Car Engine Oil

image of brown and red fluid on a white paper towel to show the difference in the used vs new oil.

The brown oil is old dirty transfer case oil. The red is new transfer case oil.

A woman recently called her local mechanic and asked it she could drive her car to him so he could check her oil. Someone had left the oil fill cap off and she found it lodged in her engine compartment. However, not before engine oil had sprayed all over her engine compartment. The woman drove the car to the garage and the mechanic put two quarts of oil in the engine.

When I heard that he told the woman to drive her car to him I was pissed. He was only a few blocks away but driving a car just a few short blocks extremely low on engine oil can do significant damage to the engine depending on the age of the oil in the engine, whether or not they use synthetic oil, what damage the engine had already sustained up to that point. This mechanic did not care about whether or not the engine was damaged getting it to him. For this mechanic its a win win. If the car makes it to him he did not have to drive to the woman and add oil to her car, no harm no foul. If the engine was severely damaged driving it to him he would likely get to repair the car for customer, another win for the mechanic. The big loser in this scenario is the consumer.

Engine oil lubricates the moving parts by allowing the parts to move along a cushion of oil so the parts are not metal on metal causing friction, excessive wear, heat, and premature engine failure. Do me a favor please, keep at least one spare quart of oil in your car at all times. Oil does not expire so it can remain in the car unused for a very long time and then be there when you need it.

Car maintenance is very important to keep any piece of equipment functioning properly and reliably. Change your engine oil, your air filter,  check transmission, transfer case and rear end oil levels, drain and fill all fluids regularly, check air pressure and tread depth in the tires. If you have a battery that can be serviced add distilled water to the cells when needed.

It use to be that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Now its an ounce of prevention is worth 100 pound or more of cure. Today’s cars and trucks are designed differently and need special attention to maintenance to prevent premature failure. Read your owns manual please.

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