Changing your engine oil

Engine oil

With time and use, just like any other machine, your car’s engine can’t escape suffering wear and tear. Metal parts within the engine that rub tougher experience friction which generates heat and leads to premature wear. The engine oil or lubricant you chose will help to keep your car’s engine healthier for longer, and at the same time, will fulfill these four main functions:

  1. Reducing friction to improve engine performance and reduce fuel consumption
  2. Lowering engine temperature to keep the engine cool
  3. Protecting surfaces from corrosion and acid attacks
  4. Maintaining overall cleanliness by removing impurities that accumulate over time

30% of the lubricant’s composition is made up of critical additives, and the remaining 70% made up of base oil. The anti-oxidation, anti-wear and detergent additives help keep the engine cool, corrosion-free and clean.

Why change engine oil?

Over time, your engine’s oil gets used up and periodically, it needs to be changed. Replacing the engine’s oil is crucial to maintaining high performance and is one of the most important things to do to keep your car in good running condition. The required regularity of oil change will depend on your car’s condition and driving habits. During an oil change, the old oil and oil filter is removed, and new oil and a new filter are put in. It sounds simple, but you’ll need to be well prepared.

Changing engine oil

There are different ways to change your engine’s oil. Most commonly, the oil is allowed to drain using a special plug in the oil pan. The other way, which is often easier is to change the oil by sucking it out with a pipe through the dipstick tube. This also prevents dirt and dust from getting into the engine.

Please note that this does leave a little quantity of oil behind in the oil pan, whereas draining the oil through the plug removes this residual oil. However, draining the oil through the plug takes more time than sucking it through the dipstick tube.

To access the oil pan, some parts have to be removed, this makes the draining process even longer but it ensures that no oil is left behind in the pan.

It’s logical to change the oil filter at the same time as the engine oil to ensure all dust particles and residual oil caught up in the filter are removed How often you need to change the oil filter also depends upon the condition of your car and your driving habits. We advise you only to use genuine parts that are approved by your car’s manufacturer. There are big differences in oil filter quality and it is not advisable to take risks in using non-approved parts for your engine.

The oil filter contains screw-in cartridges with cylindrical paper filters which are located in a special housing and is located directly on the engine block or nearby, in the engine compartment. As changing the cartridges requires specialist knowledge involving removing the protective cover,  and can be tricky, we suggest you contact your service station to get help or to let them carry out car oil and filter changes for you.

 Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Changing the oil is a tricky process. If you’ve never done it before, we suggest you ask your service station to do the oil change or to train you.
  • Before starting the oil change, make sure you have all the tools you need to open the drain screw and the oil filter tool. In modern cars, there are electronic service indicators that also have to be reset.
  • For a passenger car, you’ll need about three-to-seven liters of new oil. However, this could be as high as 10-12 liters for cars that have a dry oil sump where the oil is stored in a separate oil tank and pumped back into the engine when the engine is running.