Why Is It Better to Trust Your Garage with an Oil Change?
Changing the oil: it’s a step up from checking your own oil and being able to see when it’s in a good or bad condition, right? Performing an oil change on any car is considered a pretty basic car mechanic procedure. In reality, it is fairly straight-forward compared to many of the other things that a mechanic is trained to do. This leads many, usually armed with YouTube “How To” videos, to try their hand at changing their oil themselves, and saving a few quid in the process.
While we too acknowledge that an oil change is not overcomplicated, it is still something best left to the automotive professionals. Here are all the reasons why:
1. Your Garage Has a Clearer Idea of When Oil Changes are Needed
If you’ve been using your garage for some time, then they will have a more complete record of your car’s service history, and that will include any and all oil changes. That history is relevant in deciding when the next oil change is due. What often happens when people take oil changes unto themselves is that they either change the oil too frequently, not frequently enough, or not at all. All three can have bad consequences.
Your garage, on the other hand, with its troupe of professional mechanics, knows from examining the car more closely exactly when are the optimum times to perform an oil change. This is the first reason to stick with the pros.
2. It Should Usually Include Other Maintenance, Too
It’s common for amateur and home mechanics to look at each job to perform on your vehicle as a stand-alone procedure. The same is true of oil changes. You may check your car’s oil dipstick and determine that the oil needs changing. You gain the step-by-step guide on how to do it at home and then perform the oil change. Let’s assume that everything with the oil change itself went to plan; that’s great, but what about other things that a mechanic would know to do at the same time?
Changing your oil at the garage usually goes hand in hand with complementary work that reinforces the job you’ve just done with the oil. For instance, doing a lube job, greasing your emergency brake, greasing your car’s doors, checking the air filter, brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant levels, power steering fluid and even a tyre rotation (see below). When you’re singularly focused on changing the oil, then you’re bound to miss those things.
In the above paragraph we also mentioned tyre rotation. Its quite normal for mechanics to inspect your car’s tyres when they change the oil to see if they need a rotation. That process usually coincides with an oil change. For many amateur home mechanics, performing your own tire rotation is a bit tricky. It’s far easier (and faster) for a professional garage to do it.
3. You Miss Replacing a Key Component
Loosening bolts and removing seals to let old oil out is the easy part. It’s at the point when it comes time to put everything back together again that things get problematic. There are two components in particular that a professional mechanic would typically never miss but can be easily missed by an amateur. These are the drain plug crush washer and the oil filter cover O-ring. These small but critical components cannot be missed out and if that happened with a pro you would call it “slapdash” work.
Mechanics perform this kind of work day in and day out. They know every step like the back of their hand, and they don’t miss out these key details. When it comes to your car, missing a detail like that can cause a lot of problems.
4. You Re-Fasten the Oil Pan Nut Too Tightly
This is a very simple mistake, and stems from a lack of professional knowledge about how the various components on your car work. From a layman’s perspective, it is easy to see why you might think tightening the oil pan nut as tight as possible is a good idea. You want to make sure that it’s on there good and tight, nice and secure. In fact, you’re just causing more problems further down the line. When it comes time to make that oil change again, are you going to be the one to remove the bolt? If you are, you’d better bring all your strength with your because it’s going to be hard to remove it.
5. You Use the Wrong Engine Oil
Each car is built and designed to use a specific type of engine oil. It doesn’t mean you can only use a single brand, but there is a recommended brand from the OEM. There are also recommended viscosities and other types (e.g., regular or synthetic). The biggest mistake that amateur mechanics make is trying too hard to save money and ending up using a cheap formula that is no good for their particular car. A professional mechanic doesn’t use one type of oil to try and make more money from you, but because it’s the optimum engine oil for your particular car.
Even Simple Jobs Are Best Left in the Hands of the Pros
At the end of the day, you have to remember that your car’s engine and related systems are a vast, interconnected network of moving parts. For the entire unit to work, therefore, every single component has to be properly functional and lubricated. If it’s not, then one part becomes faulty and spreads its disease across the entire mechanism.
When you get anything wrong in something as apparently simple as an oil change, the consequences can be far-reaching for your car. You might think that by doing it yourself, you can save some money. If you happen to have the experience and know-how, then you can indeed save some money by not having a garage do the work, at least you can in the short term. Think on this: if you make even one small mistake, it can turn into a more costly problem to fix later one. There you have a false economy.