Subaru Repair Seattle: Check Your Oil!
There is a video at the end of this post describing how to check your oil.
The average driver is keeping their car longer than they used too this is evident in the sales numbers from the automakers and by data compiled by AAA.
The troubling thing is that we as a society really don’t know how to own an older car, its not the same as “buy one every 5 years” As the car ages the maintenance aspects are increased just like you, when you age. Things like fluid levels of the engine & transmission can change in an older car with a leak or with consumption over a period of time there are no waring lights for this on most makes and models just like there isn’t an oil level light on your lawnmower, its up to you to check the oil level before you start it.
Full Service Vs Self Service.
Its difficult to pin point when it happened but not hard to understand why it happened, but somehow something as basic as periodically checking the oil level in your cars engine has become as foreign to the average driver as the rotary phone.
Its nothing new, that engines use oil to lubricate internal parts and this same oil must be changed periodically and more importantly checked according to the owners manual every time you refuel it. But who does that?
It used to be that you pulled up to the gas pump and an attendant pumped your gas, cleaned your windshield and checked your engines’ oil along with other fluids. The basic premise has not changed, checking your oil is still a very crucial part of vehicle ownership, it hasn’t changed, just the “market place” has. What I mean by this is that the American consumer does not want to pay a premium at the pump to reflect the wages of someone pumping your fuel and checking your oil. In some states such as Oregon there are still gas station attendants, some gas Stations still have “full service” with a higher price for the fuel, many stations had full and self service stations for years, but now most just have pay stations where you swipe a card, pump your fuel and leave.
But you need to check your oil, no one is doing it for you, how will you know if there is a problem if you don’t pop the hood and check your fluid levels, it is your responsibility, its not difficult or even all that time consuming but to many it just never happens, because its no longer ingrained into us that its important.
Its like flossing, we have been told its important, most Dentists do it but I know I do not as much as I should, and I have a few fillings but not flossing will never leave me stranded will never prevent me from getting to work or picking my kids up from soccer practice, you never truly realize just how important your car is until you are forced to go with out it for a while especially with no warning.
Don’t check your oil and sooner or later it will matter in a big unfortunate way.
The higher the mileage on your vehicle the more likely it is that the engine may start to consume some of the oil used in the lubrication process during the combustion cycle. As the internal parts of an engine wear the oil meant to lubricate can be burnt as part of the combustion process and exit out the tail pipe with the rest of the by products of combustion. The older the oil in the engine the more likely the flash temperature has been lowered due to dilution of fuel compounding the problem. Its really not that big of a deal if an engine starts using oil in between engines in fact many do but what is important is understanding that this can happen and if it does and you don’t stay up on your engines oil level bad things can and will happen, costing you thousands over a couple quarts of oil.
Once an engine component has been starved for lubrication and has failed there is no taking that back, its all over but the screaming and shouting.
On a Subaru there is NOT an oil level light only an oil pressure light or really it should be called a lack of oil pressure light. When the red oil light comes on it means there is no oil pressure. The problem is that you may have just enough pressure to satisfy the sending unit but in fact starve a rod bearing for oil. I am still amazed that so many think the oil light means its the waring that the oil level is low, it means there is no oil pressure and the damage has been done.
There is NO coolant level light only a temperature gauge, which if it reaches the red zone means its overheating and the damage has been done already typically the kiss of death for your Head Gaskets.
Checking the oil level and finding its low is an indication you have a problem, its like going to the doctor at the first sign of symptoms instead of waiting until your symptoms are so bad its to late to do anything about it. If you never check your oil how will you ever now you have an issue until the engine blows up, and this is the point that its to late to do anything about it.
I recently watched a quick sound bite on tv and read a couple of news articles about the “change your oil every 3,000 miles myth” All I could think about is that no one in the media, and no “expert” bothered to follow this up with “make sure you check your oil in between oil changes” The advice is very irresponsible when not explained properly.
I have been witness to so many vehicles cause so much financial devastation all because the oil was run low. Repairs that could have been avoided if the driver just took 60 seconds to check the oil level and add when needed.
You need to check your oil, your coolant level, your tire pressure as often as you can, you should also know how to add air to your tire, change a flat tire, and add oil to your car, but the importance of this has been lost and with it our basic understanding of our responsibilities as the operator of a vehicle.
If you dont know how to check your oil here is a video explaining how.
As always, thanks for reading!