Most of us rely on our mechanics to keep our cars running – we don’t really care what they do under the hood so long as when we get the car back it is in good working order. But what if one day you had to check for something as basic as lubricant? If you were stranded and all you needed was an oil change would you know where to begin? If not, keep reading – this article will tell you about the basics of lubricants and how to choose the right one for your vehicle.
- The first thing you ought to know about lubricants is that they are not all the same – Different lubricants are built for different cars. They are classified according to an international standard, usually ACEA, API, ALSAC and JASO. The manufacturer of the lubricant will also add their own specs – you will find lubricants specified as Renault RN0710, PSA B71 2290, BMW LL-04 and so on. In order to know what lubricant is best for your car you should first check the manufacturer’s manual and then check the can for the specifications.
- If you drive a newer model car the rule of thumb is to use a synthetic lubricant but on older cars you can use conventional lubricants.
- Lubricant comes in two grades – cold and hot. This is the measure of viscosity, which means the resistance to free flow. If oil is highly viscous it is very thick, which means it doesn’t lubricate very easily. In cold weather, for example, it may take longer for your car to start if it has a highly viscous lubricant, so you are better off using one with low viscosity. Highly viscous lubricants are best in hot weather and for vehicles that handle heavy loads.
All this may seem quite complicated to the average person. If you are not into cars and don’t really care what happens under the hood so long as your car is working properly you should invest in a good mechanic. Every neighbourhood has a mechanic that you can run to when you have an emergency, but it doesn’t mean that you can trust them with important matters like changing your oil. It is best to identify a certified garage near you that specializes in full car service – not only will they make sure that your car always has the right lubricant, they will look into all other parts to make sure that they are working as they should.
The quality of mechanic that you choose has a direct correlation with the lifespan of your car. You may spend a lot of money on a car today but if you don’t find a qualified mechanic to take care of it you can be sure that it will break down pretty often. A good mechanic will not be cheap, but they will save you lots of the money in the long run and you will get good resale value for your vehicle.