An oil and filter change involves draining out the old motor oil and replacing it with fresh, new motor oil. The oil filter also gets to replace at the same time.
Should I do this service when it’s recommended?
In general, yes. Changing your vehicle’s oil is one of the most important things you can do to avoid bringing large bags of money to your mechanic later on.
However, there’s a lot of controversy about exactly when engine oil gets old and how often it should be replaced with new oil. Because there are many factors at work – how you drive, the condition and age of the engine, the external environment you drive in, and stop and go versus highway driving – it’s an inexact science.
Hyundai recommend that you change your oil and filter every 5,000 km or 3 months whichever occurred first. That’s our best estimate. It may be too soon for many people and too late for a few, but for the vast majority, 5,000 km or 3 months oil changes will help your engine last to a ripe, old age.
Why do I have to do this?
Oil undergoes thermal breakdown due to high operating temperature. When this occurs, the oil becomes less effective as a lubricant. And without a good lubricant, parts of the engine rub together and wear each other out. Oil also contains additives that have the ability to neutralize acids. Over time, these additives get used up and stop being effective.
Finally, oil can absorb water, dust and combustion byproducts and also hold them in suspension. Eventually, the oil gets saturated with this stuff and can’t absorb any more. Then that stuff remains in the engine and can corrosion.
What happened if I don’t do this?
Your engine won’t last as it could. Oil serves many crucial functions, and clean oil performs those functions better than dirty oil. Oil is relatively cheap, and changing your oil every 5,000 km or 3 months is a very cheap insurance policy against major repair down the road.
Is there any maintenance required between intervals?
Yes, you need to check the oil level every few hundred kilometers. With your car parked on a level surface, remove oil dipstick, clean it and then reinsert it. Remove it again, and check the oil level.
Ideally, it should be right at the full mark. If it’s at or below the add / low mark, that means you’re a quart low and should add a quart of oil to the crankcase. If it’s in between the two marks, you can add part of a quart to bring it up to the full mark (the distance between add / low and full represents a quart, so use that to estimate how much of a quart you need). Be aware, however, that since oil flows slowly when it is cool, the dipstick may not immediately reflect any oil you just add. So estimate the amount of oil you need based on your first dipstick reading and then check it again later that day or the next day to be sure you’re near to the full mark.
If you are low on oil, we advise you to use the grade oil recommended in your owner’s manual. If you regularly run low on oil, be sure to report it to your mechanic. You may have a leak or may be burning oil – signs that you might be gearing up for a major boat to your mechanic.
At some point, every engine starts to burn oil. Get in the habit of checking the oil from time to time, and you just might avoid having your engine melt down one day.