The purpose of engine oil
- It lubricates engine parts to reduce friction and helps keep the engine running smoothly
- Keeps the engine clean as the oil picks up debris and carries them to the oil filter when they become trapped (another reason the oil filter requires changing regularly). This helps decrease the risk of a build up of dirt and causing any damage to the engine.
- Protects the engine as certain additives are added within the majority of oils to help reduce oxidation and prevent corrosion.
Why does the oil need changing?
We need to change the engine oil because as we use our car, the engine oil starts to deteriorate. The additives start to lose their effect. The oil changes from a golden colour to a dark brown to a dark black. The oil starts out slippery and smooth and ends up runny and thin or thick, gritty and gluey. Once your oil loses its transparency and turns black it’s a good sign that it’s time to change your oil as it may contain particulates that can cause gunk to form in the engine.
How do I check my oil?
You can check the status of your oil on your own by opening your bonnet and pulling out the oil dipstick in your engine. If you are unfamiliar with your engine system, consult your owner’s manual for the basics here. Before reading the dipstick, you need to wipe it off to get rid of residual oil before reinserting it and pulling it back out; make sure that you fully reinsert the clean dipstick to accurately gauge your oil levels. This will give you a clear line of where your oil is reaching in your engine’s system. If the dipstick indicates that your levels are low, this means it is time for an oil change.