Do you know the function of car engine oil? Believe it or not, many vehicle owners are not knowledgeable about engine oil, such as when to change car engine oil, the function of engine oil in the car’s engine, and so on. In general, engine oil functions as a lubricant to ensure the car engine’s performance remains in good condition, ensuring smooth and quiet driving.
It also functions to clean and cool the internal components of the car engine, thereby protecting the engine and avoiding the risk of engine damage, rusting of engine components, and so on.
The interval for changing car engine oil usually depends on the car model, vehicle type, and driving habits. In general, engine oil should be changed every 5,000 or 10,000 kilometers, depending on the type of engine oil used.
Change Car Engine Oil Before It’s Too Late, 5 Signs to Change Car Engine Oil That You Need to Know
Most drivers only change their engine oil based on the distance driven, without paying attention to other important signs that require them to change the oil immediately.
When these signs to change car oil are ignored, it can invite various risks and problems to the car engine, such as engine component damage. Therefore, basic knowledge and care regarding engine oil should be given attention to avoid higher repair costs.
In general, car engine oil (also known as lubricant oil or engine oil) needs to be maintained, inspected, and changed regularly to ensure overall engine performance and capability. The process of maintaining and caring for engine oil is important to reduce the risk of serious damage to engine components that could result in high repair costs.
Car engine oil should be changed every 5,000 to 10,000 kilometers. However, the interval for changing car engine oil usually depends on the type of engine oil used (whether it is semi-synthetic or fully synthetic engine oil). Qoala lists the signs to change car engine oil for your guidance and reference as follows:
1. Darkening of Oil Color, Dirty Black Oil
Engine oil or lubricant oil is actually amber or brown in color, although it is commonly referred to as black oil among users. With usage and driving distance, this brown color tends to darken and become completely black due to the accumulation of dirt or contaminants produced through internal engine combustion.
Therefore, you are advised to check the car engine oil and inspect its clarity. Change the car engine oil if its color has turned dark or shiny black.
How to Check Car Engine Oil
Car engine oil generally needs to be checked and maintained regularly to ensure it is in good condition. Qoala provides the following steps to check car engine oil for your guidance:
- Pull out the dipstick and clean it;
- Then, insert the dipstick back into the engine oil;
- Pull it out again and check the oil level;
- If the oil level exceeds the maximum level, remove some of it to prevent it from affecting engine performance;
- Excess oil can cause leaks and damage to the crankshaft and lead to damaged spark plugs;
- If the oil level is below the minimum level, add engine oil to reduce the risk of engine component damage;
- Wipe the dipstick on a bright-colored tissue or cloth to check the oil’s consistency.
2. Inconsistent Engine Performance
As you may already know, car engine oil functions to lubricate the movement of metal components within the engine, preventing them from touching and rubbing against each other. It indirectly prevents the car engine from experiencing inconsistent or noisy operation.
Engine oil that becomes increasingly thin, depleted, or dirty cannot perform its function optimally. In certain cases, it can also cause the car’s temperature to rise and the engine to become excessively hot.
3. Warning Symbol in the Car, Check Engine Light Illuminated
The illuminated check engine light is a clear indication that you need to change the car engine oil. This warning symbol can be observed on your car’s dashboard. If the engine light is on, it means the car’s system has detected a problem with the engine. Check the oil level and add engine oil immediately if necessary.
Additionally, it is advised to promptly take your car to a workshop for further inspection. If ignored, it can have a more significant impact not only on repair costs but also on engine component damage that needs to be addressed.
Is it Safe to Drive If the Car Warning Light is On?
If you notice something wrong with your car or if the engine oil warning light suddenly illuminates, it is advised not to continue driving to avoid the risk of further damage to other components. Slow down your vehicle and safely pull over to the side of the road.
If necessary, contact a towing service to assist in moving your vehicle to a nearby car workshop.
4. Engine Smoke, Burning Smell, or Odor
If you smell a burning or unpleasant odor coming from the engine compartment, it means your car is experiencing a problem that requires immediate inspection. Typically, a burning smell occurs due to oil leakage within the engine.
Additionally, in some cases, the burning or unpleasant odor may occur due to the car’s temperature rising or the engine becoming too hot, causing oil to burn within the exhaust system.
If you encounter such a situation, especially while driving, perform an immediate inspection and change the car engine oil promptly to prevent more severe damage such as vehicle fires and engine seizures.
5. Car Consuming Oil, Increased Oil Usage
One of the effects of not changing car engine oil or delaying oil changes is increased fuel consumption. Car engine oil that has become thin, dirty, or insufficiently viscous will force the engine to work harder to achieve the same driving performance as usual.
This simultaneously increases the pressure on the car engine and, consequently, increases fuel consumption or higher fuel usage than usual.
Tips for Choosing the Best Engine Oil, Suitable Car Engine Oil for Your Car
To ensure smoothness and optimal performance of the car engine oil, selecting the right engine oil is crucial, taking into account several important factors such as oil viscosity level, type of engine oil, and car engine type.
Qoala lists the things to consider before selecting the best engine oil as follows:
1. Engine Oil Viscosity Level
According to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), one way to choose the best engine oil is by referring to the viscosity level of the car engine oil. Usually, the viscosity level is displayed on the packaging label using a unique code – a combination of numbers and letters such as 5W-50, 15W-40, 10W-30, and so on. This indicates the oil’s resistance and viscosity level.
For example, ’10W’ refers to the engine oil viscosity at cold temperatures, while ’30’ indicates the viscosity rating at high temperatures. The lower the number displayed, the lower the viscosity level of the engine oil.
What is the Suitable Engine Oil for a Car Over 10 Years Old? How Many Kilometers for 10W-40 Engine Oil?
The question of “what is the suitable engine oil for a car over 10 years old or an older car?” is a common question asked by vehicle owners. Technically, cars over 10 years old require engine oil with a higher viscosity level, such as 10W-40 engine oil.
This is because prolonged usage can affect the structure and components of the engine, impacting its performance. Older car engines require more viscous engine oil compared to newer engines.
10W-40 engine oil is suitable for cars with high mileage – older engines can handle higher temperatures, and it is said to be more efficient and durable with more viscous oil. 10W-40 engine oil should be changed every 8,000 to 10,000 kilometers, depending on usage.
2. Types of Car Engine Oil
In the market, there are various types of car engine oils available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Before purchasing car engine oil, it is important to consider the vehicle model and other factors such as the viscosity level, temperature resistance, sludge protection, and more.
Here are three common types of car engine oil found in the market for your reference:
- Mineral Engine Oil: Mineral engine oil is a type of crude petroleum oil that has been refined. Typically, mineral oil does not last long as it lacks additional formulas or additives. The cost of changing mineral engine oil is generally cheaper compared to other types of car engine oils.
- Semi-Synthetic Engine Oil: Semi-synthetic engine oil contains a mixture of synthetic base oil, not exceeding 30%, and mineral base oil. It functions as a good engine protector and tends to last longer compared to mineral engine oil.
- Fully Synthetic Engine Oil: Fully synthetic engine oil is produced by blending two components, polyalphaolefins and esters, along with other additive materials. Fully synthetic engine oil is known to have a long lifespan and is sold at a higher price compared to other types of engine oil.
3. Certification Standards for Engine Oil
Among other factors to consider when choosing suitable engine oil, the certification standards for engine oil play a significant role. These standards are indicated using different acronyms.
- API refers to the American Petroleum Institute;
- ACEA refers to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association;
- ILSAC refers to the International Lubricant Specification Advisory Committee;
- JASO refers to the Japanese Automotive Standards Organization.
These certification standards play an important role in ensuring the performance and quality assurance of the engine oil available in the market, in accordance with established criteria and standards.
8 Best Car Engine Oils, Car Engine Oil Prices in Malaysia
The selected car engine oil must be suitable for your car’s engine. For those who are considering changing their car engine oil, Qoala has compiled a list of eight (8) best car engine oils, including their prices, for your reference:
1. BOLD SN 5W-30 Semi-Synthetic Engine Oil (4L)
This semi-synthetic engine oil is suitable for all types of car models, including older car models. It is equipped with special engine cleaning technology that cleans and protects the engine to the maximum, preventing the accumulation of dirt and deposits on the engine.
Moreover, this type of engine oil is suitable for all driving conditions, minimizing engine vibrations for smoother and quieter driving performance. This engine oil is available in the market at a price range of around RM70 to RM120.
2. MIZU 10W-40 Semi-Synthetic Engine Oil
The MIZU brand engine oil is specifically designed for Japanese cars such as Nissan or Toyota. It is made from 100% genuine raw materials, which is said to reduce the accumulation of dirt and deposits in the car engine, thereby extending the engine’s lifespan.
The quality of this car engine oil is considered premium as it is blended with preservatives to provide more power and performance to the engine for a smoother ride. Interestingly, this engine oil helps reduce the risk of the car not starting, especially in cold weather. It is priced at around RM60 to RM100.
3. NEO 10W-30 Lubricating Oil
For those who own a Kancil car, this type of engine oil may be suitable for your car. It is made from 100% pure base oil, with a quality that is said to be comparable to other more expensive branded engine oils.
This lubricating oil plays a crucial role in protecting the engine and ensuring optimal driving performance, with the need to change the black oil every 7,000 km.
The price of this type of engine oil ranges from RM40 to RM60.
4. CASTROL Magnatec 10W-40 SN/CF Semi-Synthetic Engine Oil (4L)
Castrol engine oil is one of the popular brands of black oil among vehicle owners. It utilizes synthetic technology that protects the car engine regardless of the temperature, prolongs the engine’s lifespan, and reduces the risk of engine damage.
This brand of engine oil is suitable for local car models such as Myvi and Alza, and it is priced at around RM60 to RM120.
5. PETRONAS Syntium 800 10W-40 SN/CF Semi-Synthetic Engine Oil
This engine oil features CoolTech technology, which reduces the risk of engine damage or sudden car stalling by the roadside. Additionally, this type of engine oil is said to have a higher viscosity level, providing extended engine oxidation resistance without compromise.
It also protects the engine from dirt and ensures smooth and optimal driving performance. Interestingly, this brand is a local product and is available at a price range of approximately RM60 to RM80.
6. PERODUA SAE 0W-20 Fully Synthetic Engine Oil
This engine oil is commonly used by users of Axia or Bezza models. It offers optimum engine protection in any condition. It is also said to provide multiple savings and offers efficient fuel consumption rates for the car.
Furthermore, this engine oil provides heat stability and good oxidation rates to extend the lifespan of the car engine. The price of this type of black oil is slightly higher compared to other brands, ranging from RM80 to RM150.
7. Honda SN 0W-30 Fully Synthetic Engine Oil
This Honda brand lubricating oil plays a role in providing maximum engine protection and extending the lifespan of the car engine compared to regular oils. It is equipped with additives that reduce dirt and contaminants to ensure good engine performance and quieter operation.
This Honda black oil is approved by Honda’s Research and Development (R&D) department in Japan and is suitable for all Honda car models. The price of Honda engine oil ranges from approximately RM80 to RM140 on online buying and selling platforms.
8. LIQUI MOLY MOS2 10W40 Semi-Synthetic Engine Oil (4L)
This brand of engine oil is considered one of the top choices in the market. It is said to have a suitable viscosity level to stabilize the engine and is suitable for both petrol and diesel engines. What’s great about this black oil is that it functions well in low temperatures and has good cold start capabilities.
Furthermore, the price of this engine oil is said to be higher compared to other brands, reflecting the quality it offers, ranging from approximately RM120 to RM180.
Changing Car Engine Oil: Don’t Delay Oil Servicing
To ensure your car engine is in good condition, having quality and expensive engine oil alone is not enough – it requires consistent oil maintenance and servicing. Neglecting this aspect of maintenance can increase the risk of car damage.
Engine oil needs to be maintained according to the recommended intervals; otherwise, engine performance can be affected, and the quality of the oil may deteriorate, potentially damaging engine components. Moreover, the available additives in the engine oil that control temperature will also decrease significantly.
When the car engine operates without proper temperature control, it can cause severe friction on engine components. Here are some engine problems that may arise if you postpone oil servicing:
- Internal engine parts covered in oil sludge;
- Hardening and potential leakage of oil seals;
- Loud noises coming from the engine;
- Increased oil consumption;
- Heavy and sluggish driving experience;
- White smoke from the car exhaust.
In general, choosing quality engine oil and following a scheduled oil servicing are crucial. You may not see the immediate impact now, but it can actually help save money and prevent you from incurring costly repair expenses that could amount to hundreds of ringgit. Therefore, these early maintenance steps are important to avoid dipping into your savings to fix car damages.
We hope this information about engine oil has helped you choose the best engine oil for your car. Additionally, if you’re considering purchasing the best car insurance, visit the Qoala website for further information. Qoala offers transparent and hassle-free insurance services with competitive and reasonable prices. Hope this helps!