Oil is like the heart of cars. The engine’s health and performance depend on changing the oil. Although oil changes are essential to taking care of the car, sometimes we forget about them. With modern cars being so advanced, we might think they don’t need much attention from us. But that’s not true! Regular oil changes are crucial to keep your car’s engine running smoothly. Let’s talk about why oil changes are so important, when to get them, where to get them done by professionals, how much they cost, and whether you can do it yourself. Don’t worry; we’ll explain everything and make engine oil and oil changes easy to understand.
Why should I change get an oil change?
Regularly changing your car’s oil is crucial for keeping it in good condition. Think of engine oil as the car’s lifeblood that helps everything run smoothly. As time passes, the oil becomes dirty and less effective. This can lead to engine issues like friction and wear. Getting the oil changed regularly ensures the engine stays well-lubricated and functions efficiently. The numerous benefits of regular oil changes that are worth considering can be as follows:
- Improved Fuel Consumption: Fresh oil reduces friction in the engine, allowing it to run smoothly. As a result, your car requires less fuel, leading to better fuel efficiency.
- Quick and Affordable: Oil changes are a simple and affordable process. You can avoid costly expenses like engine repairs or replacements by changing your motor oil regularly.
- Better Engine Health: Following your owner’s manual and changing both the old oil and oil filter is crucial to protect your engine from damage. While the oil filter traps most contaminants, some smaller particles can still circulate through the engine, potentially causing harm.
- Environmental Impact: Old or dirty oil can produce harmful emissions that are bad for the environment. Using new and clean oil reduces emissions, making your vehicle more eco-friendly.
- Engine Cooling: The moving parts of your car’s engine generate heat due to friction. If the engine gets too hot, it can lead to breakdowns. Fresh engine oil provides proper lubrication, helping to regulate engine temperature and prevent overheating.
What happens if I don’t change my oil?
When the oil turns into sludge, it no longer cools the engine. This can cause the engine to stop working completely, and you might need a whole new engine or even a new car. So, make sure to change the oil regularly to avoid this costly problem.
When should I change my car’s oil?
Knowing when to change your oil is really important for keeping your car running well. It depends on different things like the type of oil you use, your car’s make and model, and how you drive. In the past, people would change their oil every 3 months or 5,000 kilometers, but now, with better oil and engines, you might only need to do it every 6 months or 10,000 to 15,000 kilometers. You might need to change it more often if you drive in tough conditions, like extreme weather or heavy loads. To figure out when to change your oil, you can look in your car’s manual or ask a mechanic you trust. Following the right schedule will keep your engine running smoothly and help your car be more fuel-efficient and less polluting.
What are the different types of oil?
When it comes to oil changes, understanding the different types of oil available for your car is crucial.
Conventional oil is the most basic type of motor oil, derived from crude oil and refined to meet specific requirements. It is a cost-effective option suitable for older vehicles with less demanding engine performance. While it provides decent engine protection and lubrication, it may not offer the advanced features of synthetic oils. Conventional oil is a practical choice for drivers with shorter commutes and less frequent driving, where extreme engine stress is not a concern.
Synthetic oil is engineered in a laboratory, offering superior performance and protection compared to conventional oil. It provides better lubrication, reduced friction, and improved resistance to breakdown at high temperatures. Synthetic oil is particularly well-suited for modern engines and vehicles with high-performance demands. Its molecular structure allows it to flow better in extremely cold conditions, making it a reliable choice for Canadian winters. Additionally, synthetic oil can extend oil change intervals, providing convenience for busy drivers.
As the name suggests, synthetic blend oil is a mixture of conventional and synthetic oils. This combination aims to strike a balance between cost and performance. The blend retains some of the benefits of synthetic oils, such as improved engine protection, while remaining more affordable than full synthetic oil. Synthetic blend oil is an excellent option for drivers seeking better engine performance and protection compared to conventional oil but without the higher price tag of full synthetic oil. It can handle various driving conditions and is suitable for engines with moderate performance requirements.
What type of oil do I need?
Selecting the right type of oil for your vehicle depends on factors such as its age, mileage, and engine specifications. The booklet that comes with your car, the owner’s manual, will tell you the right oil type and thickness for your vehicle. The oil weight, like 5W-20 or 10W-30, tells you how thick or thin the oil should be when the engine is at its best temperature. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations and adhering to the recommended maintenance schedule ensures that your engine receives the appropriate lubrication, resulting in optimal performance and a longer lifespan for your car.
How long does an oil change take?
The time it takes for an oil change can vary based on a few things. If you go to a professional shop, It might take 15 to 45 minutes for them to finish. If you do it yourself, it could take a little longer, around 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your tools and experience. Also, the type of car you have matters. Some cars have easy-to-reach oil drain plugs and filters, so it’s faster. But if your car’s plug is hard to reach, it might take more time.
Can I do my own oil change?
Yes, you can change your own oil, but it usually takes more time compared to a professional. If you have the right tools and experience, you might finish it in about 30 minutes. However, professionals are faster because they do oil changes regularly. Even though doing it yourself might not be as quick, it can save you money and be a fun experience!
How often should I change my oil?
The right time to change your car’s oil is not the same for everyone. Some places might tell you to do it every three months or every 5,000 km, but that might not be what your car needs. Every car has its own schedule for oil changes, depending on its specifications and how you drive. Some cars need an oil change every three months or 5,000 km, while others can go six months or 10,000 km or more. Check the owner’s manual in the scheduled maintenance section to find out when your car needs an oil change. It will have recommendations for both “normal driving” and “severe driving.”
Don’t change your oil too often.
Even though clean oil is vital for your engine’s health, avoid falling for unnecessary frequent oil changes. The small Valvo Jiff ‘n’ Pep sticker on your windshield might suggest changing the oil every 3000 miles, but that interval is often excessive and wasteful. For most vehicles driven under normal conditions, you can actually wait 7500 to 10,000 miles before getting an oil change, which also includes changing the oil filter.
How much is an oil change?
The cost of an oil change can vary widely due to several factors. The type of oil (regular or synthetic) your car needs will influence the price. If you opt for synthetic oil, it could be around $85 or more, while regular oil might be half that price, around $50 to $80. The final cost depends on the service provider, your car, location, additional services, and more.
Who can you trust to do your oil change?
Finding a professional oil change provider is easy since many automotive maintenance businesses offer the service. The speed and convenience of the experience might vary. Here are popular oil change services in Canada:
Quick Lube Centres
These centres specialize in vehicle maintenance and offer fast service. They charge more for oil changes but may upsell additional services. Be cautious and check if recommended services are really needed.
Pros: Quick service, oil changes are their main service, and they may alert you of other maintenance needs.
Cons: Likely to upsell more services, no certified mechanics supervising the work, expensive.
Auto service centres fix and service cars. They may have excellent deals on oil changes but could be crowded, leading to longer wait times. They inspect your vehicle thoroughly and offer more technical repairs if needed.
Pros: Often offer discounted oil change specials, certified mechanics inspect your vehicle, and can complete more technical repairs on the same day.
Cons: Long waits, potential for more expensive charges.
Car dealerships service various makes and models. They offer oil change specials and have technicians trained on your vehicle’s needs. Their wait times might be long.
Pros: Special training on the makes they sell, certified technicians inspect your vehicle, one-stop-shop for maintenance and repairs.
Cons: Extremely long waits, upsells can be significantly more expensive, and oil change pricing is often higher than a service centre.
As we conclude our exploration of oil changes, let’s remember their crucial role in maintaining a healthy car engine. Getting an oil change is cheaper and faster than other car maintenance tasks. Regular oil changes keep your engine healthy with clean oil and benefit the environment. It ensures your vehicle’s longevity and efficiency. Don’t overlook this essential maintenance – your car will thank you with a smoother and more reliable ride. In this article, we’ve explained everything you need about oil changes and clarified everything so you can confidently decide what to do.