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Oil & Filter Change

On May 25, 2010, in Car Talk: Maintenance Guide, by Ved

Engine oil is primarily used for lubrication of internal combustion engines and moving parts. It also serves to clean, inhibit corrosion, improves sealing and cools the engine by carrying heat away from moving parts. Some tips:

  1. Change oil and filter every 5000 KM or three months, which ever comes first unless your vehicle’s manufacturer specifies otherwise.
  2. Check oil level and quality regularly.
  3. Never attempt to conduct any diagnosis with regard to oil when the engine is hot.
  4. If you regularly make short trips in your car, drive in stop-and-go traffic, idle for extended periods, drive in dusty or dirty air conditions, live in cold weather region, get a 3000 KM or three month scheduled replacement of oil without fail.
  5. Today’s modern oils contain detergents and additives that are designed to protect against sludge formation. However, if you regularly do a lot of stop and go driving, like rush hour driving, the engine heat will eventually break down these additives and they stop protecting your engine. Sludge problems are usually not covered by a new car warranty.
  6. By not having enough oil or by using oil that has out-lived its usefulness (is either filled with dirt or has low viscosity), you run the risk of reducing the efficiency of parts. In the long run, such parts grind against each other without lubrication in such a stressful environment as an internal combustion engine that it could eventually lead to such parts fusing together, jamming up or altogether failing. This is catastrophic to your engine, as the engine could simply stop working or actually explode if enough parts refuse to work.
  7. During an oil change, ensure that you are getting the right type and grade for your car as well as one that suits the way you drive.
  8. For automatic transmissions, brakes, power steering and axles, vehicle specific fluids should be used.
  9. Let a professional with the right tools and experience perform the oil change, for both safety and technical reasons. A wrong thread while tightening the drain nut or incorrectly setting the torque on the nut can cause major damage to the oil sump, leading to huge expense.

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