Oil Change Essentials

Knowing your engine is half the battle. What’s running under your hood? If you don’t know the difference between a valve and a cylinder, it may be time to familiarize yourself with your car. Knowing the type of engine you’re running will help you figure out which type of motor oil to purchase.

You need to be sure you’re using the right oil for your vehicle. Motor oil brands are as varied as shampoo. There is motor oil that cleans your engine, synthetic oils, oils with special additives, oils for high mileage vehicles, and a hundred other varieties. So how do you pick the right one? You can ask friends who are familiar with car care, do a bit of online research yourself, or even better – ask a car-care expert.

How often should you change your oil? The EPA has stated that newer model vehicles no longer need an oil change every 3,000 miles and they’ve pushed the recommended mileage up to 5,000 miles. But if your vehicle is high mileage, you’ll want to change the oil every 3,000 miles or so. More important than that is just to make sure you keep the engine clean.

Understanding how motor oil works is another important factor. The purpose of oil is to lubricate the engine parts so there’s no grinding or excessive heat. Without motor oil, your engine would get clogged with build-up and could even seize up and overheat. If you don’t take care of the engine through proper maintenance, you may be either be repairing or replacing it much sooner than you’d like.