As far as car maintenance goes, getting your vehicle's oil changed in a timely manner is a simple process. You roll into an auto service center, ask for an oil change, and wait for fifteen to twenty minutes until it is done. For some reason, taking care of this basic maintenance issue becomes a problem for some drivers. Before you cause your car irreparable damage, take a look at the oil change mistakes you may be making.
Most oil change businesses place a convenient sticker on your windshield giving you a date or mileage number that indicates when you are due for another oil change. These stickers do not always stick that well and may disappear in the edges of your dashboard. Also, many of these stickers remind you to get your oil changed every 3,000 miles, a number that is no longer valid for many newer models. You need to record the date and mileage yourself to reflect the manufacturer's recommendations for your vehicle. That way, you will know exactly when you should have the oil changed and not end up guessing. If you change the oil yourself, you also have to do the record keeping. It's a small task but one that will help you properly maintain your car.
You or the technician can forget to replace the oil cap. This simple oversight can cause your engine light to turn on. Worse, it can cause oil to actually spew out, leaving your engine empty of oil and potentially causing it to fail. Experts recommend placing the oil cap on the hood latch so that the hood cannot close until you remove the cap, reminding you to replace it. If you have someone else change your oil, you can take a moment to lift the hood to make certain the cap is where it needs to be.
You need to make certain that you are using the correct oil weight in your vehicle. This number is often on the oil cap itself, but if it is not, you should find it on the sticker under the hood. Auto technicians should never mistakenly use the wrong oil, but you should still verify the weight and brand of oil you want before they begin the change. Likewise, you need to make sure you purchase the correct weight if you are doing the oil change yourself. Choosing the wrong oil will lessen your engine performance.
Don't ignore your oil changes. Be proactive so that you have them done at the right time and with the right oil. Pay attention to the process so your vehicle performs as it should.