Taking care of and maintaining your car may seem easy enough from where you’re sitting—in the driver’s seat—but there’s much more to be aware of than just the amount of gas in the tank or the presence of dirt on the body. Consider the motor oil, for example—a surprising number of people don’t know when it needs to be changed, how often to change it or what type of oil to use. If you want to start changing your own oil, but feel like you lack the knowledge you need, then the following information is for you.
Here are five important things every vehicle owner should know about oil changes in Port Charlotte, FL:
- When to change the oil: The first thing you should do is check your owner’s manual for the recommended oil change intervals. Your mechanic may suggest one timeframe, how your car drives seems to say otherwise and your manual says something else altogether. Keep in mind that the average timing for oil changes has changed over the years based on improved oil products and newer car engines. Pay attention to your dashboard warning lights. If that little oil can icon lights up, it’s alerting you to change the oil soon.
- You need to check the oil level: Even if you take your car to the auto shop for oil changes, be sure to keep an eye on the oil levels in between visits. Sometimes the oil needs to be topped off, not changed, or the oil is dirty and needs changing. The professionals recommend checking your oil level at least once a month. Either you have a dipstick to perform manual checks or your vehicle is newer and has an electronic oil monitor. While the hood is open, also check for fluid leaks and get any necessary repairs done immediately.
- How often to change the oil: In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for car owners to follow the “every 3,000 or 6,000 miles, or every three or six months” rule. However, advances in car engines and oil have changed the rule to intervals of 7,500 or even 10,000 miles, or every six or 12 months. One thing to keep in mind is that you should still change the oil in vehicles that are not driven very often. This is because oil becomes less effective as it ages, and your car needs fresh oil to ensure proper lubrication.
- Selecting the right motor oil: Once again, your owner’s manual will tell you what type of oil to use, or you can look for the motor oil weight on the label on your oil cap. When in doubt, contact a local car dealer or go online to find out which type oil is best for your car.
- About synthetic oil: Know that not all newer or high-performance vehicles need synthetic oil. This type of oil is more expensive, yet more effective at resisting breakdown (this helps the oil last longer) and withstanding high temperatures. If your owner’s manual states you must always use synthetic oil, then you should only use synthetic motor oil.
Come to Ice Cold Auto Repair anytime for the most reliable oil changes in Port Charlotte, FL!
Categorised in: Oil Changes
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