Out here, most people have more than one vehicle, and we’re not just talking about cars and trucks. Lawn mowers, farm tractors, ATV’s, boats, log splitters, and personal watercraft – the one thing they all have in common is an engine. Each year, when I say goodbye to a long, hot summer, I like to reward my machines for the reliable performance they’ve delivered at work or play, and get them ready for the winter that’s ahead. I start by giving them all an oil change.
It’s a great time to do it—the grass isn’t growing as fast, the garden’s about done, so I’m spending less time weeding, and it’s still slightly too warm to cut wood. To maximize my time, I try to do all of the oil changes on the same weekend. One of the benefits to doing it this way is that I can collect all the old oil at once and take it somewhere that offers free automotive oil recycling. There are countless resources and videos out there that show you how to change your oil. It’s actually pretty easy. Maybe the hardest part is figuring out what’s the best motor oil for your needs and where you stand on the synthetic oil vs. regular oil discussion.
For me, the best motor oil is the one that’s going to protect my engine. My only two rules are that I always follow the vehicle or engine manufacturer’s recommendation for oil weight, and I always choose oil with the API (American Petroleum Institute) symbol. It means the oil meets API quality standards. As for the synthetic oil vs. regular oil debate and the common question, “Is synthetic oil worth the cost,” I think it is. The best synthetic motor oils are supposed to provide improved performance and engine protection. Consider this info from Mobil 1 website: “Conventional oils lack the performance of synthetic oils in the areas of low-temperature performance and high-temperature oxidation stability.” Most of my engines have a lot of miles or hours on them, so I choose synthetic oils, hoping to keep them healthy and see me through the winter.
For those of you out there with lots of toys, make sure to change your engine oil at the recommended manufacturer intervals. It’ll help prolong life and prevent further problems down the road.