For trouble-free operation of the internal combustion engine, the use of engine oil recommended by the automaker is required, as well as compliance with the correct algorithm for replacing and topping it up. We looked into the details of this issue and identified five typical mistakes when handling engine oil.
1. Oil change exactly as recommended by the manufacturer
Most car manufacturers recommend replacing engine oil in passenger cars in the range of 10 thousand-20 thousand km. It would seem that it is easier to pour new oil after the mileage specified in the specifications. However, these recommendations are based on the operation of the machine in ideal or, more precisely, average conditions.
It is more correct to make adjustments for a number of factors. If you regularly drive in traffic jams or other extreme conditions (for example, transporting a heavy load or driving in a sporty manner), it is recommended to change the lubricant at around half of the recommended limit. For example, if the oil change is recommended for 15 thousand km, it is worth updating the lubricant at about 8 thousand km.
2. Too Much Engine Oil
Lots of oil may be good for making potato chips, but overfilling the engine oil leads to unpleasant consequences. At least, the oil seals and gaskets will suffer from excessive pressure, and the oil will most likely start leaking.
In addition, an increase of oil pressure may cause the greasing of spark plugs up to their total malfunction, loss of engine pick-up and fuel overspending. High oil pressure also puts an additional burden on the gear oil pump, increases the carbon deposition in cylinders and causes oil foaming, which disrupts lifters and deteriorates the lubrication engine’s high load elements.
By the way, you can cope the overflow by pumping or draining the oil. In the first case, a special syringe and a rubber tube are used, in the second, a drain plug is strained on the sump tray, and the latter method is complex and is not recommended without advanced mechanical skills.
3. Not Enough Motor Oil
When the engine is running with insufficient oil volume (on the dipstick-below the “Minimum” mark), air jams may form in the engine that will block the oil ducts. As a result, the engine runs dry, which is fraught with rapid wear of the camshaft, piston rings, crankshaft neck and other moving elements.
In the end, operating a car with a lack of oil causes the risk of jammed pistons. Note also that modern vehicles are equipped with a sensor that signals a low oil level by an icon on the dashboard (oiler). The reasons for the lowered oil level can be leakage through the gaskets of the valve cover, cylinder head, oil filter, as well as mechanical damage to the oil line and wear of the moving elements of the engine. In any case, check the oil level by putting the car on a flat surface (without slopes) and with a cold engine.
4. Constant topping up of oil instead of replacement
As you know, many car owners, having discovered the fact of increased consumption of engine oil, prefer not to find out the reasons for what is happening, and are limited to regular refilling of the lubricant. This practice is likely to bring the demise of the engine closer.
The fact is that the new oil, while mixed with the old, quickly becomes polluted and loses its performance. First of all, the base of the oil degrades, it becomes more liquid, and the additives lose their properties. In the future, the practice of constant topping up can lead to the formation of scratches, carbon deposits and other serious problems. And if you are topping up for a long time, do not forget to change the oil filter. Its service term is approximately equal to the resource of engine oil.
5. Mixing Motor Oils that aren’t supposed to be mixed
One of the worst mistakes when replacing oil is to reduce its quality. In other words, it is allowed to add semisynthetics to mineral oil, and synthetics to semisynthetics oil of the same manufacturer, but never the contrary. It is also strictly forbidden to mix motor products and transmission oils for gasoline and diesel engines, add oil intended for trucks to the engine of a “passenger car”, and ignore the API (American) and ACEA (European) standards.
And Vice versa – the coincidence of the API or ACEA indexes of new and old oils reduces the risk of dangerous chemical reactions. Mixing motor oils of different brands will also be a mistake. But it is not so terrible to combine lubricants from the same manufacturer or brand. The fact is that different models of the same manufacturer have common basic elements and similar additives, unlike analogues of other brands.