Understanding Your Car - Oil Change & Engine Oil Replacement
Let us have a look at some of the key factors you should know about you Engine Oil.
Oil and filter changes are one of the cheapest and most effective ways to prolong the life of your car. Almost any mechanic or repair shop can change these for you. Pricing varies based on the fluid your car requires and the frequency with which you prefer to change your oil.
How often is oil change required?
An oil and filter change should be done at a fixed and regular schedule for the longevity of your engine and sustained performance. The car's owner manual and the electronic indicator on the dash are good starting points to help you decide when to change your oil.
Depending on the manufacturer, this interval can range from 5,000 KM to 15,0000 KM. These recommendations are based on normal driving conditions and the Engine oil type used.
Most cars are actually driven under severe or varied driving conditions in the Gulf countries due to the higher outside temperature in the extended summer period of the year. Extreme temperatures, higher speeds, and constant idling in traffic is very common in our daily commute. Proper oil viscosity - thickness - is adversely affected in these operating conditions. Therefore, for majority of cars on the road, a 5,000 KM interval for conventional Mineral Oil and a 10,000 KM interval for synthetic oil is a much safer bet.
Oil changes for aging cars should become more frequent. As engines age, many gaskets and seals used to hold the oil inside the engine become dry and porous, allowing oil to leak. Also, as moving parts wear, particularly the cylinder rings, oil will pass into the combustion chamber and be burned. These worn parts also allow unburned fuel into the oil, which thins it out, making it less effective.
Why is timely Oil change so important?
Engine oil is your car's most important fluid, like blood for us (may be a an overstatement), preforming three major functions-
Oil provides critical lubrication to the multiple moving parts within the engine, especially the valve train, where metal to metal rubbing is constant. This decreases the friction between two metal moving pieces, which in turn keeps the engine from creating too much heat. Lube oil also has excellent heat absorption property.
Clear deposit build up
Oil carries away dirt, grime, carbon and metal particles before they can build up and wear engine parts. These contaminants are suspended in the oil until cleaned out by the oil filter.
Helps Optimum operation
Oil feeds many small switches in the car. When the oil pressure increases, these switches change valve timing (variable valve timing), which allows for increased fuel economy, decreased emissions and good power throughout the full torque spectrum.
Effects of not changing engine oil or using substandard oil
Infrequent oil changes or using substandard oil can cause variety of engine performance issues, and eventually lead to serious engine failure. A good engine oil is well designed to be thin for instant lubrication at startup under normal temperature and then grow thick at a certain temperature to provide better lubrication, heat dissipation and sealing properties. Only high-quality oil can meet these stringent qualities and protect your love with wheels.
Over time the oil begins to break down, retaining moisture and particles as the filter becomes more clogged. The oil becomes thicker at start up temperatures and thinner at higher temperatures. At this point, if neglected, the oil becomes gel-like substance or sludge. This sludge cannot move about the engine passages very well leaving many critical parts starved for lubrication and your vehicle performance will degrade.
To conclude, check your oil level and thickness every 2 weeks, follow your oil service schedule and choose reputed and trusted brands for longevity of your vehicle.
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