When it comes to car maintenance, few things are more important than the oil change. If oil can’t lubricate your engine, it’s going to wear it out. You’ve got a whole bunch of moving parts in your oil-change gears that need oil to keep them from wearing each other down. And if oil isn’t doing this, then eventually they won’t work anymore, and you’ll have to buy a new engine… which will be expensive. So yeah, oil changes are essential.
Being the owner of an automotive repair company in Saskatoon, I’ve put this article together to better explain 6 essential things you need to know about oil change. And if you ever need a quick oil change in Saskatoon, please drop by!
Why do we need an oil change for our car?
If oil isn’t doing its job, then your engine is going to wear out. That means spending more money on repairs and the need for a new engine or car altogether if it gets too bad.
When oil breaks down, the oil lubricates less effectively, which causes unnecessary friction between moving parts in the engine. This leads to damage from overheating and total failure of those moving parts that required lubrication to function well.
What is the purpose of oil in a car?
It maintains lubrication of the parts
Oil maintains the lubrication of the engine’s moving parts, preventing them from wearing down and eventually failing. To avoid costly engine replacements or new engine purchases, keeping up with your oil changes is essential. It’s also necessary to drive a vehicle with good quality motor oil so that your car will last as long as possible.
It keeps the engine cool
Furthermore, oil also keeps the engine cool by preventing fluids from burning and operating at a higher temperature. When this happens, the engine will wear out and can stop working while you’re driving. Without regular, timely oil changes, you’ll risk overheating your engine and risking further damage down the line.
It improves gas mileage
Additionally, motor oil will also improve your gas mileage up to 2%. Motor oil helps to reduce friction in the moving parts of an engine, allowing it to run more smoothly and with less resistance. This translates to better fuel efficiency and a lower fuel bill for your car.
An oil change prevents sludge and dirt build-ups
Sludge and dirt build-ups in the engine can cause several problems, including decreased gas mileage, increased risk of overheating, engine misfire and other really nasty stuff.
What are signs a quick oil change is needed?
- If oil is dirty or black on your dipstick
- If there are metallic shavings in the oil filter
Other warning signs include:
- Rough idling or hesitation when starting up right after driving around town
- Engine knocks or rattles under low revolutions per minute
Want to know more about signs that your car is about to break down? Check out our article.
How to check the oil level?
The most precise way to check your oil is by checking your dipstick. If you’re unsure which method your car employs, check with your manual.
You’ll want to make sure you get an oil change around 1/3 of a quart and way before any of the warning signs appear.
Try checking it at least every 3 months or before a long car trip. Also, if you have a “check oil” message appearing on the dashboard, this means it’s time for a visit to your best friend… you car mechanic!
How to choose the right oil for your car?
There are many oil types available on the market now. There are regular oil, synthetic oil and semi-synthetic oil. To determine which oil will serve your vehicle best, consult your owner manual or talk to a professional about what kind of oil best suits your needs.
Suppose you’re unsure about which type of oil is best for your car. In that case, it’s probably best to go with the manufacturer’s pick as they’ve done extensive research on their products and have more information on hand than anyone else.
Regular oil is the most common kind used in cars. This oil is manufactured to fit the quality standard of API (American Petroleum Institute) and SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers).
Regular oil is designed for gasoline engines with no more than four cylinders. It includes a performance additive package formulated to provide superior lubrication under various conditions, including high temperatures.
Synthetics oil is made with man-made oil polymers versus oil extracted from crude oil. This type of oil will not break down as quickly or as often. A synthetic oil change happens once in a while and can be used for more extended periods between maintenance.
Though the initial cost may be more expensive than conventional oil, it saves money by reducing the frequency in which you’ll need to change it out. In addition to all that they do right, there are still some disadvantages to using these high-end oils, such as being more likely to cause oil leaks if overfilled due to their thinner texture, thus requiring less oil capacity.
Semi-synthetics oil is a ‘middle ground’ oil type that offers oil viscosity and performance properties of synthetic oil with the low maintenance qualities of regular oil.
Semi-synthetic oil levels should be checked at least every six months. It’s less prone to cause oil leaks when incorrectly filled than synthetics, which is why this oil type may be the best option for your car (depending on what you want from an oil).
What is the difference between regular oil and synthetic oil?
Synthetic oil is better than conventional oil because it lasts longer, protects your engine more, maintains lubrication even under extreme heat conditions, and reduces engine wear better. It’s better for performance cars and costs more than regular oil.
Synthetic oils are manufactured to meet regulatory standards and adhere to most car manufacturer’s specifications as well. How frequently you need to do oil changes on your car depends on how often you drive the vehicle, how long your car ride is and how fast you go.
When should I take my car in for an oil change?
Take your car for a check-up every 6 months, or according to your manufacturer and car mechanic recommendations. There are many warning signs to watch out for, including
- an increase in fuel consumption,
- knocking noise from the engine that gets louder when the oil is higher than 1/2 quart below “min,”
- lack of power (motor does not rev up as fast),
- burning smell,
- oil change light is on the dashboard, or
- oil pressure indicator lights up.
What’s the worst thing that can happen if I don’t do regular oil changes?
For an oil to be effective at lubricating your engine and protecting it from wear, it needs to be clean and not contaminated with gunk and sludge. With improper oil maintenance, oil can get less viscous, thus becoming ineffective at lubricating moving parts inside the motor.
A lack of oil also leads to internal combustion engine failure. Also, without oil, there is no protection against rust, corrosion or oxidation, permanently damaging your vehicle’s precious metal surfaces such as pistons and cylinder head hence reducing resale value down the line.
We hope this article has helped answer any questions about why and when to get an oil change for your car.
If you need a quick oil change in Saskatoon, schedule your appointment today!