With motorists paying unprecedentedly high prices for petrol and diesel, it becomes even more important now to know how to get the most out of your car in terms of mileage. It is a known fact that maintaining your car’s engine is essential for its longevity, but do you know that a timely oil change can also make your car more fuel-efficient? In this blog, we will lay down some expert car maintenance tips for you, so make sure to read until the end.
When to Change Oil?
- The common wisdom is to have your car’s oil changed every 5,000 km or 6 months, whichever comes first. However, there are exceptions to this, which will be explained later in this blog.
- Luxury cars have built-in oil-life monitors that assess the oil’s condition and alert you when it’s time for an oil change. These monitors consider factors like your driving style, cold starts, and other quality measures. However, be aware that this monitor is different from the red or amber oil warning light, which indicates low oil levels or pressure issues. If the warning light comes on, stop driving immediately and have your car inspected.
- If your car is under warranty, follow the manufacturer’s specified oil change schedule mentioned in the owner’s manual or servicing booklet. If you don’t have these documents, you can often find the information online or contact your local dealer.
- Before buying a new car, research brands that offer good warranties. Some manufacturers offer coverage for initial services, typically lasting up to a 5-year or 150,000 km warranty. This helps prevent internal engine damage from old or incorrect oil.
- Keep in mind that parts for newer cars can be more expensive and may only be available through dealerships. Therefore, avoiding breakdowns outside of warranty coverage is crucial during this phase of your car’s life.
How Often to Change Oil?
The common wisdom is to have your car’s oil changed every 5,000 km or 6 months, whichever comes first. However,
- Stick to the manufacturer-recommended oil change intervals and use the correct oil grade to prevent engine wear and future problems.
- Assess your driving habits to determine if more frequent oil changes are needed. Consider these conditions:
- Short trips especially in cold weather.
- Hot weather with stop-and-start city driving.
- Driving at low speeds for long distances.
- Regularly driving on dusty, muddy, salty, sandy, or gravel roads.
- If you often encounter these conditions, consider shortening the time between oil changes. While this may increase maintenance costs, it’s cheaper than dealing with potential internal engine damage later on.
Why Are Frequent Oil Changes Good?
This may not always be financially feasible but nonetheless:
- Oil degrades over time, losing its protective properties, so frequent oil changes are essential to prevent this.
- Manufacturers typically recommend oil changes every 5,000 km or 6 months, whichever comes first, but you can do them earlier, especially if your car faces challenging conditions.
- Older cars are more likely to burn oil, so it’s wise to check the oil level weekly. Even premium modern cars can experience oil burning issues.
- New cars often use long-life servicing with synthetic oils, allowing for longer intervals between changes, saving you money in the long run.
- Regular oil and filter changes provide an opportunity for mechanics to inspect your car’s underside, including the chassis, suspension, and brakes, helping you maintain overall efficiency and safety.
To sum up, taking care of your car’s engine is essential for its longevity and your safety on the road. By following these car maintenance tips, you can ensure your vehicle stays in good shape for years to come.
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