Proper maintenance of a powertrain prolongs engine life and helps avoid serious problems during its operation. Such maintenance includes the replacement of engine oil and an oil filter.
Here are our tips for choosing and changing engine oil.
Selection of Lubricant
First of all, select the right lubricant. It must be of high quality and meet the recommendations of the engine manufacturer.
When choosing, pay attention to seasonality, that is, use a lubricant whose SAE viscosity corresponds to actual operating conditions. For this reason, in some cases, it is separately recommended to change oil according to the season (summer and winter oil).
For example, if summers are hot and winters are cold in the region, multigrade oil with a viscosity index of 5W40 or 10W40 is used in summer, and 5W30 in cold weather.
You need to replace the oil according to the regulations and take into account individual operating conditions.
“Heavy” operating conditions need shortening the interval between services.
Such conditions happen when:
- the car mainly drives around the city at low speed and low revs;
- the vehicle is mostly used for frequent and short trips;
- the engine is not warmed up properly, especially in winter, and it does not achieve operating temperatures;
- the car stands in traffic jams for a long time, and the engine often works in an idling mode;
- the vehicle regularly tows a trailer and transports cargos, etc.
Oil Change Frequency
The average oil change interval shown in the technical manual for repair and operation is every 10,000 or 15,000 km or 12 months, whichever comes first.
In practice, it is optimal to replace oil and filters every 8,000-9,000 km for synthetic, 7,000-8,000 km for hydrocracking, 6,000-7,000 km for semi-synthetic, and 4,000-5,000 km for mineral engine oils.
If loads on the engine, either boosted or turbocharged, are constant and high, changing the oil and reducing the service intervals are even more critical matters.
Also, the lubricant must be changed at a reduced interval several times when an emergency or any other reasons arise that may affect the service life of the engine oil itself.
For example, if antifreeze or fuel got into the sump, there is an active ingress of gases from the combustion chamber into the crankcase, etc. Reducing the interval is necessary to flush the lubrication system with fresh engine oil.
Replace it Right
It is also very important to correctly replace engine oil. Drain the waste in the traditional way, when hot oil flows out through the drain hole in the sump, with no using vacuum suction through the oil filler neck like during express replacement.
Fill in fresh oil strictly according to the level, not allowing the oil level in the engine to exceed or fall relative to the recommended mark. Remember, both high and low oil levels have a negative effect on the life of an internal combustion engine.
You also need to constantly monitor the oil level, since some engines (even when new) can consume lubricating fluid for waste due to their design features. This consumption is not a malfunction but motivates the driver to regularly check the level in the sump.
For many engines, even a slight decrease in oil level leads to a significant increase in engine wear. In other words, if the driver does not take into account the features of his engine, this usually has a bad effect on the unit’s life.
We can add that if the level drops from replacement to replacement, you should have an oil reserve to top up to maintain the required amount of lubricant.
Never mix up oils of different brands and products of the same manufacturer with different oil bases, viscosities, tolerances, additive packages, etc.