Changing your car engine oil when necessary is crucial to keeping your vehicle functioning. Here we tell you how to check your oil level, know the warning signs of when your oil should be changed and, of course, how you can easily change your oil at home.
The importance of changing your car engine oil
Your oil is a vital component in your car, and if it is not monitored and changed regularly, you increase the risk of causing damage to your engine. A faulty or damaged engine can be an inconvenience, but Car Repairs in Milton Keynes will be able to restore your engine back to its working condition and at an affordable price. Changing your car engine oil has a plethora of benefits, such as:
Maintaining engine lubrication
Without adequate lubrication, the valves, pistons and other moving parts of your engine are at risk of overheating. These components move at high speeds under your car, so it is crucial that you change your oil regularly to keep them functioning.
Cools engine components
As previously mentioned, due to their high speed, the components of your engine can quickly overheat. By lubricating these components, your oil will simultaneously keep them cool. In order to prevent friction from occurring, you must always ensure you have a sufficient amount of clean oil.
Removes engine wear particles
Dirt particles can cause corrosion and decrease the life of your engine. Routine oil and filter changes help remove these particles and will keep your engine in prime condition.
Increased fuel consumption can occur as a direct result of insufficient engine lubrication. Your mileage can be improved over time by 1-2% if you regularly change your car engine oil. Although this may seem like a small amount, it will still benefit you and maximise your car’s performance.
Promotes vehicle longevity
Regular oil maintenance undoubtedly makes your vehicle last longer. A build-up of dirty oil negatively impacts your vehicle’s fuel economy and power as well as making its internal components work harder. An engine that isn’t running smoothly is hugely problematic and will result in a shorter lifespan.
How to check your oil
Whether you are a new driver or car maintenance is not your area of expertise, it is crucial that you know how to check your engine oil. If you allow your car engine oil level to get too low, your engine is at risk of overheating and can seize up. This will be very expensive to repair and also put you and other motorists in danger if you are driving on a busy road. Similarly, too much oil can also severely damage your engine.
To check your oil, you must first open your car bonnet and locate the dipstick. It is typically shaped like a ring and will be protruding from the engine. Then, take the dipstick out fully and wipe it with a clean cloth until all of the oil is removed. Now all you need to do is reinsert the dipstick and remove it once again to see the oil level. Your dipstick should have two markings which indicate the minimum and maximum amount of oil needed. If the oil line is between these two markings, you do not need to act further, but if it is too low or too high, you will need to rectify this.
You should also ensure your car has sufficient engine oil before you attend an MOT in Milton Keynes. If there is not enough oil to test your car’s emission levels properly, an MOT cannot be conducted.
When should your oil be changed?
There are several indicators which suggest your car engine oil needs to be changed.
When looking at your oil on the dipstick, it should ideally be a transparent light brown colour, indicating the oil is fresh. Over time, oil tends to turn darker and even become thick and black. If your oil has lost its transparency and is dark in colour, this is an indication that it needs to be changed.
The easiest way to check your oil’s consistency is to remove a small amount off of the dipstick and rub it between your thumb and forefinger. Oil which has a gritty or coarse texture suggests it may be contaminated and therefore should be replaced.
There are two oil warning lights which you should be aware in order to keep your vehicle in immaculate condition. The majority of modern cars can monitor each time you check your oil and a light will illuminate on your dashboard when you are due to change it again. This light will be set following your manufacturer’s recommended oil change interval for your vehicle.
It is vital that you do not confuse this with your oil pressure dashboard light. If this light appears on your dashboard, it suggests you are driving with insufficient oil in the engine, so you should stop the car and turn the engine off as soon as possible.
Increased engine noise
If you are familiar with your car, you will know how the engine sounds typically and will be able to identify when this changes. If you notice your engine is noisier than usual, this could mean your oil needs replacing.
How to pick the right car engine oil
Changing your car engine oil regularly will only be effective if you use the correct oil. Every car is different, so to find the specific weight and grade of oil your vehicle requires, you should refer to the owner’s manual. Alternatively, you can use Euro Car Parts’ online tool.
Changing car oil yourself
By changing your car oil at home, you are saving yourself money and familiarising yourself with your vehicle, which is extremely useful. Changing your oil may take you slightly longer the first time you do it, but the more you practise, the easier it will become. This tutorial explains the process step by step and will educate you on everything you need to know about changing your car engine oil.