The Importance of an Oil and Filter Change
Does it matter what oil you use?
Car manufacturers invest time and money to test different types of oil in their car engines. It is in their interests to ensure that owners use the best formula to optimise a vehicle’s performance and efficiency. The difference between using the recommended or an alternative oil can affect the mph by up to 2%. Over the years, you could waste a few quid!
The right choice also means that your car/van/truck will run more smoothly and require fewer repairs down the line.
The owner’s manual will state which type of lubricant is recommended. As your vehicle’s mileage increases, though, a thicker formula made for high-mileage might provide better lubrication. Your trusted auto mechanic will be able to advise.
What does the filter do?
A filter removes impurities from the old, contaminated engine oil as it passes through. Debris can rub against the machinery and impair the engine’s smooth running, possibly preventing pistons from moving or valves from closing. This could have potentially serious consequences.
Over time, the filter will become clogged with dust and dirt, and won’t be able to perform its function of keeping the lubricant clean.
So why does oil need to be replaced?
Eventually, it can become thin and lose its heat-absorbing properties, as well as becoming impure with particles. Some vehicles also tend to ‘lose’ oil which needs regularly topping up.
If dirty lubricant continues to circulate around the engine, the oil pressure falls and parts begin to fail. During an oil change, the old fluid is drained from the engine and replaced with clean new oil. The filter is usually also changed at the same time so that the lubrication system remains clean as it passes through the engine.
The big question – how often should engine oil and filters be replaced?
Vehicles will have different recommendations (check the owner’s manual) but milage, driving styles and driving conditions all contribute to wear and tear and optimum performance.
Generally, every six months to a year will be suitable for most cars but it can depend on the vehicle’s mileage and other conditions – such as in regular stop-start traffic, towing heavy loads, extreme hot or cold temperatures and hard driving. If a “service engine” light is on, it may indicate that it is time for an oil and filter change. Best to check with your trusted mechanic as soon as possible.
Don’t put off an inexpensive job and risk bigger bills down the line – book your oil and filter change here, now.
If you do it yourself, please dispose of unwanted engine fluids responsibly.
At Matt Freeman Autos, we also undertake vehicle diagnostics checks.