Oil change and fluid checks: keeping your engine running strong

Before hitting the road, it's important to ensure that your vehicle is in good condition. One key aspect of this is performing pre-trip car inspections, including checking the oil and other fluids under the hood. Regular oil changes and fluid checks are essential to keeping your engine running smoothly and avoiding costly repairs down the line.

Why regular oil changes are important

Oil plays a crucial role in lubricating and protecting your engine's moving parts. Over time, however, oil breaks down and becomes less effective at doing its job. Regularly changing your oil ensures that your engine is running on fresh, high-quality oil that can provide maximum protection.

Role of engine oil in lubricating and protecting engine

The engine oil serves as a lubricant for the moving parts of your engine, reducing friction and heat while preventing wear and tear. It also helps to remove impurities and contaminants from the engine, reducing the risk of damage and prolonging its lifespan.

Consequences of not changing oil regularly

If you neglect to change your oil regularly, your engine will be forced to run on dirty, contaminated oil. This can lead to decreased performance, reduced fuel efficiency, and even engine damage. In extreme cases, it could even result in a complete engine failure, which can be a costly repair.

How often to change oil to keep engine running strong

The frequency at which you should change your oil depends on a few factors, including the make and model of your car, your typical driving conditions, and the type of oil you use. As a general rule, most experts recommend changing your oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, or every six months to a year if you don't drive that much. However, it's always a good idea to check your owner's manual for specific recommendations for your vehicle.

How to check engine's oil level

Checking your engine's oil level is a simple process that you can easily do yourself at home. Start by locating the oil dipstick under the hood of your car. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean with a rag, and reinsert it back in the dipstick tube. Wait a moment, and then pull out the dipstick again to check the oil level. The oil should register between the "full" and "add" marks on the dipstick. If it's low, add more oil as needed.

Other fluid checks to keep engine running smoothly

In addition to checking your engine oil, you should also regularly check other fluids under the hood, including the transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant. These fluids are essential to the proper functioning of your vehicle, and running low or dirty fluids can cause a range of problems. Check your owner's manual for instructions on how to check these fluid levels.

When to schedule next oil change and fluid check

It's important to stay on top of your car's maintenance schedule, including scheduling regular oil changes and fluid checks. Check your owner's manual for specific recommendations for your vehicle, but as a general rule, you should aim to have your oil changed every 5,000 to 7,500 miles or every six months to a year, whichever comes first. You should also schedule a fluid check at the same time to ensure that all of your car's essential fluids are at the proper levels.

Choosing right type of oil and fluids for engine

  • When choosing oil for your engine, it's important to choose the right type and viscosity for your particular vehicle. Check your owner's manual for recommendations.
  • When choosing other fluids for your car, such as transmission fluid or coolant, make sure to choose the type recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer.
  • Using the wrong type or viscosity of oil or fluid can cause damage to your engine or other systems in your car.

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