One phrase common on the lips of most Nigerians when asked how often they service their car engines is “ahhh…every 3 months! I don’t even joke with it”. The pride in that response is often fattened by their ignorance of what exact oil grade they have been using for this maintenance procedure. The common answer is Mobil of course! (Did you hear the loud pride in that too?)
And I know they aren’t mechanics and shouldn’t care that much on the details of what fluid courses the veins of their automobiles. That’s the business of their mechanics, right? The issue however is that, when ‘kasala burst’, it’s your wallet that feels the weight loss, not the mechanic’s, so let’s talk some bit about the “food drink” you have been feeding your ride with.
Just before we jump onto the issue of how often you should service your car’s engine, let’s address the more vital issue of what it must be serviced with. Mobil ehn, is not the oil grade. Total and Oando are not oil grades. They are manufacturers/brands of oil! It’s like asking you what malaria drug you were given at your last visit to the hospital and you say “Pfizer of course!” Now you see how ALMOST correct, that sounds? The grade of oil you should use to service your car is usually spelt quite clearly on the oil cap of your car. It often reads something like ‘5W20, 10W30, 0W20, 5W30, 20W50’etc. These grades, you will find across brands like Total, Mobil, MRS, Mannol and many other notable oil manufacturers. The grades represent specific formulations tested and proven to be the best for your engine based on their viscosities and weight. If the oil is thicker than manufacturer’s recommendation, it can adversely impact the lubrication of your engine and eventually, if not corrected its demise.
Where in doubt or if your oil cap doesn’t have the oil grade inscribed there, please use your vehicle manual to resolve this. You might say, “ahhh…my mechanic? He knows all those things. He was even the person that serviced the first Peugeot made by PAN”. I agree! But when the consequences of using the wrong grade emerge, you will realize that he assassinated the engine and you supplied the bullets.
Admittedly, some other factors influence the choice of oil that you might be servicing your car with. These mostly include mileage, frequency of an idling engine (traffic conditions) and prevalent temperature of your location/country. We will walk us through these in subsequent posts.
Next question is, “how often should I service my engine?” The well-applied answer to that question will keep your car’s engine happy for a very long time.