Delve into engine oil

Posted by: Cal on 18/09/2013

Category: General

What do you know about engine oil? If you've never been taught the ins and outs of things such as engine oil, car tyres, brakes and suspension, it's no wonder they might remain a mystery.
Here is some information that might help to demystify engine oil for you. The more you know your car and how to look after it, the safer you are.

So what exactly is engine oil?

Engine oil keeps your engine functioning correctly. It lubricates certain components and makes sure that it remains clean. As well as this it serves to keep your engine safe and cool by carrying heat away from it. 

Why is it necessary?

Without it, your engine could overheat and even fail! At best, your vehicle will just go through petrol faster and become less efficient. At worst, the friction that would appear can also dramatically wear away certain components of the engine and therefore contribute to its failure.

Keeping your car in tip-top shape

Every once in a while, your car's oil and its filter (which can become clogged) will need replacing. If you know how, you can do it yourself, but it might be simpler for you to ask a car service and maintenance provider to do it for you, or have a knowledgeable friend or family member teach you. Usually, at service stations you can also ask an attendant to check on your oil levels for you.

Things to look out for

According to Shell, there can be a few signs and symptoms of engine oil gone wrong. Look out for strange exhaust fumes, leaks and certain smells.

Blue smoke from your exhaust can mean that oil is burning, which might mean there might be some internal damage in process. Get your car to a mechanic as soon as possible. White smoke may also mean that coolant is leaking so is likely to also require some help from your mechanic. 

A leak can be a symptom of many issues so that will need a professional check-up as well. Any strange smells, such as burning rubber, will also need to be investigated thoroughly.

Remember, if you have purchased your own oil and replacement filter and are reasonably experienced, you may be able to do this all yourself. However, if in any doubt you will need help as, considering how important a component the engine is, you don't want to get it wrong.