Knowing What Motor Oil to Use, and How Often to Change It, Will Add Years to the Life of Your Engine

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Not everyone is automobile savvy. Much knowledge and experience is required to understand the mechanics behind how your car works. However, something all car owners should understand is what motor oil to use, how often they should change it, and other motor oil facts. Drivers in the United States produce about 1.3 billion gallons of used motor oil each year. Learning about motor oil is incredibly important as putting the right oil and changing your oil frequently will allow the engine of your car to perform properly, and help to preserve its life expectancy.

All drivers should become familiar with the process of checking your oil levels using a dipstick. A dipstick, which is typically already inserted in your oil reservoir, is a tool used to measure the quantity of liquid in a space that is inaccessible. By inserting and removing the dipstick and then checking to see how much of the stick came into contact with the liquid shows how much oil is in your engine. Typically, the dipstick has measuring units engraved on the stick, showing you which level is too much oil, and which level is too little oil. Using too little oil in your engine can lead to excessively high oil temperatures, since heat from the engine is more concentrated. Comparatively, putting too much oil into the engine of your car can cause parts of the crankshaft to dip into the oil, which churns air into the oil and causes foaming, as well as fluctuations in oil pressure.

Another important understanding about motor oil is knowing what the best motor oil is for the engine of your car. There are many different types of motor oil, varying in viscosity grades for all types of engines and performance. Some viscosity grades, including 0, 5, 10, 15 and 25, are suffixed with the letter W, designating for “winter” or cold-start (lower-temperature) viscosity. Many people mistakenly think that the “W” stands for “weight.” Checking your owners manual to see which viscosity grade and performance level is right for your engine of your vehicle is the best way to ensure you are filling your engine with the proper oil.

Finally, a very important process to understand when learning about motor oil is know how often you need to change your oil. For the best results in the protection and performance of your engine, most oil companies say to change your motor oil every 3-5 thousand miles or every three to six months, regardless of what type of driving you do. Not changing your motor oil for long periods of time leads to the degrading of the motor oil and a build-up of sludge in the crankcase, causing wear and poor performance with the engine. It is a fairly simple process to change your own motor oil, but if you do not feel comfortable doing so, many auto shops, car detailing and gas stations will do it for a small fee. Helpful links.

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