A few months ago I talked to you a little about the importance of knowing what to watch out for when getting an oil change. Today, I want to share an 8 point oil change checklist with you showing what to ask and watch for.
Ladies this is mainly for you, although you guys are most welcome to download the list and use it as well. The reason I say that it is mainly for the ladies is because I have a small series going here on Cinnamon Hollow to show gals, like myself, how we can do basic maintenance on our cars ourselves. Things like getting the oil changed or changing it ourselves, checking and changing our vehicle’s spark plugs, checking fluid levels and adding more. Fluids like anti-freeze, windshield washer fluid, etc.
But there are times when you will want or need to pay to have your oil changed. And, while a good oil change service is trustworthy, there are a few things you’ll want to make sure you keep an eye on. I’ve listed these points below and also have a handy download button below the list, so you can print the checklist and take it with you the next time you go have your oil changed.
- Time for a change?
Follow the oil change recommendations in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. If your vehicle has an oil-life monitor, pay attention to it. When the monitor says it’s time for a change, it’s time. Pay close attention to how you use your vehicle because vehicle manufacturers sometimes recommend oil drain intervals based on driving habits or conditions.
- Are you getting the right viscosity?
Use the viscosity recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. SAE 5W-20 and 5W-30 are often recommended for today’s cars. The viscosity might even be printed on the oil fill cap under the hood!
- Is it API-licensed?
Performance matters in lots of things, including motor oil. Know the level of performance recommended by your
vehicle manufacturer. Many recommend oils meeting the latest ILSAC or API standard, such as API SN. Oils certified as meeting these standards are easy to find because they carry the API Starburst or API Donut.
- Do you know what you’re getting?
Confirm with the service provider the motor oil’s brand, performance level and viscosity before it’s poured into your car or truck and then ask for all three to be included on your receipt. Drive away from locations that won’t confirm in writing what they’re pouring into your vehicle.
- Getting a full change?
Make sure the oil change includes a fresh filter. Your owner’s manual probably recommends a specific type of oil filter, so make sure the right one is included with your oil change.
- Going to a MOM-licensed installer?
Look for the Motor Oil Matters logo and check out the MOM website— MotorOilMatters.org—to find a trusted location near you.
- Did you get a receipt?
Double-check the receipt to confirm that the service provider poured the motor oil you asked for into your car or truck’s engine and that the oil meets your manufacturer’s recommendation.
- When’s your next oil change?
Write down the mileage and date you had your oil changed. Vehicle manufacturers often recommend oil changes based on miles or time, whichever comes first.
As you can see, there are some really important notes to remember when getting your oil changed. Feel free to print this handy checklist, below, and take it with you on your next oil change.