On average, Australians drove around 19 million vehicles for approximately 255 billion kilometers, with an average of 13.4. During April and May 2020, the total Vehicle kilometer driven (VKD) dropped to roughly 70 percent in Australia.
Due to the rise in home deliveries of foods, medicines, gifts, and groceries, the total vehicle kilometer driven continues to remain low post covid. Working from home is another reason which has added to lesser kilometers being traveled by a vehicle.
Have you imagined the impact on the car when it is being driven lesser than usual? Do you consider that the oil change in the car is needed even then?
The answer is yes. You might be wondering how your car’s oil change schedule would be impacted if you haven’t been driving fewer kilometers. To understand this, we first need to know how the engine functions.
A lot of friction happens in the engine as everything moves and rotates, including the camshaft, cylinder block, pistons, crankshaft, etc.
The engine oil plays a crucial role as it lubricates every moving part and prevents any parts from getting damaged due to friction. Engine oil also reduces the temperature to save any damage caused due to overheating.
It is natural to believe that you should not worry about car maintenance that much if you do not use your vehicle much. But this is not true. Even if you do not drive much, you still have to go and get your oil replaced after continuous intervals.
Let us understand why oil changes are crucial and decide whether to adjust your vehicle’s regular maintenance schedule if you drive the vehicle less.
How often should you change the oil?
Your car’s user manual includes an oil change plan that is either time-based or mileage-based. Additionally, it suggests changing your oil after the recommended intervals have passed.
How often to change engine oil in Australia? Changing your oil when the time-based interval has passed is crucial because engine oil deteriorates over time. Depending on your car’s model year and driving circumstances, you should vary your engine oil every 7,000 to 15,000 kilometers.
A lot of people frequently ask the question, “When to change the oil”? Oil changes should generally be performed every 3-5k miles, every 3-6 months, or at least twice a year.
However, in modern times, this rule is redundant. Nowadays, most cars can travel more than 3,000 miles without changing the oil, but it is recommended to check the user manual and follow the car manual for an oil change. While changing your oil too often will only do a little harm apart from wasting your money, changing it less frequently than recommended will damage the mechanical parts of your car.
Newer automobiles frequently don’t require oil changes as frequently as older ones, and those that utilize synthetic oil can operate longer between replacements than those that use mineral oil. In any case, you should check your oil at least once every month to make sure it isn’t low or dirty.
There are generally four recommended levels for changing oil:
Change oil every 1,000 miles:
If you drive less frequently, you should change the oil every 1,000 miles as the engine needs to get sufficiently hot to boil the condensation formed in the engine, which causes oil to break down.
Change oil every 3,000 miles:
If you are driving an older model car, you should change the oil every 3,000 miles, as it was the norm back then.
Change oil every 5000 to 7500 miles:
If you are driving a modern vehicle, according to AAA (Australian Automobile Association), you should change engine oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
Change oil every 10,000 to 15,000 miles:
If your car runs on synthetic oil, you should change the oil between 10,000 two 15,000 miles as the oil is more efficient and lasts longer.
However, you should make sure that these are recommended levels, and to make your engine run perfectly, you should change the oil every six months, even if you still need to finish the mentioned kilometers.
To know when to change your car’s oil, you can also perform a car diagnostic test by examining the oil. If your car’s oil has an opaque, dark, and gloomy color instead of clear brown-black color, then it is best to change the oil as soon as possible.
What happens if you don’t change your oil?
If you clean the oil regularly, your car will function properly. It serves various purposes, including avoiding dirt buildup, cooling your engine, and protecting engine components from wear and tear. What happens if you don’t change your oil? If you don’t replace the oil in your car at the prescribed time, there will be a lot of mechanical issues. These consist of the following:
- Wearing of components: Contaminated or dirty oil cannot provide sufficient lubrication to protect the engine’s components from wearing out.
- Overheating of engine: Apart from the coolant system, engine oil also plays a role in the cooling of the car’s engine, and contaminated oil fails to do so efficiently.
- Dirt Buildup in the engine: The engine oil plays a vital role in cleaning your engine from dirt and debris accumulation, reducing the engine’s lifetime. Aged engine oil, which has turned to gel or sludge, cannot clean the dirt and debris buildup.
- More fuel consumption: Old engine oil, which has turned into gel or sludge, makes the engine work harder for the same amount of power. It results in more fuel consumption.
- Voided Warranty: It happens when you do not perform the recommended car maintenance, including changing the oil after a specific distance or time interval.
If You Don’t Drive Often, What Kind Of Motor Oil Should You Use?
What blood is to a human, engine oil is to a car. Any vehicle cannot operate without engine oil.
Even when temperatures inside the motor approach 120 degrees, it protects your car parts from deterioration. As a result, buying the incorrect grade of engine oil for a car or choosing one of lower quality can have disastrous consequences.
There are three types of motor oil available in the market which you can choose from:
- Mineral Oil– Older car models are best suited for mineral oils. These are far less expensive but require regular oil changes.
- Synthetic Oil– High-performing engines benefit from synthetic oils’ improved fuel efficiency and reduced demand for oil changes.
- Semi-Synthetic Oil– Motor oil, both synthetic and mineral, is known as semi-synthetic oil. In this oil, many qualities and advantages of complete synthetic oil are present but at a cheaper cost.
Although each oil has its advantages and disadvantages, Mineral oil is best suited for cars that aren’t driven often.
What about the oil filter?
The oil filter aids in removing pollutants from your car engine’s oil that may collect over time as the oil maintains the cleanliness of your engine. Engine oil is integral in removing contaminants such as dust, debris, and metallic particles from the engine.
Like your engine oil, replace the oil filter after a fixed time. Older vehicles follow the rule of changing vehicle oil every 3,000 miles. Most manufacturers recommend changing the oil filter every second time you change your vehicle’s oil, i.e., after every 6,000 miles.
Modern cars, typically follow the cycle of changing oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. It is recommended to change the oil filter every time you change the vehicle’s oil.
Can you change the oil by yourself?
Oil change for your car is one of the foundational tasks and can be done by yourself.
It’s an easy operation that takes a few tools, and it’s a sure-shot method to save money while avoiding the pain of spending time reading obsolete magazines in a monotonous waiting area.
Consult the owner’s manual to ensure the type and quantity of oil needed before making a trip to the auto parts store to purchase supplies. Now, follow these steps to change the oil in your car.
- Check the type and quantity of the oil that your car needs
- To replace the oil, collect the oil, oil filter, and other tools
- Find the oil filter and drain the plug
- Drain the old oil
- Replace the plug and tighten it
- Change the oil filter
- Add the required amount of oil
- Check oil levels and leaks
By following the simple steps above, you can efficiently perform an oil change in the car. But with car service prices rising, it’s time to get back beneath the car and start making significant financial savings.
The complete process takes only about 30 minutes, and you save around $40-120. Similarly, car diagnostic test prices are escalating, and you can do the same yourself.
However, if you are busy and need more time to change the oil, you can any day take the car and visit some of the best mechanics in Perth.
Will skipping your daily commute allow you to postpone your upcoming oil change appointment? Think again. Even if you don’t drive much, you still need to change your oil after a stipulated time. These are the recommended timings to change your oil; every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, every 3- 6 months, or at least two times annually.
Car oil helps in running your car efficiently. It prevents dirt buildup, cools your engine, and guards against the deterioration of engine parts, among other things. Auto mechanic problems will come up if you don’t follow the procedure.
Each oil has benefits and drawbacks, but mineral oil is recommended for rarely driven cars. The entire process only takes around 30 minutes, and this diagnostic for the car will cost you $40-120 only! It’s time to get back under the car and start saving money by changing your oil yourself now that oil changes in cars are becoming more expensive.