Oil is the lifeblood of your car. Without it, your engine would turn into scrap metal within a few miles! It ensures every moving part of the engine is lubricated and working at peak efficiency, cooling and ensuring there is no ‘metal on metal’ contact that could disintegrate delicate moving parts such as your pistons and gears.
Every second, tiny explosions ignite fuel and air to drive your car’s pistons up and down. This generates a huge amount of heat, which if left to build up can cause a catastrophic engine failure. Oil draws the heat away from the combustion chambers, as well as lubricating all the moving parts and absorbing carbon particles from the combustion process.
Oil works hard, which means not only do you have to keep topping it up, but every so often it needs to be drained and replaced with new oil.
Eventually, even the most modern car will need an oil change. As the carbon particulates are absorbed into the oil, it becomes less viscous and more ‘sludgy’. Modern oils also have a number of additives that are included to improve lubrication, and after a certain amount of time these get used up. Old oil is no longer an efficient lubricant, and if it does have particulates suspended in it these can wear your engine’s moving parts more quickly.
To compensate for the deterioration of your oil, you should change it regularly – usually every 5-10,000 miles on newer model cars, or every six months on average. If you are doing low mileage you can often get away with an oil change once a year, but regardless of how much you use your car, it should be part of any annual or major service.
It will also depend on how you use your car. If you use it purely for commuting and you only make short trips, your engine may not get hot enough to evaporate the water that collects in the crankcase and can turn your oil into a thick, emulsified sludge. If you’re driving in very hot temperatures you may also need to change your oil more frequently, and use a heavier grade oil that maintains its viscosity for longer and at higher temperatures.
An oil change is something that the average motorist can do at home. It’s advisable to change the oil filter at the same time, so that you’re not putting clean oil through a dirty filter! An oil change shouldn’t take longer than an hour at most, and probably around 30-40 minutes if you have all the right tools to hand.
However, it is often included as part of your car’s regular service, and so if you’re not confident about changing the oil yourself then you can ask your service technician to do it at the next service.
At Automall, oil changes are part of everyday life for us, so we can make sure it’s included in your annual or bi-annual service, or you can book in for an oil change if you’re coming up to your 5,000-10,000-mile mark. Find out more by browsing our services section, or book in for a service online today.