19 August 2020
OIL CHANGE: What every car owner needs to know

Preventive car maintenance can save money, time and a lot of heartache. We start the first article of the series with a dive into why your car’s engine oil is the next most important fluid after fuel, and regular oil change is worth the hassle.

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If the engine is the heart of the car, then the engine oil, or lube oil as it is occasionally referred to is like blood pumping through the heart, without it, everything stops working and you know what happens…

In the case of blood, its function is namely to deliver oxygen and nutrients while removing carbon dioxide and toxins from the body’s organs. Similarly, the oil in the engine – and we’re not talking about petrol here – lubricates the numerous metal parts in the engine. Metal-on-metal contact results in wear and the only thing that’s keeping them from rubbing against each other is a thin layer of engine oil. 

Sometimes, that layer of oil between the parts is so thin, you couldn’t even slide a fingernail in that space. Yet, this film of oil has to one metal part to slide over the next, several hundreds of times per second!

Why it’s important

Preventing or reducing friction between metals parts also cuts down heat and furthers lowers the risk of engine failure or premature wear.

Like blood, engine oil also removes dirt, impurities and tiny amounts of metal filings from parts that the oil was not able to protect for one reason or another.  

These impurities are then carried away by the engine oil and collected through an oil filter. After a while, this filter gets clogged and is replaced along with the oil change.

Dirty oil filters can‘t do their job when the oil is also black and dirty.

Generally speaking, the higher quality the oil, the better it is at reducing friction. The lesser the friction, the less energy an engine needs to run which translates into lower fuel consumption. This results in less exhaust emissions and lower fuel bills.

The environment wins and so does your wallet!

This also translates to better performance. The power the car’s engine saves from less friction then goes towards propulsion. So your car could actually go faster with a good engine oil.

Mineral or synthetic

These days, just about every car stands to benefit from synthetic engine oil.

Engine oils whether mineral or synthetic degrade over time and mileage. Being subjected to temperatures of hundreds of degrees each time the engine is started while picking up those impurities will eventually take its toll on the oil, causing it to lose its efficacy.

Without going into too much technical jargon, the biggest difference between the two is that mineral oil breaks down at an earlier interval than synthetic oil.

When should an oil change be done?

If you shop around for a fully-synthetic oil especially, some manufacturers claim that their oil has been tested to 100,000km or maybe even more. This doesn’t mean however, that if you put the same oil in your car, that it too won’t need an oil change for the next 100,000km. 

Besides the oil and oil filter, other parts of the car are designed to be serviced recommended service intervals. So it’s best to keep if you want your car to work reliably.  

Every car has a service interval recommended by its manufacturer and it is best to keep to this schedule. Most Japanese or Korean made cars require an oil change every 10,000km or six months, whichever comes occurs first. 

The European car makers now typically suggest changing the oil every 15,000km or even 20,000km or every 12 months, whichever occurs first. 

Some more sophisticated cars even built-in service indicators where the on-board sensors and computer work in tandem to detect if an oil change, or servicing as some call it, is needed. Conditions such as the car’s mileage, driving environment – high-speed expressways mostly or always in start-stop city traffic, temperature and even air quality can influence these engine sensors to call for an early or delayed oil change interval.

Let AutoApp arrange this service for you. Click here to make an online booking, or download the app below.