The weather outside is frightful… but your engine’s performance doesn’t have to be! Aside from taking the normal steps to prepare your vehicle for cold weather, like using de-icer, checking your tire tread and hoses, you should also check your fluid reservoirs. Wiper fluid is a must-have to keep the salt and sand from building up on your windshield. Antifreeze, a.k.a. coolant ensures the cooling system in your engine stays at the proper temperature. And motor oil cleans, cools, protects and lubricates your engine. The oil filter is just that – a filter that traps any debris floating through the engine, preventing it from causing engine build-up.
Motor oil is kind of like your car’s lifeblood. It travels through all parts of your engine, keeping each component properly lubricated so each can do its respective job. The oil filter is similar to your kidneys and liver, flushing and cleaning the oil. The cleaner your motor oil is, the better your engine will perform. And like the blood that circulates through your body, this is especially important in extreme temperatures.
Think of it this way… when you are exercising, your body temperature increases and produces more heat. Your heart pumps faster and your blood is pushed through your system at higher speeds. Poor blood circulation, unclean blood or clots could cause significant damage when you are overheated. Similarly, blood that is not circulating properly can under perform during times of extreme cold, when the body must work harder to maintain a proper temperature.
Your car’s motor oil has the same job as your body’s blood. It must be clean, in good working order and flowing properly in order to protect all the parts of your car, especially during extremely hot or cold temperatures.
Checking and changing your oil and filter are the best ways to ensure your car gets the proper lubrication and flow to keep your engine running its best. Cars manufactured before 1990 should get oil changes every 3000 miles, while newer model cars can go as long as 10,000 miles between changes.
You can check the oil on your own, but ALWAYS make sure your engine is off and has had a few minutes to cool down before you check your oil level. This allows time for the oil to drain down into the oil pan and will give you an accurate reading when you look at the dipstick.
Changing your oil is something you CAN do, but unless your a hobbyist, I wouldn’t recommend it. This dirty deed is better left to a shop because your car should be on a lift for this task and your oil and filter should be recycled properly.
Download our Quick Guide for checking and adding oil here!
Something else you CAN do, make sure you know what type of oil your car needs. Check your OMV owner’s manual for your vehicle or ask your mechanic.
Follow these simple guidelines to keep your engine running at its best this winter and all year long!