Changing engine oil: Tips and information

The oil in your car engine is very important. The lubricating properties of the engine oil protect the engine in several ways and ensure that your car can roll many reliable miles.

The oil prevents corrosion (rust), counteracts soot formation, and ensures that the engine does not wear out prematurely.

Driving with old engine oil or incorrect oil can cause your engine to run out of fuel, wear out internal components far too quickly, or in the worst case, cause the engine to crash.

It is important to follow the car manufacturer’s recommendations so that your engine feels as good as possible.

In this article, we will talk about a few different things that are good to know and think about when you need to change engine oil.

Changing Engine Oil

Why is engine oil needed?

The main task of engine oil is to lubricate your engine. An engine consists of many components that are in motion and the oil helps to prevent the friction between these parts. This counteracts unnecessary wear and erosion.

The engine oil also helps to cool your engine. The oil dissipates heat and without oil your engine would become very hot and wear out.

One feature that many may not think of is that the oil also helps keep your engine clean. The oil removes dirt and particles that are captured and filtered in the oil filter.

Oil also helps prevent corrosion, ie rust.

Why change oil?

The oil collects dirt and particles from the engine. A lot is filtered out in the oil filter, but over time the oil becomes full of dirt which means that it does not lubricate and cools optimally.

Both engine oil and oil filter therefore need to be changed at regular intervals to maintain all their good properties.

How often should you change engine oil?

How often to change oil depends on a few different factors.

Usually you change the oil after about 1500 miles. But there are also so-called longlife oils that do not need to be changed until 3000 km.

Sometimes it can also be good to change the oil even if you have not driven that far. If you only drive your car for short distances sometimes, it can still be a good idea to change the oil every year.

Information on when exactly when your engine oil should be changed can be seen in your car’s instruction manual or by contacting a workshop.

Do you have to change the engine oil?

Yes, you need to change the engine oil in your engine if you want it to feel good and work optimally. Driving thousands of miles without changing the oil will probably eventually cause your engine to break down.

Important with the right type of engine oil

There are several different types of oil. It is important that you choose the right type of oil for your car. Wrong oil wears out parts unnecessarily and can damage your engine.

To find the right oil for your particular car, you can read the instruction manual, ask a workshop, or in many cases search for the information on, for example, Google.

Mineral oil

Mineral oil is the simplest type of oil. It consists of refined rock oil.

Fully synthetic / synthetic oil

Fully synthetic oil is the crude oil that has been treated to have better properties than mineral oil at, for example, high and low temperatures.

Semi-synthetic / semi-synthetic oil

Semi-synthetic oil is a mixture of mineral oil and fully synthetic oil. This mixture gives you slightly better properties than pure mineral oil, but may not be quite as good as fully synthetic oil.

To find the right oil for your particular car, you can read the instruction manual, ask a workshop, or in many cases search for the information on, for example, Google.

Engine oil for different car models

Here you will find a list of different car models. Click on a model to see more information about which engine oil and how much oil each engine needs.

However, this does not necessarily mean that cheaper oils are bad. An ordinary Svensson car that is used in everyday life does not have to have the most expensive oil.

If you change the oil and filter regularly, it usually works well with all price ranges, as long as the oil is of the right type for your engine.

Important with the right oil level

It is not good to drive with too little or too much oil in the engine. It may be a good idea to check the oil level at some point in the month to ensure that the level is correct.

Staff at almost any manned gas station can help you check the oil level if you are unsure.

Many new modern cars can show oil level directly in the car’s computer / display. Read your instruction manual to find out exactly how to read the oil level in your car.

How much oil should you top up?

How much oil you need in your particular engine can be found in the car’s manual.

I recommend that you check the oil level at regular intervals to avoid damage to your engine.

Too little oil in the engine

Too little oil can impair the lubrication and cooling of the engine, which means that the car can draw more fuel and be exposed to unnecessary wear.

Too much oil in the engine

Too much oil is not good either. For example, some diesel cars may start to accelerate so that the engine more or less revs itself to death. It can also damage gaskets and cause leakage.

Simply make sure you have the right amount of oil in your engine!

What does it cost to change oil?

An oil change does not have to be expensive. It is usually a fairly quick job in a workshop, and if you are handy, it is not very difficult to change oil yourself.

Tips if you need to change engine oil yourself

What you need to change engine oil is the following.

  • New engine oil in the right amount and of the right type
  • A new oil filter
  • A new oil plug with gasket
  • A lift or jack to access under the car
  • Tools for loosening oil filters and plugs (exactly what you need for tools varies from car to car)

Changing oil is a fairly simple procedure. You lift the car and drain oil. Loosen the oil filter and let the oil drain out. Insert a new filter and a new plugin the oil pan. Fill the engine with the right amount of oil. Start the car and double-check so that there is no leakage.

Do not drive the car hard immediately after an oil change. Let it idle a bit so that the new oil reaches everywhere in all ducts and parts of the engine.

It is also more difficult to change the oil when the engine is icy cold. Remember that cold oil is thicker and flows more slowly. This means that you may not get as much out of the old oil when changing. Run the engine warm a little just before the oil change and it will be easier.

Be careful not to burn yourself when you drain the old oil!

Keep in mind that if you have a car with a warranty, you should return the car to an authorized service center. This ensures that the service book is filled in correctly and that the guarantee still applies. Contact a workshop to find out exactly what applies to your car.

If you change the oil yourself, remember to recycle the old oil correctly! Absolutely do not pour it down the drain or anywhere else. Instead, hand it in at an environmental station or recycling station.

Engine oil different colors

If you inspect your oil, it may have slightly different colors. You can see what the oil looks like either on the dipstick or sometimes in the oil cap on the engine. You can also see what the oil looks like if you change the oil yourself and drain the old oil.

This means the different colors of the oil.

Yellow / clear engine oil

New and fresh oil is yellow and clear in color. When you drive your car with new oil, it does not take long before it starts to go in the darker black direction.

Brown engine oil

If the engine oil is brown, it means that for some reason it has been mixed with water. It can be so simple that it is condensation water, which is not entirely uncommon in winter if you drive shorter distances.

If you see “brown foam” in the oil cap, it usually means that it is condensation water. Then warm up the engine properly to see if the discoloration disappears. If the oil does not return to its dark black color then it may mean that it is leaking coolant water . Then you need to repair your engine!

If your oil is brown, you should contact a workshop to find out what is causing the discoloration.

Black engine oil

It is normal for the oil to turn dark and black when you drive with it for a while. This is due to dirt and soot from your engine and there is usually nothing to worry about.

Can you drive without engine oil?

Can and can… It is really not recommended to run an engine without oil. As we have mentioned several times in this article, engine oil has many important properties that keep your engine fresh and healthy.

Summary of engine oil

Change your oil in time and use the right type of oil. The engine oil lubricates, cleans and cools your engine. It is better to change too often than too seldom.

It is easy to change yourself, but keep in mind that engine guarantees usually do not apply if you do not change the oil in a workshop that can fill in the service book correctly after the change.

If you change yourself, do not forget to buy a new oil filter as well!

Never pour oil into drains or nature! Hand it into someone who can take care of the oil and recycle it properly.