Engine oil – it's the fluid that keeps your vehicle's heart beating. Whether you're a seasoned car enthusiast or just someone who relies on their trusty ride for daily commutes, understanding the do's and don'ts of engine oil maintenance is crucial. While it is only a fluid, it directly reflects on your vehicle's lifespan and condition.
The Don'ts of Engine Oil Maintenance
Overlook Oil Leaks
If you spot oil stains on your driveway or garage floor, don't ignore them. Address oil leaks promptly to prevent engine damage and environmental contamination. Leaking oil not only harms your engine but also poses a risk to the environment, as it can find its way into waterways.
Neglect the Oil Filter
Changing the oil without replacing the oil filter is like taking a shower and putting on dirty clothes afterward. Always replace the oil filter during an oil change. An old or clogged filter can compromise oil flow, leading to decreased lubrication and potential engine damage.
Mix Different Oils
Mixing different types or brands of engine oil can lead to compatibility issues and reduced performance. Stick to one type of oil recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer. Mixing oils with different additives or viscosities can result in poor lubrication and reduced engine protection.
Overlook Extreme Conditions
If you frequently drive in extreme conditions (extreme heat or cold, heavy towing, etc.), consider changing your oil more frequently than the manufacturer's recommendations. Your engine will thank you for it. Extreme conditions can cause oil to break down faster, reducing its effectiveness as a lubricant.
Forget About Environmental Disposal
When it's time for an oil change, make sure to dispose of the old oil and filter properly. Many auto shops and recycling centers accept used oil. Avoid pouring it down drains or in the trash. Proper disposal is not only environmentally responsible but also the law in many places.
The Do's of Engine Oil Maintenance
Regular Oil Changes
Think of an oil change as a spa day for your car. It rejuvenates and revitalizes the engine. Make sure to follow your manufacturer's recommendations for oil change intervals. Skipping this essential step can lead to engine wear and reduced performance.
Choose the Right Oil
Your vehicle's user manual is your best friend here. It will guide you to the perfect oil viscosity and type for your engine. Don't be tempted to go rogue – sticking to the manufacturer's recommendations is essential. Using the wrong oil can lead to poor lubrication and increased engine wear.
Check Oil Levels
Regularly inspect your oil levels using the dipstick. Low oil levels can lead to engine damage, so top it up when necessary. Maintaining the right oil level is like keeping your car well-hydrated. An engine running with insufficient oil is at risk of overheating and costly repairs.
Invest in high-quality engine oil. While budget options might be tempting, premium oils offer better protection and performance. Cheap oils may not have the additives and properties required for optimal engine health, potentially leading to increased friction and wear.
Mind the Mileage
Consider your driving habits and the type of oil you use. If you frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic or under severe conditions, such as towing or off-roading, you might need more frequent oil changes. High-stress driving situations can cause the oil to degrade faster.
Dickerson Automotive - Engine Oil Change and Vehicle Maintenance!
For all fluid, repair, and maintenance tasks related to your vehicle, our team is here to help. Ensuring your safety on the road is our first priority.