When to Change Vehicle Engine Oil?
Without oil, nothing works in a car’s internal combustion engine. Engine oil ensures good lubrication and damage-free operation of important moving parts in the engine. These include the crankshaft, camshaft, connecting rod bearings, cylinder liners, turbocharger bearings and valve assembly. Thanks to oil, a lot happens very quickly. The oil pump sucks oil from the oil pan into the oil circuit. It also passes through an oil filter to remove dirt. Also, the oil for its tasks should have a high viscosity and be as clean as possible.
Why is Engine Oil Change Important?
However, extreme stresses expose the oil to a significantly higher wear and aging process. Deposits from various metallic components, unburned fuel and residues in combustion chambers add to the problems. Not only does the lubricity decrease over time, but also oil consumption due to losses in various gaskets and burnt oil in the cylinders. Therefore, the engine oil should be changed regularly. With a consistent oil change, a new, clean change enters the cycle.
How Often Should Engine Oil Be Changed?
When it comes to setting deadlines for changing the oil, there are basically two options. In the classical method, a fixed date is defined by the manufacturer. This date is based on kilometers traveled and optionally time zones if the mileage is too low. Most car manufacturers recommend the following: “The intervals range from 15,000 km to 40,000 km. The exact numbers are in the oil’s owner’s manual. If you drive a lot on average, ie 10,000 to 15,000 km per year, you should change the oil approximately every 1.5 to 2 years.”
If you are doing less kilometers, you should not wait until you reach the specified kilometers, you should change the oil earlier. As it is known, short distance rides mean more load for the engine. Multiple cold starts, combined with the fact that the engine does not warm up properly, will likely leave unburned fuel in the engine oil, thereby reducing its lubricity. Short trips and cold weather also have a negative effect on diesel engines. There, with proper operation, more soot particles can be found in the oil and cause thickening, which affects viscosity. Most manufacturers recommend a change after twelve to 18 months.
In many modern vehicles, the oil change is indicated based on consumption. Various sensors in the engine area provide information about the use of the vehicle from which the relevant data is calculated. You can usually find this information on your car display. Basically, the more the vehicle is used, the shorter the oil change intervals. If the vehicle is running at more full load, higher temperatures will occur for longer and the oil will wear faster. By the way, this is extreme in motorsports, where the oil is sometimes changed after each race.
These tell you that you need to change the oil.
Oil is a very important and sensitive component in the entire engine system. Therefore, prospective control is needed. When the oil pressure light comes on, it may often be too late. You should regularly check the oil level with the dipstick, which is usually equipped with the minimum and maximum markings. In case of unusual changes, you should not wait, but investigate the cause as quickly as possible. An oil level that is too high can also be a sign that unburned fuel has entered the oil and an urgent oil change is required.
This can be discerned from the altered odor of the oil, which then has a clear burnt note. There is a risk of reduced slipperiness here. In addition, the ventilation holes in the motor housing may become clogged. This can cause oil to get into the intake tract and cause significant combustion problems. You can also recognize used oil by its metallic sheen and changing colors. It is usually sufficient to look at the inside of the screw cap on the motor housing. If you exceed the recommended oil change intervals, it will not be noticeable at first as long as the oil level is correct. However, old and no longer so slippery oil can be the cause of slowly developing long-term damage.