Is it Time For that All-Important Oil Change?
Engine oil is used to lubricate the moving parts inside an engine. Without the oil, the parts would grind together and cause the engine to overheat. Contaminants will slowly accumulate in the oil while the oil circulates through the crankcase. The oil will become darker in color, which is a signal that the oil should be changed. The oil will also become thicker in consistency because of the contaminants.
The technician will check the oil level with the dipstick and inspect the vehicle for oil leaks, which could originate from a cracked seal. An oil leak is a sign of mechanical damage to a part that should be replaced. If the part is not replaced, then the engine will continue to leak oil. An engine that has an insufficient amount of oil will quickly overheat while the parts grind together and eventually break. The engine will make very noticeable noises and should not be driven because the engine parts may break.
The used oil will be drained from the oil pan and inspected. The technician will check the used oil for particles and debris, which could indicate that there was hidden mechanical damage to some engine parts. The crankcase will be filled with fresh oil. If the oil filter is not changed, then the contaminated oil from the filter will circulate through the engine with the fresh oil.
The oil filter should be changed with every oil change because the filter contains contaminated oil. The purpose of the oil filter is to trap contaminants that may damage the engine. Fresh, clean engine oil is used to lubricate the moving parts inside an engine. Contaminants could damage the parts because the contaminants could coat the parts, which could cause the parts to stick to each other.
The technician will inspect the vehicle for oil leaks after changing the oil and oil filter. The oil level will be checked with the dipstick before the engine is started. The fresh oil will circulate for a few minutes, then the engine will be turned off. The technician will verify that there are no oil leaks, especially around the oil filter and around any other parts that had been removed.