The most important thing to remember about car engines is they need lubrication! Here’s why you should regularly check, top-up and change your oil: If you were hungry, you wouldn’t neglect your belly. Neither should you ignore the dipstick when it tells you that your car’s engine oil is dangerously low. Read on to find out why your oil is so important and how to check the levels in your car.
Why is engine oil important?
Cars need moving metal parts to work and these often rub together causing friction. The oil you put in your car engine lubricates these parts, thus preventing them from getting damaged and stopping the whole engine from overheating.
What happens if engine oil is not topped up?
Oil becomes dirty and will be more abrasive on the engine if you’re running on almost-empty. If the oil is not topped up or changed, it won’t be doing its job efficiently – that is, lubricating the main car parts. In addition, the additives in the oil which fight rust or reduce friction will quickly run out.
The oil moves through the engine to clean and cool it but cannot do this if it becomes too contaminated.
If you forget to top up or change your car oil one month, it’s not the end of the world. But remember, you should aim to change car oil after every 5,000 miles, rather than simply topping it up. You can do this easily yourself or at a garage.
When else should I change car engine oil?
As well as changing your car oil every 5,000 miles, you may want to consider doing this more frequently if you often drive on dirty roads, carry heavy loads, participate in high-speed driving or tend to accelerate heavily.
How to check the car oil level
Checking car engine oil is very simple. The first thing you need to do is pop your bonnet open and locate the dipstick.
Remove the dipstick and wipe it with a tissue.
Put the dipstick back into the oil for a few seconds.
Remove the dipstick and check where the oil comes up to, noting two lines.
Your oil should be topped up to the maximum (top) line on the dipstick.
It’s important not to let the oil drop below the minimum (bottom) line, as this will cause the engine to quickly wear and fail.
How do I find the correct engine oil?
If you check your car manual, it will tell you exactly what type of oil you need to put in your engine for it to run efficiently.
Oil is fairly cheap and, in comparison to what you will pay a mechanic to fix your car if a major engine fault occurs, it’s worth keeping it topped up in your motor.
To keep your car in the optimum condition, ensure that you keep your oil topped up and ensure that other safety checks are carried out, such as your brake pads aren’t worn and that your tyres are correctly inflated and have legal tread.