You know, few elements in your car or as simple or as crucial to its operation and longevity as these two items. Here it is motor oil and an oil filter. Now, unless you drive a battery, electric car, your car needs these things and it needs to get them replaced on a regular basis. The oil lubricates essentially all parts of the engine keeps it running and keeps it cooler. The oil filter well that just keeps the oil working longer, helps keep it clean so you can go 3000, 5,000, 10,000 miles. It depends on your car. So the question is how often do you need to change your oil and filter and they get done at the same time? The best answer, and actually we believe the only answer is to do it as often as the manufacturer of your car says to do it because all cars are different.
Typically, this information is in the owner’s manual or in a separate maintenance schedule, which is typically included with the owner’s manual, for decades and decades. All cars needed an oil change every 3000 miles and many cars still on the road do need that interval and some new ones do as well. But meanwhile, while you weren’t paying attention, the interval has been increasing to 5,000, 10,000 miles, even higher in some cars. That’s why you need to find out which your car calls for. Now, if you’re fortunate, your vehicle has an oil life monitor. Now it’s not just about the number of miles you drive, it’s about the nature of those miles. Now, for many years, manufacturers have said if you drive in certain extreme conditions, you might need to change your oil more frequently. Those conditions include lots of short trips, sustained high-speed driving, extremely high temperatures, extremely cold temperatures, towing, hauling.
This kind of stuff will degrade the oil faster. The good thing about an oil life monitor is it actually monitors how you’re driving and it makes sure you change the oil only when you need to. Now, I have changed the oil on countless cars myself and I can say nowadays there’s no reason to do it yourself. So you understand the process. You’ve got to jack the car up, which is typically not easy. You have to remove the drain plug and the old oil filter, let the oil drain out, put a new filter on, cap the drain hole, and then fill it with new oil. If you’re doing it right, you’re disposing of the used oil and responsible fashion. All of this stuff takes time and money. Getting an oil change at a service station is typically not that expensive and they handle all of that for you.
They don’t really make that much money on it either. However if you are a car owner, there is something you can and should do and that keeps an eye on the oil level. Now, most cars still have dipsticks which you can usually find them, they tend to have yellow handles. Now though, that wasn’t always the case. The way we recommend doing it wipes it off well in case it is splashed up in use and then read, dip it. When you pull it back out, you will see the level of the oil in an operating range hopefully.
If it is low, what you do is you just get the right type of oil and you can top it off it using the oil filler, which typically is easy to reach. Here it is right here. Now that raises the question, what type of oil should you use? Once again, we say go to the manufacturer for their recommendation. In this case, it’s right on the cap. If you have a mechanic that you think is particularly competent and confident who believes you should use a different type of oil during different seasons, you might agree to go ahead with that. I have to say with modern high tech oil and modern cars, there’s no reason you can’t put it in the specified oil run all year and have no problem. We recommend that you check your oil level every time. Maybe every other time you fill your fuel tank.
Some cars make it easier for you. They don’t have dipsticks. I can think of one example, BMWs, some of the modern ones. Just let you check the oil level right in the instrument panel. Now, if you find that the level is going down, consistently goes down, you might have a leak, or it might reflect some other problem. You’re going to need to get that checked out by the mechanic. Oil is extremely important while you’re driving. If ever you see the oil pressure level gauge go down, or if you get a bright red icon of that genie lamp, that means you need to pull over and turn the engine off right away because you are literally seconds away from permanent damage that will cost you thousands of dollars to repair oils important. You gotta keep it clean, you gotta change it at the right interval and use the right tight. When you want to find out what that is.