Preventative maintenance comes in many shapes and sizes, which can be very specific to your car.
In our last article, we covered a little bit about what preventative maintenance is, from basic logbook servicing to early replacement. So we wanted to give you a little insight into one of the most common forms of preventative maintenance.
The most common type of preventative maintenance is a basic oil change, or 'basic service'. If your vehicle has a long service interval or is subject to abnormal or adverse conditions, it may be wise to change your oil more frequently due to the different strains put on the oil.
In Australia, our ambient temperatures (air temperature) are some of the highest around and this means it’s common for your engine to run hotter as well. These high temperatures cause issues with oil breakdown as well, meaning the oil isn't able to perform its 7 key functions.
We'll write more about this soon, though this breakdown or degradation is often caused by temperature.
Different oils throughout your car change properties depending on the temperature and, at a certain temperature, they tend to break down completely. Many oils will begin to break down at temperatures as low as 115c, making it unable to do its job of keeping your engine lubricated and instead causing harm.
This is part of the reason why certain vehicles have their oil changed far more often, with vehicles such as rural fire trucks being serviced after most fires.
In addition to the heat, it is common for oil to pick up grime from your engine while you drive. These little pieces of contamination decrease the life of the oil and can make it thick and gloopy or even abrasive, causing the oil to not work properly and to wear the metal inside of the engine.
The most important thing to take from this is to service your vehicle as regularly as is needed and to make sure that the correct oil is being used for your situation. Most mechanics will happily give a recommendations as to what should be in your vehicle, though there are many services available to find the best match for you through the makers of oils.
In any case, if your mechanic has recommended that you change your oil prior to its normal service, just ask why and they will be sure to provide an explanation.