Does your car need an oil change? Everything you need to knowBy Kijiji Autos
The job of the engine oil
Your car’s oil pulls double duty. Not only does it act as a lubricant for the mechanical parts of the car, but it also protects the engine. The oil prevents the build-up of small particles that form every time the car is started.
In addition to the particles it collects, the engine oil goes through massive temperature swings thanks to the combustion cycle. That’s why it’s crucial not to just keep it topped up but change it at regular intervals.
How often should you change your oil?
The answer to that varies from car to car. You’ll want to check your user manual to get the manufacturer’s recommended intervals. As a general guideline, most modern petrol engines can go roughly 15,000 km between changes.
Sometimes your car will consume enough oil between changes to need a top-up. When this happens, it should flash a light on the dash to let you know. Park your car on a flat surface and pop the hood to locate the oil dipstick. Pull it out, wipe it off, then reinsert it. Now when you pull it out again, check the level. If it’s below the minimum mark, top it up with the correct grade of oil—also something you’ll find in your user manual.
What about diesel cars?
Diesel cars run different fuel, but they still require oil! Just like with their petrol-powered counterparts, you’ll want to check the user manual to determine the right oil grade for your diesel car. The general rule of thumb puts oil change intervals slightly longer in diesels—think 25,000 to 30,000 km—but to be sure, check that in your user manual, too.
Don’t forget the oil filter
The oil filter is an essential part of the package. It traps the particles that find their way into the oil. Filters can come in multiple types, including magnetic, centrifugal, sedimentation and mechanical. Most modern cars use the latter style.
If you’re changing your engine oil, it’s generally a good idea to change the filter, as well. On older cars, it’s recommended you change the filter every 10,000 km.
How long does an oil change take and cost?
The answer to that depends on your ability—and desire—to do an oil change on your own. Naturally, it can be cheaper than taking it to a mechanic, but make sure you have all the necessary tools, including a wrench set, jack, funnel, rags and old oil pan.
Most auto shops will do an oil change in around 30 minutes. Prices vary too, especially if your car has an unusual oil filter. Call ahead to confirm the details.
Easily find your next ride on Kijiji AutosSearch now
How to plan a classic Canadian road trip in your hybrid or electric car
From the Atlantic seaboard to the vast expanse of the Pacific ocean, the beauty of Canada's landscape has beckoned drivers to explore the country, inspiring some of the most epic road trips. If you want to add your name to the growing list of cross-country travelers, here's how you can prepare...
How to take care of your hybrid or electric vehicle
Hybrid and electric vehicles have proven to work wonders when it comes to lowering greenhouse gas emissions, but they still need proper care and maintenance to run properly. If you own or are considering buying an eco-friendly car, here are some ways to keep your vehicle in peak...
5 simple things to check before your next winter road trip
Whether you're planning your family's next big winter road trip or simply want to prepare your car for winter driving, it's important to know what to look for. Make sure to check these five frequently overlooked elements to ensure that your car is ready to complete a winter journey safely. Your...
Tackling your first winter of driving in Canada
To say Canada has some pretty drastic weather changes over one calendar year is an understatement. Summer driving here is much like the rest of the world, but our winters are a whole different experience. If the upcoming winter driving season is your first, here are some tips on how to make the...
How to prepare for driving in the snow
Whether you've recently moved provinces or are gearing up for your first winter behind the wheel, driving in the snow can often be an unnerving experience. It takes a special approach and lots of patience to get comfortable driving on slippery surfaces. These tips are designed to help you master...
How to maintain your car's engine during the winter
If you want a safe and smooth driving experience during the harsh winter months, a well-maintained engine is essential. Fortunately, a little bit of effort goes a long way. Here are our top tips to help you keep your engine running smoothly through the snowy months. Your well-being remains our...
Tips to lengthen your car's lifespan without overspending
Whether you're saving up for something special or trying to be more wary of daily costs, living on a budget can be difficult. Owning a vehicle can make matters even more complicated thanks to rising fuel costs and potential repairs. Is there an easy way to guarantee that your car operates...
What are glow plugs and what do they do?
You might hear the term glow plug and immediately think that it's just a fancy name for ""spark plug"", and a mechanic is trying to make your car trouble sound worse than it is. But don't be misled: spark plugs and glow plugs (also spelled ""glowplugs"" or ""glow-plugs"") are actually different.
How does your car's electrical system work?
Cars have been so integral to our lives that we tend to take for granted how they work. We know a car needs gas, but we barely spend any time learning about the very thing that keeps the car running: the car's electrical system. Your well-being remains our top priority. Please seriously consider...
What do my car’s safety features actually do?
With every passing year, safety systems in vehicles continue to become increasingly complex. New cars now come standard with a number of safety features that would have been considered premium add-ons only a few years prior. While some newly developed innovations are still optional—for the time...