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Edmonton Oil Change Services

Regularly scheduled oil changes is one of the most dependable and inexpensive ways of prolonging the life of your car. Although at times it might seem a little unnecessary to spend money on maintenance for a perfectly operating vehicle, you probably owe that vehicle’s consistent performance to regular oil changes. There’s a whole lot going on under that hood of yours, and having clean oil makes it all run smoothly.

6 Signs Your Oil Needs Changing


Dark Dirty Oil

Once in a while, take two minutes out of your day and check the dipstick of your vehicle. Remove it completely and examine the quality of the oil against a paper towel. If it’s looking particularly dark and sludgy, it’s time to bring it in to get the oil changed. Dirt, grime and metal shavings get collected in your oil supply and can really gum things up if not serviced regularly.


Louder Engine Noise and Knocking

If you notice that your vehicle is running louder than usual, it could mean a plethora of things: some minor, some not so much. Old oil is a usual suspect though, as it serves as the lubricant for the moving parts in your engine. If your engine is running in a less than smooth manner, this will result in louder operation. Engine “knocking” can also indicate the need for an oil change. Knocking is usually due to small pockets of fuel and air combusting out of sync with the intended process of the piston movements. Since engine oil serves to lubricate and seal these movements, it may be the cause of this jarring noise.


You Smell Burning

This can mean a few things, but an oil leak is one of them. If you start to smell burning, it could mean that the valve guides in the cylinder heads have worn out causing engine oil to mix with the car’s hot exhaust. This can be the result of less than adequate oil maintenance and a simple oil change will not remedy this problem. However, the experts at a lube shop should help you to identify the problem and prescribe a course of action to get your car running right again.


Your Oil Level Is Low

Inspect your vehicle’s oil level on the dipstick. First, remove the dipstick and clean completely. Due to the movement of your car and the oil inside the engine, this first dipstick reading will show inflated levels of oil. Reinsert the dipstick, and remove again. Compare the level of oil against the markings on your dipstick. This will indicate whether your levels are low, safe, or overfull. In the case of the low, or overfull, bring your vehicle in for oil servicing.


Exhaust Smoke

If you notice that your vehicle is emitting a blue-ish smoke, this means that oil has found its way into your exhaust system. This probably means that a few of your internal components have worn out from lack of fresh engine oil and will need to be replaced. There’s a small chance that, if you’ve caught the problem early enough, the problem could be simply a bad valve seal caused by low oil levels. In this case, a simple oil change may fix the problem. Fingers crossed.


Excessive Mileage

The rule-of-thumb for regular scheduled oil changes was 3000 miles for older carbureted vehicles, but is now somewhere between 5000 to 7500. This is appropriate for regular everyday commuting and mild to light driving habits. However, if you drive long distances for work, moved cross country, or gone on a recent road trip, you may want to have your oil changed before one of these numbers comes around. That oil filter of yours could be pretty gummed up. Always take note of when your last oil change. Most shops will print off a little sticker to place in the corner of your windshield so you don’t forget.

What Happens If I Don't Change My Oil?

Oil lubricates and seals many parts of your engine, which is a highly coordinated flurry of movement. Without adequate engine oil, all these processes become laboured, which results in your engine deteriorating at a much quicker pace. Without oil lubricating the movements of the pistons and the valves, metal-on-metal contact becomes frequent. It will begin as a slightly louder operational sound, and will result in your car being dumped in some scrap yard.

What Type Of Oil Should I Use For My Car?

Full synthetic is best for extreme cold or hot environments, very high rpms and hard driving, Semi-synthetic provides better than conventional oil protection but without the cost of full synthetic. This would be great for daily commutes, stop-and-go driving, and the occasional family vacations. Conventional oils are not a bad choice but lack the level of protection of the other two. It is still very much usable when it comes to basic lubrication and is good for the occasional driver or seldom driven cars.

Full-Synthetic Oil

Considered the “best of the best”. All motor oils are refined, distilled, and purified but synthetic oils are done so with higher quality. The base oils used in the process are higher quality than those in conventional and semi-synthetic varieties. Many synthetic oils also contain additives. Because of the high quality process, there are major benefits to using it.
In a car engine, there is a significant amount of heat and friction. After years of use or exposure to extreme environments, these moving parts begin to wear down. This wear and tear is inevitable but a quality oil can slow it down. Synthetic oils do not break down as quickly as other varieties. Therefore, the lubricating properties are not affected and they will continue to give your engine the friction fighting qualities it needs.
Another guest to the friction and heat party is build-up. As oil passes through your engine, deposits form. Like wear and tear, these deposits are inevitable. However, due to synthetic oil having far less impurities, it helps resist sludge and deposit formation and provides a cleaner, more efficient engine.

Semi-Synthetic Oil

Like synthetic oils, semi-synthetic oils are created using a rigorous refining process which allows it to provide similar qualities of full synthetic oil. The main difference between the two is the fact that semi synthetic is created with conventional oil unlike full synthetic.
Unless you participate in motor sports or performance driving, semi-synthetic still provides resistance to oil breakdown and deposit/sludge formation. It is sufficient to use in moderate driving conditions such as stop-and-go driving, daily commuting, and low and high temperature environments.
One of the primary benefits of using semi-synthetic is “bang for your buck”. While fully synthetic oils provide the most protection, you pay for that protection. In many modern vehicles, the manufacturer recommends full synthetic oil. However, you are also able to use semi-synthetic and if you do, your wallet will thank you. Semi-synthetics provide protection that is comparable to fully synthetic but for less cost. However, this does not mean you are sacrificing. Semi-synthetic is much more protective of your engine than conventional motor oil.

Conventional Oil

Conventional is, by no means, a bad choice. Like all varieties of motor oil, there are benefits.
Cost is lower since they are not subjected to synthetic oil refining. Unlike the petroleum based full synthetic and the “half and half” of semi-synthetic, conventional motor oil is derived directly from crude oil.
Convenience is also a benefit. While it seems there is an auto parts store or even a large department store on every corner, conventional oils are easier to find. If you use conventional, you will notice that conventional oils are usually never low or out of stock.

Frequently asked questions

Most frequent questions and answers about oil changes

How often should I change my oil?

With newer cars and modern engine oil, you should change your oil once every 5000 to 7500 miles. With older carbureted vehicles, it’s closer to 3000 miles. However, this is with average driving habits. If you’re a road warrior, this number will be considerably lower.

What is checked during an oil change?

Along with your engine oil being replaced, the technicians at an auto shop will replace your vehicle’s oil filter. This keeps your engine’s oil running clean for as long as possible. They will most likely check other fluids like transmission, power steering, coolant and windshield wiper detergent. They will make sure these are at appropriate levels and that they are not in need of replacing.

Can I change my own oil?

Yes, but a better question is, “should I?” You must be absolutely sure that you have the right experience, tools and means for properly catching and disposing oil. Furthermore, getting under a vehicle is incredibly dangerous. Make sure that you have a set of ramps in good condition (not homemade) to get your vehicle off the ground, an oil-pan, funnel, socket set, filter wrench, fresh oil and a new filter. Also, have a supervisor! If you’re pinned underneath your vehicle, you probably won’t be able to call for help yourself. Make sure that you know where and how to dispose of your old oil. Contact auto shops, and transfer stations to see if they accept old oil, and ask yourself if you really want to drive a dirty pan full of oil inside your car to one of these places. It’s going to be messy. Finally, compare the cost and effort compared to taking it to a shop. Chances are, you’re not going to save a lot of money doing it yourself, and it’s probably going to be a lot more work than it’s worth.

Can I just add oil instead of getting an oil change?

No. Overfilled oil levels can be disastrous for a vehicle’s engine. If oil sits too high in the tank, the crankshaft, which is responsible for the piston’s movement inside the engine, will be partially submerged. This will make the oil to heat up and aerate, causing the oil to froth and the engine to be inadequately lubricated. Also, this will lead to a much higher oil pressure which can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your engine.

Can I mix semi-synthetic with fully synthetic oil?

Yes and no. If you happen to be checking your oil and realize you are low, it’s obvious you want to avoid running the engine dry. If all you have available is a quart or two of semi-synthetic, you will not damage your engine that already contains full-synthetic this time. Mixing the two is not an immediate need for a new engine but doing this frequently may cause the protection properties to be compromised and it may not provide that protection for as long as it would if you use one or the other.

Contact Us

 (780) 628-7570

9821 44 Ave NW #1, Edmonton, AB T6E 5E3

9821 44 Ave NW #1, Edmonton, AB T6E 5E3

Monday – Friday: 08:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Saturdays: 09:00 AM – 01:00 PM
Sundays: CLOSED


From basic preventative maintenance to full service repairs, Choi Motorsport is the right choice for quality car care with an emphasis on customer service and honesty. When you bring your vehicle to us, it is in the best possible hands and you can rest assured that it will receive the highest quality care and returned to you in a timely manner.

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