To keep a car’s engine in good condition, its components must be checked regularly. After a while, the oil will also need to be changed to maintain engine performance.
The importance of oil
The engine oil plays several roles in the functioning of the latter. Its primary function is to lubricate the various mechanical parts to limit friction and wear. It also regulates the temperature, because the less friction there is, the less heat is generated.
Thanks to its chemical composition, it protects the engine against corrosion. This property is often improved by the presence of additives present in the oil. It also has a cleaning role since it carries with it the residues created by mechanical friction. Dirty particles are entrained at the very bottom of the crankcase and then accompany the oil in the filter where they will be trapped.
When the filter is saturated, it can no longer retain impurities and the engine could be damaged. This filter must therefore be renewed regularly. But also, the quality of the oil degrades over time due to its aging. This aging process varies depending on how you stress your engine.
In general, the oil should be changed after the duration of use recommended by the manufacturers. This duration varies from 10,000 to 30,000 km, depending on the model. In addition to monitoring the quality of the oil, one must also keep an eye on its level. The oil is indeed subject to evaporation phenomena due to the high temperature to which it is exposed. Some cars have real-time oil level information systems. In this case, you just have to wait for the level calculator to display an insufficient quantity before carrying out an oil leveling.
Oil for your drain
The most important property in an oil is its viscosity. A viscous oil is more pasty and a fluid oil is finer. When it is fluid, it can be pumped more easily and quickly reach the different areas of the engine when starting. When it is more viscous, it does not break when the engine is in high activity.
The viscosity of the oil should vary depending on its temperature. Notations such as 20W50 represent this variation. The first number is cold viscosity and the second number is hot viscosity. The letter W (winter) represents the climatic condition under which these measures were taken. This rating is present on the oil cans and can be accompanied by the SAE, API or ACEA ratings. SAE in this case, indicates the standard respected by the oil according to its viscosity.
The ACEA standard indicates the quality of the oil according to several criteria. The API standard distinguishes oils according to the types of engines they target, whether they are old or recent. You should know that the old engines used so-called mineral oil. This type of oil is in fact refined oil, very polluting and requiring frequent draining. Newer engines have started using semi-synthetic oil. It is a mixture composed of mineral lubricant and synthetic oil. Its use has made it possible to lengthen the interval between two oil changes and to better preserve the engine.
The purely synthetic oil was designed in the laboratory and has been treated thoroughly to meet the needs of recent engines. Using a synthetic or semi-synthetic oil on a vintage car is therefore not a good idea. The additives contained in these oils can be harmful to an old engine.
Many car manufacturers are now establishing their own standards that are supposed to suit their engines. You should therefore refer to their recommendations regarding the choice of your oil. Also, be careful when adjusting the oil level. Use an oil identical to that already present. Mixing two different oils can alter their properties and make the mixture harmful to your engine. Otherwise, you will need to change with new oil.
How to drain the engine?
Before replacing your oil, you must first make sure that the replacement oil complies with the manufacturer’s recommendation. Unsuitable oil can accelerate the wear and tear on your engine and reduce the frequency of your oil changes. If you have the right oil and the right tools in hand, you can change the oil.
Depending on the model of your car, emptying can be complicated. If this is the case for your vehicle, call on a trusted professional garage owner to carry it out. Otherwise, first, drain the used oil by opening the crankcase screw located in the lower position. Collect the oil and possibly the filter in a tank. Then add new oil to remove the last residue present in the crankcase.
The day of the oil change is also the time when it is recommended to change the oil filter. Just remove it, clean the contacts and the supports and place the new filter. Close the cover screw and fill the tank with three quarters of the quantity recommended by the manufacturer. Wait for the oil to drain and then prime the pressure system by starting the car. Then switch off the ignition when the oil warning light comes on. Finish filling the tank, avoiding excess.
To find the level of lubricant in the reservoir, use the dipstick. Immerse it in the tank then reassemble it. The optimum oil level should be between the maximum and minimum level indicator. If it is below, gradually fill the tank in small quantities, taking a measurement each time. If it greatly exceeds the maximum recommended level, it could cause malfunctions when the engine is used. Use a pump to reduce the level.
Finally, the used oil that you collected after draining should never be used as fuel. It can generate greenhouse gases and toxic gases. If released into the wild, it will severely degrade the environment. It is therefore prohibited to dispose of the drained oil on the public highway. Offer them to energy recovery centers, recycling centers, car centers or similar centers. They will take care of their recycling. In this case, note that recycling 3 liters of used oil produces 1 liter of new oil.