Car mechanic changing oil

As we begin the much-awaited transition from winter to spring (not that you’d know it from looking out the window sometimes), you may well be thinking about preparing your car for the warmer weather. We’ve got a couple of tips on that score – here’s a useful post on how to carry out a decent spring clean of your car, for example, especially if you’ve just bought one from one of our online car auctions. As part of this, lots of people like to perform an oil change too, switching it to something that’s a bit better suited to the warmer weather.

Here's the thing though – that last part might not actually be necessary. 

Why might seasonal oil changes be unnecessary?

Well, just as Scotty Kilmer. The mechanic has recently published a short video explaining that motorists don’t necessarily need to change to a different type of oil throughout the year. Now, it’s true that drivers have often found their cars perform better when they switch to a thinner oil in the chillier seasons, but this is rarely necessary for newer cars. 

Modern oils are formulated to handle temperature extremes at both ends of the scale, which means drivers can feel confident enough to use it throughout the whole year. That means it’s likely, according to Scotty, that anyone driving a newer vehicle, and taking the time to buy new oil and switch it out between seasons, is simply wasting money. 

OK then – so problem solved?

Well, for balance, it’s also worth hearing what the RAC has to say! In short, the organisation has made sure to remind drivers that the viscosity of motor oil still matters. You may well know this already, but just in case you need a quick refresher: oils are named with four digits. The first two indicate the viscosity at lower temperatures. The lower the numbers, the better the flow is likely to be in chillier conditions. 

The second set of numbers, on the other hand, indicates the viscosity at higher temperatures – higher numbers, in this case, mean a better flow in warmer weather. 

So in short, while you may not necessarily need to change oil throughout the year, it’s still worth taking the time to very carefully choose the oil you’re going to buy in the first instance. If it’s too thick, then you run the risk of it not flowing well enough to properly lubricate the engine. And if it’s too thin, then it won’t provide enough protection against regular wear and tear. Neither of those situations are ideal for your car! 

If you’re ever in doubt, the RAC advises, it’s best to just check your owner’s manual, which should tell you what kind of viscosity you need in crystal clear terms. 

Note of course that this especially applies to newer cars – with older or second-hand cars, it still ultimately comes down to a matter of personal judgement. And of course, if you’re on the lookout for second-hand cars, you’re in exactly the right place. 

Here at RAW2K, we take pride in providing you with a huge range of salvage cars to choose from in our online car auctions, including not just models from the likes of Ford and Volkswagen, but also other world-famous brands like MercedesHonda, and Peugeot. Our auctions are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis, so there are always bargains to be found. Why not take a look around, and see what you can find?