Cheap Insurance: the Oil Change
Oil changes are probably the most important service for a car. Unfortunately, it is often under valued and in many cases neglected. So let’s cover some oil change basics.
What does the engine oil do anyway?
Everyone knows they need to put gas to go places and to get oil changes every now and then, but not many people know what the oil actually does. Like other fluids, the engine oil is the lifeblood of the components it supports in this case, the engine. The oil helps draw away the heat that occurs during the combustion process, lubricates the metal surfaces inside your engine to prevent damage by friction, and help prevents carbon deposits, varnish and gum from building up by suspending the by-products.
Does the kind of oil make a difference?
Yup, it sure does! Using the correct oil for your vehicle is imperative for a long healthy engine life. The most vital part of the oil selection process is using exact oil what your vehicle manufacture recommends for oil changes. Consult your owner’s manual to find the correct viscosity or check the top of your oil cap. How viscous the fluid refers to the property that resists the force tending to cause the fluid to flow. When you consult your manual you may find a multigrade oil listed, such as 5W20.
The number in front of the ‘W’ refers to the cold viscosity while the number after the ‘W’ refers to the hot viscosity rating. The lower temperature viscosity identifies how the engine will crank in winter as well as the oil flow. The lower the number relates to ease of the engine to start in colder weather. The second number is to provide good lubrication once the engine has reached operating temperatures. This idea is to not allow the oil to become too thin when it heats up. So in this case, the oil would behave as a 5-rated single grade oil when cold, but does not thin more than a 20-rate single oil grade when hot.
Another important reason to ensure you use the correct oil is to keep your manufacture warranty valid. You do not have to go to the dealership to have your oil changed, as you have the right to take your vehicle anywhere you please, but you do need to ensure the correct weight is installed in your vehicle and as well as printed on your invoice.
Regular oil changes was number one on Shop Owner's suggested New Year resolution list.