Oil change queries
STANDING START - Lord Seno (The Freeman) - June 29, 2020 - 12:00am

A follower emailed me asking if she had to do an oil change even if her car was on standby for the last 3 months and if it is really necessary to change it every 5,000 kilometers. She also asked about an oil additive that her mechanic always recommends, if it’s really necessary.

Answer is, it depends. 

The mileage usually determines the increments of changing engine oil. But if you were a month shy of schedule after parking it during the quarantine, then I suggest that you have it changed once the roads and service centers are open. If your car just had an oil change, then continue to follow the service schedule of your dealer. If you’re having it done by a reputable car shop, then make sure you note the odometer reading.

With regards to the increments of oil change, oil chemistry has improved tremendously since the days of the 5,000 km oil change rule of thumb. Engines have also improved by leaps and bounds.

Reputable Oil Brands now recommend changing oils every 10,000 kilometers using Fully Synthetic Engine Oil. These types of premium oils provide superior anti-wear protectioned in Motorsports.It has high tolerance to heat and added detergents additives, making it last longer than a synthetic blend or a mineral blend. This type of oil is quite pricey but it is worth every centavo, given the quality and the longer intervals of oil change.

Don’t worry about the myth of damaging the engine if you change from mineral to synthetic oils. That is not true as synthetic oils are just blended out of mineral oils, with additives added to make it perform better. Unless you didn’t do a good job with maintaining your car, upgrading to a better oil will not damage your engine, It will actually make it perform better and last longer.

In high-end cars, there are oil life monitoring systems, which notify the driver when an oil change is needed. This is becoming a standard in many new high-end models. Instead of using the standby miles driven method, the technology monitors engine revolutions, operating temperatures and other factors to optimize the change interval selection.

It is best to always refer to your owner’s manual for your vehicle manufacturer’s oil change interval recommendation.

As for the additives, honestly, adding commercially available additives to your oil is unnecessary, if you use a good quality oil from a reputable brand.These quality oils are already formulated with additives to ensure optimal engine performance.Additional additives may just dilute the effectiveness of the oil or even upset the oil chemistry.

As I have said before, it is always best to refer to your owner’s manual for information about the correct oil for your vehicle.

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