Let's start with the basics! Regular car servicing. It’s one of those things that you know you should do!
But... the car is running well - and really I would much rather buy a new handbag or pair of shoes... The problem with this is - by time you find out you really should have serviced the car instead of going shopping, it can be too late and very costly.
The Function of Engine Oil
Most people logically know they need to service their cars, and also that it includes an oil change, but don’t really understand why they need to do this. Oil (and the oil filter) play a critical role in the day to day running of the car. The most obvious job oil has is the lubrication of all the moving parts. What a lot of people don’t know, is that the grade of oil is just as important as changing the oil itself. In our shop at any given time we have anywhere from 8-15 different grades of engine oil alone.
Over time, oil gets thicker, because it acts like the washing up soap when you do your dishes. At some point it is all used up and no longer cleaning the dishes effectively. Oil is like this soap. It gets to the point where it has collected all the dirt, metal filings, and contaminants that it physically can’t absorb any more. When it reaches this point it becomes thick or sludgy.
Oil Filter and O-Rings
Now, considering the main job oil has is to do - lubricate the engine -, when oil has become sludgy, things start to seize. When an engine seizes, it is finished and needs to be replaced - very expensive. The oil filter helps to catch some of these contaminants, thus also the oil filter needs to be changed regularly. Oil filters also have rubber o-rings - which, if left for too long unattended, will eventually go hard and start leaking. These leaks usually prompt drivers to take the cars in for service, however it is also a clear prompt that the car hasn’t been serviced for a long time.
Different Oil Grades
Now, in regards to the grades of oil. There are so many different types of oil, because the way engines are built decides on the viscosity needed to keep the moving parts moving. If you put in oil that is too thick or too thin, it can cause catastrophic engine failure, making what grade oil you put in just as important as the oil change itself.
I have seen all too often people not servicing their cars and then coming in when there is a knocking noise. All too often the oil is so sludgy, it’s almost solid... We can sometimes recover the engine, although it is expensive, messy and very labour intensive. However on occasion the engine exchange is not possible and the customer has to replace the whole engine or scrap the car.
A Regular Comprehensive Inspection
With an oil change, or service, as we call it, we also do a full 65 Point Vehicle Inspection Report on the car and top up all of the other fluids. Regular maintenance is always better - you know how the saying goes: if you service your car regularly, you will never know why you need to do it!
So the next time your service reminder light comes up on your dash, or your service reminder text comes through - don’t just ignore it because the car seems to run fine. If cost is an issue for you at the time, ring and speak to your mechanic - as they can maybe just do an oil and filter change instead, to tide you over until you can afford a full service. We also have payment options available.