Got Oil Changes?
Your car is an amazing collection of working parts. From the simple Model T to the computer controlled modern car, there have always been two enemies of engines. They are heat and friction.
When it comes to keeping your car on the road, you need to maintain it. This means you need to understand the ins and outs of when to change motor oil to make sure friction and heat do not shorten the life of your engine.
Oil will only perform for so long under the stressful conditions found in the engine of a modern car. This leads us to the question of how often you should change the oil in your car.
The oil change mantra has been so ingrained into our head that we all know it. We must change our oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first. None of us know why this is. Most would be unhappy to learn it is just a marketing slogan!
The three month marketing slogan is simply not correct. It may never have been. Cars perform differently, which means the stress placed on the engine and oil will differ. Oils have also improved dramatically and now last longer.
How can there really be one standard for changing oil? Just use your common sense. A car used to drive to the store and back needs few oil changes. A car that sits in stop and go traffic every day for 2 hours definitely needs more of them.
Still, we need some type of guideline right? Well, you have one. For men, this will be painful. Yes, we will have to read directions. In the owners manual for the car, we can find the information for the specific needs of our vehicle.
You can expect to find a recommendation regarding the miles and time period for the oil change in the manual. There should also be a recommendation on the weight of oil and specific oil brand that should be used.
The weight of oil to be used is absolutely vital. Do not just throw anything in your engine. You can kill the engine and violate any warranty. Do not worry too much about the brand, however. You can use whatever you like in most cases.
If you can, try to go with synthetic oil for your car. They last much longer. A Mini Cooper, for instance, will go up to 17,000 miles between oil changes running on Castrol Synthetic. Not bad, eh?
When it comes to motor oil, I actually have a favorite brand. Mobil 1 is something I highly recommend and have had recommended to me by auto mechanics. It is more expensive, but I have never had engine problems using it.
Ultimately, you should follow the directions of your manufacturer on oil changes. They typically will be for 5,000 miles or more, which can save you a lot of money.
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