Engine Oil Change
Everything You Need To Know
The engine is arguably the most important part of a properly functioning automotive vehicle. It is responsible for the combustion of the gas, powering the automobile. As such it is extremely important to ensure that the engine is functioning at its full potential at all times. One of the crucial ways to maintain a well-functioning engine is to check and change your engine oil on a regular basis. It is a much cheaper alternative to an engine repair if an engine problem were to arise. But what does the engine oil do exactly, and how does it prevent engine problems? Today we will discuss the role of the engine oil, how to change oil, and all the questions you may have surrounding the topic.
What Does Engine Oil Do?
We all know that you should change your oil on a regular basis, but what does the engine oil do exactly? Engine oil serves a variety of purposes to keep the engine functioning properly:
- Lubricate engine system to reduce friction between parts within the engine: The engine oil’s primary purpose is to lubricate the cylinders and other moving parts within the engine. Because the engine has many quickly moving parts rubbing against one another, it is prone to quicker wear and tear as well as other damages caused by friction. By lubricating the engine, it reduces friction and in turn minimizes damage to the engine.
- Keeps heat levels lower within the engine: When friction occurs within the engine, the whole system heats up. Since the engine deals with the compression and combustion of gasoline, it is important to keep the engine as cool as possible to prevent overheating. Engine oil works as a medium to transfer the heat from the various parts and cools the entire process.
- Flushes out debris & other particles that could potentially harm the engine: Over time, small particles and other various debris forms within the engine system due to normal wear and tear. When these particles build up, it can cause serious problems to the engine, costing you pricey repair services. The engine oil catches these particles and flushes them out of the engine system, preventing clogging and other possible problems that could come up.
All in all the engine oil is crucial to the proper maintenance of your engine, preventing the engine from incurring various problems, and ensuring a smoothly functioning system.
How Often Should You Change Your Oil?
Every vehicle model is built differently and therefore has different needs. This is no exception for engine oil change frequencies. Check out what our very own Keith Lewis, owner and founder of Motorplex has to say on how often you should change your oil:
Generally speaking an oil change every 5000 miles is a good estimate, although you should read the owner’s manual or consult a mechanic for an accurate answer as to how often you should change your engine oil.
How to Check Oil
Checking the engine oil is a relatively simple task that can be done easily at home. Here are two simple steps to checking your oil levels:
- Typically the engine oil is marked by the yellow dipstick, though there are variations between each vehicle model. While the vehicle engine is shut off, remove the engine oil dipstick and wipe the stick with a rag.
- Dip the stick into the tube and pull the stick back out to check the oil level. If the level is just below the topmost check mark near the bottom of the stick, then there is sufficient engine oil. If the oil level is around the bottom-most check mark, then a restocking of the engine oil is required.
How to Change Oil
Changing your engine oil at home can take up quite a bit of time and requires a variety of tools to complete properly. That is why we advise you to take your vehicle to your mechanic for professional expertise in the activity. But if you would like to learn how to change the oil in your vehicle, WikiHow has an excellent step-by-step guide with videos on how to change oil for your vehicle.
How Long Does an Oil Change Take?
Although it varies between every vehicle and the mechanic performing the oil change, you should be looking at around 30 minutes to an hour for a typical oil change.