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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

How and When to Change the Engine Oil in your Car

Are you aware of how often you should change the oil inside your engine? Do you know how to do it?

Here is Buying Advice’s simple guide to help you know more about the oil change and how this will affect the performance of your car.

What Does Engine Oil Do to the Engine?

The oil is reputed to be a lubricating agent that helps minimize friction inside your engine. But what many people don’t know is that it also helps to minimize the heat inside the engine.

Engine oil absorbs heat from the hottest parts of the engine. It also acts as a mild detergent to clean, treat, and prevent sludge from building up inside the engine.

How Often Do I Need Change the Engine Oil?

You may heard about the “3,000 mile oil-change” rule that was passed down from generation to generation. Of course, changing the oil every 3,000-miles or 3 months will greatly reduce the chances of sludge building up inside the engine. But as lubrication technology and metallurgy improves, you can safely drive your car for more than 5,000-miles without even changing the oil.

But the definite answer will depend on the type of car that you are driving. Manufacturers strongly advise that you adhere to the recommendations that are printed on the owner’s manual. In this case, you should change the oil anywhere from 5,000 to 7,500-miles.

Your driving habits will play a big part on how soon you will need to change the oil inside your engine. As a rule of thumb, you should pull out the dipstick and check the oil level at least once a week. If the engine oil has a burnt smell and is blackish in color, it is time to change the oil.

Brand new cars will need to have frequent oil changes for the first year or so, especially cars that have high-compression (turbocharged) and high performance engines. If you bought a used car, the first thing that you need to do is to change the engine oil. This will give you an idea on the actual health of the engine and if the previous owner was mindful of car maintenance.

We will discuss the procedures on how to change the oil in the next post. This is a relatively simple activity that you can do on a spare weekend.

Remember to always spend a few minutes each week (or each day) to check the oil level inside your engine. Driving with too little or too much engine oil will severely affect driving performance, engine longevity, and fuel economy.