driver when it’s time for an oil change. Older cars will also have some sort of light or message that indicates it is time. Don’t ignore this reminder!
Don’t just wait for the check engine or oil change light to pop on. Be proactive and check your oil levels at least once a month. Make sure to check the oil when the vehicle has cooled down and is parked on level ground.
To check your oil, pull out the dipstick and wipe off the oil that is on it. Then, put the dipstick back and take it out again to check the oil level. Top your oil up if it needs more (ensure you use the proper type and brand of oil for your vehicle). Again, check your owner’s manual if you’re unsure which type of oil to use.
If you suspect an oil leak, notice any metal particles in the oil, or if the oil has a light milky appearance – see your mechanic as soon as possible.
This has always been a highly debated question. Some people go by dates and others by kilometres.
Advancements in car manufacturing have allowed cars to travel further on one oil change than they used to. If you don’t drive your car much, it’s still suggested to get an oil change twice a year. For those who drive a lot, look in your owner’s manual to see what it recommends. The makers of your vehicle know it better than any mechanic or online review.
The rule of thumb is to follow the instructions in your owner’s manual to see what type of oil you should be using. Make sure the oil your mechanic is putting in is the same one that you’re topping up in between oil changes. Some mechanics or oil change places may try to upsell you on synthetic oil, but don’t fall for it unless – yet again – your owner’s manual suggests you do so.
Your car is important to you, so make sure you bring it to experienced people who care. The experts at Xtreme Tire Garage are here for all of your oil and lube change needs!