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Changing the oil in the car - here are 8 tips

26 august, 2022

How long ago did you last check the oil level in the engine? This should be done at regular intervals. And it is especially important if you have an older car that may not be regularly serviced.

The oil is the car's equivalent of the blood in your body. Its main task is to lubricate the important parts of the engine so that they do not wear out. Therefore, it is important that you check the oil level from time to time, even if you do not change the oil yourself.

However, the oil has more functions than lubricating the engine. It helps cool the engine, dissolves dirt and keeps the engine clean and also seals gaskets and piston rings.

What does the dipstick tell you?

When you need to check the oil level, remove the dipstick and wipe it, and put it back. Then you pull it up again. Now you can check the oil level using the markings, but also take a look at the color of the oil - here are some things the dipstick can reveal to you:

  • Too low level: Add more oil, about half a liter at a time. Allow the car to stand still for 15 minutes between topping up and starting, so that all the oil has flowed back into the oil pan.

  • Too high level: It could be due to petrol leaking past worn piston rings. However, on a newer car, it is more likely that you have overfilled the oil, as such heavy wear is quite unlikely.

  • The oil is golden yellow: Means the oil is fresh and recently changed.

  • The oil is light brown: A warning sign. This means that the oil has been mixed with water. This could be due to coolant leaking in. Contact workshop.

  • The oil is black: Nothing to worry about. It is soot and other dirt that has dissolved and floats in the oil.

  • Brown foam on the dipstick and in the cap: Condensation has collected in the oil. It usually happens during short drives when the oil does not have time to get hot enough for the water to boil off. The next time you run the engine longer, the oil will return to normal.

How often should you buy oil for the car?

The simple answer to how often you should buy new oil for your car is to follow the car manufacturer's recommendations. In general, it is usually said that you should change the oil at least every two years - but ideally you should do it every year.

If you also have many cold starts, drive many short distances or often tow a caravan, it may be a good idea to change the oil at even more frequent intervals.

8 short tips regarding oil and oil changes

1. Check the oil level regularly. For example, in connection with washing the car.

Top up if necessary.

2. Change the oil according to the interval specified in the car's manual.

3. Do not overload the engine or rev it hard before it is warm.

4. Look at the price tag. Good oil costs a lot.

5. Always change the oil filter at the same time as the oil change.

6. Collect the oil and hand it over to a recycling centre.

7. Feel free to change the oil an extra time between service occasions if it is often exposed to heavy loads.

8. Ignore the various additives available for purchase. Good oil contains everything needed.

Oil change - price at different workshops

There are harder things in life than doing an oil change on your own. But most people still choose to take the car to a workshop to change the oil. Oil changes often take place in connection with servicing the car. At the same time, you also get a stamp in the service book, which you don't get if you change the oil yourself.

The price of an oil change can vary greatly, and it is important to choose carefully. There are those who do an oil change for a thousand, while a branded workshop can charge up to SEK 4,000. The price depends partly on how much oil is used, and what type of oil they use.

Which oil is best for the car?

When buying oil for the car, it is important that you choose a quality oil with the right viscosity. It's not just about taking the first best – or cheapest – oil you find on the shelf.

ACEA rating, sorry what did you say?

ACEA is a cooperation organization for European car manufacturers. Among other things, they develop motor oil classifications with particular regard to European engines and conditions of use.

To meet the requirements for a quality class, the oil must pass both laboratory and engine tests. As long as the engine oil meets these requirements, it doesn't matter which brand you choose!

What does viscosity mean?

The properties of motor oil have changed a lot over the years. Much of the development has been about trying to get less friction and thus lower fuel consumption. As a result of that research, we have seen how the viscosity classes have become lower and lower.

Oil with low viscosity has the property of being pumped around more easily in the car because it is more fluid than thicker oils. But if the oil is too fluid, the lubrication properties can instead deteriorate, with the risk of parts such as timing chains wearing out prematurely.

So which oil should you choose? The easiest thing is to take a look in the instruction manual and choose one of the oils recommended by the car manufacturer.

Should you change the oil filter at the same time you change the oil?

When you take your car in for service, the oil is usually changed, and at the same time the workshop replaces the oil filter. The filter helps keep the oil clean, and since a lot of dirt accumulates in the filter, this too should be replaced once a year. Therefore, it is often a matter of course that you change both oil and filter at the same time. The filter also costs a pittance in this context.

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