The oil change is the most basic of car maintenance tasks. The frequency at which it is done depends on the manufacturer specifications for your make and model, but it's generally recommended for every 3000 to 5000 miles. There are a few mistakes to avoid when it comes to your car's oil if you want to ensure it stays in peak running condition.
#1: Not checking your oil between changes
Your engine oil is a major diagnostic tool for the overall health of your vehicle. If the oil level drops between oil changes, then there is likely a leak, such as a damaged seal, somewhere in your engine compartment that needs to be fixed. If the oil becomes discolored quickly, something could be wrong inside the engine that needs to be addressed. Don't ignore the oil between changes. When you stop for gas, or at least once a month, take a few minutes to pop the hood and check your oil. The car should be warmed up when you do this so that the oil has circulated through the engine. Otherwise, you may get a false low reading.
#2: Using random additives without consultation
If you look at the car care aisle in your local box store or even at the gas station, you will spot a shelf of oil additives that claim to do everything from improving your fuel consumption to cutting down on the need for oil changes. In gas stations, in particular, these are often placed to catch your eye and encourage a spontaneous sale. As a general rule of thumb, do not put anything into your engine without talking to your mechanic or oil change technician first. Most additives are simply a waste of your hard-earned cash, but some make actually damage the engine or compromise the smooth operation of your car.
#3: Using the wrong oil
This is more likely to occur if you need to top off your oil between changes, such as is the case if you discover a leak. Your mechanic will likely know what type of oil to put in your vehicle and won't make this mistake. Engine oil does more than just lubricate the engine – it also provides the hydraulic pressure to ensure correct operation. When it comes to car oil, you have to know whether to use synthetic or conventional oil, as well as which grade to use. Your owner's manual should provide you with what your car requires. If it supplies a couple of choices, check your last oil change receipt or contact the shop to see what they used so you don't mix two different oils in your engine.
For more help, contact a car service center like M & R Automotive Service Center Inc in your area.