Motor oil is necessary for a functioning car, and changing it regularly will keep the vehicle running smoothly. Though a large variety exists for purchase, it isn’t too difficult to pick the right kind for your engine. You’ll save energy and more fuel as a result.
How does engine oil work?
The oil works by traveling through multiple parts of your car’s inner machinery. By doing this, it lubricates parts that come into frequent contact with each other and prevents them from grinding against each other. While it keeps them operating smoothly, the motor oil also picks up and moves dirt and debris away from the machinery.
Because of this, motor oil needs regular changing. As its used, it loses its ability to keep the engine clean and lubricated. Friction between the car’s various parts can eventually cause them to negatively affect each other. It also loses its viscosity over time.
How long does motor oil last?
If you aren’t planning on using the motor oil all at once, you should know it’ll last for up to five years unopened. The exact time varies based on the brand and composition of the oil, but engine oil in general is quite shelf stable. Keep it in a dark, dry place that won’t experience extreme temperatures.
As for the oil already in your car, the recommended oil-change frequency is every three months or about 5,000 miles. Many cars can go several thousand more miles before it’s necessary thanks to improvements in oil quality and car manufacturing. It can be changed more frequently if desired.
What amount of motor oil should you use?
That depends on your vehicle. Between 5 to 8 quarts of engine oil is usually how much a car takes, but it varies based on the size of the engine. Smaller engines use closer to 5; larger ones use closer to 8. Your vehicle’s owner manual will likely have a recommendation on how much your vehicle needs.
It’s also important to consider your climate and how often you drive, since these can affect how quickly the oil wears down. Certain oils, like synthetics, are designed to retain their slickness in colder temperatures; others are designed to go in cars that drive a higher number of miles. If you want to ward off an upcoming oil change for a short time, you can add another quart of motor oil to the tank until you’re ready.