What you need to know about changing engine oil

What you need to know about changing engine oil What you need to know about changing engine oil

Proper adherence to car maintenance tasks such as regular changing of your engine oil is crucial to keep your vehicle running smoothly and efficiently. Engine oil has many functions, among them lubricating, cooling, cleaning and protecting engine moving parts from wear and tear. Besides these, engine oil also helps to filter out contaminants and impurities from the engine and keep it in pristine condition. One of the most important functions of engine oil is that it also thwarts corrosion and rust, prolonging the longevity of the engine.



5 reasons to never neglect the oil changeFollowing an erratic routine of changing your engine oil can lead to disastrous consequences for your vehicle and wallet. Here are 5 reasons why one must never neglect the oil change:- 


Reduced fuel efficiency:Tainted engine oil can lead to build up of deposits on engine parts, namely the pistons, valves, and injectors. These impurities can limit the fuel supply to the engine, causing half-finished combustion. This then may force the engine to raise the fuel-air ratio, which results in the need for more fuel to produce the same amount of power.


Elevated emissions:Incomplete combustion can be disastrous for the environment and human health as it leads to higher emissions of harmful greenhouse gases, such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants deemed harmful for overall wellbeing.


Engine damage:The deadly triad of high temperature, pressure, and oxidation can damage engine oil over time. With the oil losing its lubricating properties, it causes metal-to-metal contact that raises the friction and wear between the engine parts. The acidity in degraded engine oil can also corrode metal surfaces of the engine.


Overheating of engine:Oil thickens when it gets contaminated with dirt, metal particles, and other impurities. This oil then becomes less effective in flowing through the engine to dispel heat, resulting in raised engine temperature.


Buildup of sludge: With the contamination of oil, these particles will settle and cause a buildup of sludge which is a thick, sticky, gel-like substance that can choke oil passages and stop oil from reaching all parts of the engine. This can lead to constrained oil flow and the engine may suffer severe damage, resulting in the complete loss of your vehicle or a very costly repair.




Recommended tips to change your engine oil There are no rigid set of rules to change your engine oil since it depends on numerous factors, namely the type of oil (conventional or synthetic), vehicle model, condition of the engine, driving conditions, and the owner’s driving habits. For example, if you frequently undertake short drives, in extreme weather, with heavy loads, or in traffic that stops and starts, you may have to follow a routine of changing your oil more regularly than if you mostly undertake long drives on highways in moderate weather.


Also, always check your owner's manual for the specific guidance for your car and follow the service reminder, in the event your car has one. These systems monitor how hard you drive your car and accordingly adjust the oil change frequency. 
Always keep a close watch on your oil level and top it off if necessary. Some newer cars may need more oil top-offs in between changes. While checking your oil, also pay attention to the color. Oil color is not always the only sign of oil condition, good oil should be a clear, brown-black color. However, if the oil is cloudy or milky, then it requires servicing as soon as possible. 
Remember, changing your engine oil regularly is a simple and economical way to extend the longevity of your engine and prevent costly repairs. It is important not to neglect this crucial fluid as this can risk damaging your car. Ensure you schedule an oil change today and enjoy the benefits of a well-maintained engine.

This article was written by Chevron technologists in collaboration with industry experts and global thought leaders.

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