7 ways to Maintain Your Car's Engine Oil
To give your car engine a longer life, check and change your oil, and follow the following tips.
1. Check Engine Oil Every Time You Refuel:
For a more precise result, follow the following procedure:
- Start or drive your car for about 15 minutes to warm up the oil; then park the car in a level place. Turn off the engine and wait 15 minutes to allow the oil in the engine to drain to the oil pan.
- Remove the dipstick and wipe it dry with a paper towel or rag. Reinsert the dipstick, being careful to push it in, then remove it again to check the oil level. It should be somewhere between the graduation marks on the dipstick.
- Add the type and amount of oil as listed in your owner's manual, if necessary.
2. Change the Oil Frequently:
- While owner's manuals for today's cars recommend increasingly longer intervals between oil changes, the fact remains - frequent changes flush abrasive dirt and metal particles out of the engine. which prolongs its life.
- Most owner's manuals recommend a more frequent interval for "severe conditions."
- To maximize the life of your engine, follow the interval recommendations for severe conditions, especially if you regularly drive in city traffic.
3. Avoid Overfilling Your Oil Pan:
- Do not overfill the engine crankcase with oil. If you do, the oil can back up into the crankshaft, where air bubbles will be trapped in the oil.
- Your oil pump cannot properly circulate oil with air bubbles.
- This can cause overheating and stress on engine components.
- Overfilling can also foul your spark plugs. In fact, you should never overfill the tanks with all automotive fluids.
4. Properly Wipe the Oil Pan Plug:
- If you are performing your own oil changes, clean the drain plug and washer with rags before reinstalling your oil pan.
- Some caps are magnetized to retain metal particles.
5. Consider Adding Oil Coolers:
- If you plan on doing a lot of towing and your vehicle doesn't already have coolers, consider having them installed.
- Aftermarket engine oils and transmission fluid coolers are simple, inexpensive additions that work the same as your car's radiator.
- Fluid circulates through it, and many small fins absorb and dissipate heat.
- Cooler operating temperatures of engine oil and transmission fluid can play a real role in the life of your engine and transmission.
6. Synthetic Oil is Better:
- Use a synthetic lubricant when you change your motor oil. It is more expensive, but your engine will thank you.
- Synthetic oils last longer, withstand high heat and extreme conditions and have better cold flow rates than conventional oils.
- Be careful, however, not to void your warranty.
- Follow the oil change schedule specified in your manual - at least the time of the warranty period.
7. More Dense is Not Always the Best:
- Use the oil viscosity grade that is recommended in the owner's manual for the temperatures you plan for next season.
- Lightweight grades (lower viscosity, such as SAE 5W-30), often recommended for today's smaller car engines, allow for easier starting and better engine protection in winter as well as the better fuel consumption of gasoline all year round, thanks to less intense internal engine friction.
- Do not use too dense a grade of oil in climates with cold winters or you risk damaging your engine.