Engine oil is absolutely essential as it lubricates and protects your vehicle’s engine, giving it a prolonged life, enabling you to get the best performance and the highest reliability. Our experienced mechanics are on hand to regularly check the engine oil level in our customers’ vehicles and either refill or completely change the oil in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Engine oil should be changed at the frequency specified by the car manufacturer, but at least once a year. For other units, oil should be changed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. When it comes to modern vehicles, selecting the right oil is crucial to the longevity of your car.

Engine oil change intervals

Regular engine oil changes are essential if you want to keep your car in close to top condition. Basically, just have a look in your car’s service book or at least check to see if the relevant light on the car’s dashboard is on or off to make sure you’re doing it at the right time. Generally, you should change the engine oil every 15,000 kilometres, which drops to 10,000 if you have a relatively old engine, and goes up to 25,000 if you have a diesel engine.

It’s equally important not to forget to change the oil filter when changing the oil: this latter part is essential to ensure that the oil itself remains pure and efficient at all times, removing the various particles generated during its combustion. Most modern cars have a mechanical filter, but there are also centrifugal and magnetic filters. If you do not own a premium car, you should change the filter every 10,000 kilometres to ensure a long life for your car.

How to have your engine oil changed at a service station

It’s always best to have an engine oil change done by a professional, particularly if you don’t have the dexterity and time to service your car, despite the fact that it’s not a particularly complicated operation.  Still, the best decision is to entrust your car into the professional hands of our mechanics. Since oil changes require special tools and specific guidelines must be followed to avoid making mistakes.

Steps for changing engine oil

What tools are used to change the engine oil?

An engine oil change primarily requires an engine jack and jack stands or a lift in order to hold the car upright and ensure a good view of the work area. A carriage is also needed to drive under the vehicle. Also, to collect used oil, you need a container with a total capacity of at least five litres, to which a funnel, a rag and some paper towels are attached in order to keep the area as clean as possible.

It is worth mentioning that a socket wrench for the crankcase drain plug, a strap wrench to unscrew the oil filter and a spare washer for the crankcase nut are required. Last but not least, a new oil filter and engine oil suitable for the type of car and its fuel category.

Nowadays, the basic offer consists of Valvoline oils, one of the leading companies on the automotive oil market. This particular oil is the oil of choice for many car manufacturers as the original oil of choice. Valvoline offers a wide variety of oils that can meet the technical needs of any car for engine, gearbox and other parts.

The mechanic then proceeds to work on the underside of the car and starts work on the oil pan, recognisable by the clearly visible drainage bolt. The mechanic uses the aforementioned socket wrench to unscrew the drain bolt. Once the bolt has been unscrewed the oil will start to drain, the mechanic waits a few minutes before the oil is completely drained. While the drain procedure is going on, the expert will replace the paper or felt gasket on the underside of the bolt or replace the washer itself, particularly if it is badly worn. Nevertheless, if the washer is still in good condition, it can be reused.

Before proceeding to the third step, i.e. replacing the oil filter, all the elements involved in the drain must be thoroughly cleaned and the bolt must be correctly installed.

Before replacing the oil filter, the first thing to do is to locate it. Its location depends on the car model and model year, so it may be in front of, behind or on the side of the engine. The mechanic determines its location by referring to a replacement filter or by paying attention to certain elements: filters are usually cylindrical in shape and can be black, blue or white. They have an average length of 10-15 cm and an average diameter of 7-8 cm. With newer vehicles, there is no oil filter, but instead a kind of cartridge is inserted.

A special strap wrench should be used to unscrew the oil filter, which makes this operation much easier. Frequently there will be residual oil in the used filters which must be completely drained before the next step can be carried out.

The mechanic then proceeds to the final procedure for replacing the oil filter. Before installing the new filter, the O-ring must be lubricated. This procedure is very important because it will prevent the threads of the gasket from being damaged when it is tightened.

Once the oil filter is screwed back in, new engine oil is filled into the opening provided.

Oil filter: the reason for changing it

Similarly to the engine oil, the oil filter is an integral part of the car. In contrast to oil, however, the oil filter can be changed every 60,000km. But what exactly is the oil filter for? The purpose of an oil filter, as its name suggests, is to filter the engine oil, trapping dirt particles and preventing them from getting into the engine. A worn filter is not only unable to trap dirt that would get into the engine and damage it, but sometimes directly prevents the oil itself from flowing through.

When the mechanic changes the oil, he also changes the filter whose purpose is to collect the impurities created by the combustion of petrol and the friction of the mechanical engine parts against each other, preventing them from getting back into the engine causing severe damage, such as the so-called “engine seizure” or the engine stalling.

There are various types of oil filter, but the one most commonly used in cars currently on the market is a mechanical filter, usually cylindrically shaped and made up of several layers of special paper material capable of trapping debris.

Similarly to oil, the filter doesn’t last forever either: manufacturers usually recommend changing it every time the engine oil is changed. Typically, the oil filter replacement interval is between 15,000 and 30,000 km, depending on the vehicle’s engine. In particular:

  • 25/30,000 km for diesel engines
  • 15,000 km for petrol engines
  • Annually for those who only use the vehicle infrequently and drive a few kilometres.
  • Every 10,000 km for engines older than 10 years.
  • The oil change process takes about 30 minutes.
  • The price starts at 5 euros per litre.

Your car will receive a FREE running gear diagnosis at our service during the oil change!