The Beginners Guide to Motor Oil
How Often Should Oil Be Changed?
I have been researching this topic for some days now and have come across many different opinions on when to change your oil. Many manufacturers have been extending the number of miles between oil changes and using this as a selling point to unsuspecting buyers. Mobil Australia has recently traveled 37 thousand Kilometers around Australia on one oil change as a marketing ploy. I would never suggest changing oil at such large increments.
At this time you may be asking “So how long should I wait between changing oil?”
Good question. It is one best answered by taking your manufacturers recommendation and halving it. Yes you heard right! Changing your oil should be done at very regular intervals of around 5 to 10 thousand kilometers or 3 to 5 thousand miles. If you drive like your grandmother on her weekly shopping trip, you may get by using the manufacturers suggestions but then you should be changing the oil at least once every 6 months to a year anyway. If this seems a little steep, just remember that if you spend the time and effort now, it could save you thousands in the future.
Types of Oil
When changing your oil its best to take into consideration the types of oil available for your car. There are three main types of oil:
- Synthetic Oils
- Semi-synthetic Oils
- Conventional Oils
Synthetic oils are usually more expensive than non or semi synthetic oils on the market. These oils generally last longer and have a higher rate of lubrication. When choosing synthetic oil, always choose a major brand, as they depend largely on the grade of the additives to improve quality.
As the name says, they are simply a mixture of synthetic and conventional oil.
Conventional oils need to be change at regular intervals of less than 10 thousand kilometers as they naturally breakdown and lose their lubricating abilities. Conventional oils like synthetic oils also hold contaminants from combustion. These contaminants can become acidic and cause engine damage.
Change your oil regularly and look into the type of oil your purchasing. Always remember to use high quality oils suitable for your car, which will help to decrease engine wear and improve your cars life span.