How to Keep Your Oil Healthy?
Many of us worry that just getting our oil changed when the sticker says so isn’t enough to keep the oil or engine at their best. That is true, because there are many things that could make the motor oil loose it’s effectiveness. The motor oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle and when it’s not at its best, your engine is not at its best.
How to Best Keep Healthy Motor Oil?
Of the many ways to keep healthy oil, here are some of the most important. Many lube shops will buy motor oil in bulk and therefore it is even more enticing for the shop to buy cheaper oil. Cheaper oil can mean oil that is not approved by API standards or even an oil that is SAE30 as opposed to 5W30. 5W30 is a multi weight oil that fights sludge buildup, whereas SAE30 is not able to fight sludge buildup as well. There are also some ploys at certain shops that will give you conventional oil when you request a synthetic oil change.
Another way that a shop can make your engine oil less healthy during the time between oil changes is by not draining the oil properly. This happens in one of two ways, not letting the oil drain long enough or not draining the oil from the drain pan. The first is pretty self explanatory, essentially the old oil isn’t all gone from the vehicle so there is still dirty oil in the vehicle. The second problem is when the shop drains the motor oil from the dip stick with a fluid extractor. This does not always get most of the old motor oil out of the drain pan, in fact it almost never gets all the old oil out. The traditional way to drain oil during an oil change is to remove the oil drain plug and let the oil drain for about 10 minutes or so, basically until no more oil is draining.
Poor Quality filters can also hinder the health of your motor oil between oil changes. The oil filter simply takes pieces of dirt and other particles out of your motor oil when while the oil is pushed through the filter. Poor quality oil filters will do their job, but only for so long. These filters will not be able to keep your oil healthy for as long as a quality filter. Since these filters are not able to clean your oil as well you will probably need to check more often than the required amount.
How Often Should I Check the Oil Level?
Checking the oil level is a recommended part of car ownership because as we have said before a low oil level is quite damaging for your vehicle. To check the oil level in your vehicle you have to pop the trunk, grab an old cloth, then clean of the dip stick, put the dip stick back in, pull the dipstick out again and check the level. The oil level should always be very close to full, because that gives the engine the best ability to run smoothly.
To ensure your vehicle runs its best at all times between oil changes you should be checking the oil level. How often is enough though? We recommend you check your oil level once per month, and in Toronto that is probably as easy as checking ever time you fill up. Make sure the engine is off and the car is parked on level ground before checking. We also highly recommend you check the colour of the motor oil when you pull the dipstick up.
The general rule of thumb when checking the oil colour during a level check you are looking for some clarity and some dark amber colours. This means that the oil is still healthy and you don’t have to worry about it’s health until you get to the gas station next. If the oil is dark coloured but you can still see through it slightly, like a light cup of coffee then there is still life in the oil, but you should be wary that an oil change will be needed soon. If the oil is black and you cannot see through the oil at all it is time for an oil change. If there is any bits of dirt or metal that show on the dipstick you need to get an oil change as soon as possible. This is just a great way to check on the health of your engine between trips to the shop, and they can really help with ease of mind also.
Do I Need an Oil Change if I Don’t Drive Much?
The short answer is yes, but its for a different reason than those who drive quite a bit. People often get their oil changed about every 7500KM. That would mean that the average driver is getting 2-3 oil changes per year, but they get those oil changes based on their odometers. The reason you need to still get your oil changed when you are only driving half the amount of other drivers is because the motor oil also looses its effectiveness regardless of use. The oil becomes less useful as a lubricant as it ages, so we recommend that you should change your oil at least every 5 months regardless of how much you drive.
Where to Get an Oil Change Near Me?
Rather than sitting in traffic on your way to the garage or oil change shop, download The Oil Change App on the App Store or Google Play and send out a live request for service anytime, anywhere. All oil changes are synthetic and include a OEM spec filter to keep your engine running smooth.