When and Why to Change Your Motor Oil
Neglecting to change your motor oil can have two consequences:
- The oil will be dirty and will lose its effectiveness
- The oil will evaporate over time, reducing the oil level in the pan
In combination, these two problems can cause the engine to blow.
Frequency of Oil Changes
To protect your engine, it is important to change your motor oil regularly. Every engine has its own recommended interval for oil changes, ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 km or every one to two years. This interval is usually specified in the vehicle Owner’s Manual.
Here are a few characteristics that will help you determine which regimen to follow:
- The year of the vehicle
- The overall mileage, and more specifically, the number of kilometers driven since your last visit to the mechanic
- The type of engine (gas; direct or indirect diesel injection)
- Driving habits (short trips, on-road, highway, off-road, etc.)
Periodic maintenance must be more frequent the older your vehicle is and the more miles it has on it.
A Few Practical Tips
To optimize the performance of your oil, we recommend changing your oil filter every time you change your oil.
Before leaving on a trip, don’t forget to check your oil level. When your oil level is low, you can top it off, but make sure you use the type of oil recommended by the manufacturer.
If the level is too high (above the maximum), the excess must be drained off immediately or you'll risk overworking your engine. Overworking the engine can cause it to blow (in the case of a diesel engine) or can damage the crankcase assembly (in a gas engine).
When you change the oil, make sure to record the current odometer reading in your vehicle maintenance log.