Driving a vehicle isn’t just about turning the ignition and heading outdoors. Every once in a while, you need to maintain the automobile. Vehicle maintenance usually involves inspecting, repairing, or replacing parts. Even the engine oil gets old every few hundred miles and requires replacement. However, there are several errors that people make when swapping out old oil with a fresh batch. Here are seven of them that you should avoid.
Making the change on a cool engine
Oil tends to get sluggish and thick when it cools down. So draining it at cooler temperatures could take time to get the job done. Moreover, the residue in this thick liquid may remain in the engine parts and cause problems later on. Therefore, before you drain the engine oil, ensure that the engine runs on idle for about five to ten minutes, based on the climatic conditions. The process heats the oil and makes it more liquid, ensuring that most of the old engine oil is drained correctly.
Improper drain plug installation
The drain plug ensures that the engine oil stays inside, except when maintenance is carried out. However, many people are unaware of how tight they should screw on the drain plug following the oil replacement process. Some individuals make the plug excessively tight, which results in it getting jammed permanently. Others leave it loose, which could lead to the plug falling off in the middle of a journey. This can lead to losing oil, increasing friction between its components, and leading to damage inside the engine. To ensure that the drain plug is put back properly, you must tighten it with your fingers until the gasket touches the surface of the drain pan. Follow this with a tool to rotate the plug to sit firmly in place.
Not keeping track of mileage
The engine oil needs to be changed out after one of two conditions are met. This includes the oil being used for a couple of months or surpassing a particular amount of miles. But many people do not keep track of the mileage, which could make it difficult to assess if the oil is burnt and requires a change. Changing out oil too early may also harm the component. So when you replace the oil, or get it changed at the garage, ensure that you mark its current mileage and the date it was changed. Doing so will help you determine when the oil needs to be swapped out again.
In a rush to get the job done quickly, people often buy vehicle oil for the price quoted by a retailer. And while one may not realize it, the oil could have cost them much more than they should have paid. Therefore, when you are out shopping for engine oil, do your research and check multiple retail stores for the best price. You could also check online and compare rates to find the best deal. Manufacturers may also issue oil coupons when you take your vehicle for service. Saving even a couple of dollars off engine oil helps reduce maintenance costs over time.
Using the same oil filter
The oil in an engine churns around for anywhere between a couple of hundred to a thousand miles before a change. Anto d over time, residue may also build up in this oil due to the constant friction of moving parts inside the engine. An oil filter collects and traps these contaminants so that it does not interfere with the engine. But a common problem here is that people who replace their engine oil sometimes use the same filter again to save some dollars. But in doing so, they risk obstructing the flow of the necessary oil to the engine, which can cause immense damage to the component. So when replacing the oil, ensure the oil filter is replaced to improve the life of the vehicle and avoid unnecessary repair costs.
Using the wrong oil
Several manufacturers create a series of engine oils that have attractive labels and come at competitive prices. Family and friends may also recommend other types of oil for the engine. However, a vehicle engine is designed with certain oil passage sizes and bearing clearances requiring a specific engine oil viscosity. And while the alternative engine oil might come at a more affordable price, using it may damage the engine. Moreover, the deteriorated engine will require repairs on a regular basis in the long haul, which could cost a significant amount of money. Therefore, it’s better to go with the brand and viscosity of oil that is recommended by a vehicle manufacturer.
Forgetting to refit the oil filler cap
Some individuals may fill the engine with the correct oil but forget to place the oil filler cap once the work is complete. Forgetting to do this may result in oil spewing out of the filler hole into the engine compartment when the vehicle is turned on. This could also lead to surfaces like the hood, front tires, and surrounding area getting stained with oil, which could be tedious and expensive to clean up. So when you fill the oil, make sure to secure the filler hole with the cap to avoid such mishaps.