Oil change: why, when and how?

Why do I need to change the oil?

Changing the oil involves changing the engine oil and replacing the oil filter and sump plug washer.

How often do I need to change the oil?

This depends on the vehicle manufacturer and your driving habits (how far you travel each year, whether you frequently stop and start, etc.). However, it is generally recommended to perform an oil change every year, or every 7,000 to 10,000 miles.

Elements to check during an oil change

  • Oil filter: this keeps the engine clean. The filter and the sump plug washer are replaced during each oil change.
  • Fuel filter: this removes dirt from the fuel (petrol or diesel) and should be replaced every two oil changes, or according to the manufacturer recommendations.
  • Air filter: this removes particles from the air drawn in by the engine. It should be checked during each oil change and changed every two oil changes.
  • Oil: this reduces the friction between the engine parts, helping protect them from damage. It is changed during each oil change.

No oil change – watch out!

The oil is made up of chain molecules that position themselves between moving metal parts. These molecules prevent the metal parts from coming into direct contact, thereby reducing friction and wear. When the engine is running, the molecules gradually wear down and disintegrate, eventually reaching a point where they are no longer providing lubrication. Changing the oil regularly therefore helps you avoid expensive repairs.

This article was written with assistance from the Bosch Car Services network of garages.

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