Engine Oil Change: Most Important Things to Know

12 Apr, 2019 • 4 min read
Engine Oil Change: Most Important Things to Know

This is part 1 of our car know-how series, where we help car owners understand engine oil change.

1) What is an engine oil change?

Your engine oil keeps your engine from wearing out.

Changing your engine oil is the main procedure workshops typically carry out when you “service” your car. Other procedures include an oil filter change and a maintenance check.

When your engine runs, your engine oil coats the engine and lubricates all the individual parts. This reduces friction and stress on your engine which prevents wear and tear.

2) How often should I change engine oil?

Every 10,000 km or 6 months on average

Cars used to require an engine oil change every 5,000 km of driving, this translates to around 3 months assuming you drive to and fro from woodlands to the CBD every day1.

With advancements in engine oil and car technology, most engine oils should be changed every 10,000 km of driving or around 6 months, on average.

However, the frequency heavily depends on the make of your car and the engine oil you use.

3) How much can I expect to spend on an engine oil change?

Asian cars: $90-130

Continental cars: $110-160

Changing your engine oil is typically part of a servicing package. Based on our analysis of 700+ workshop quotations, servicing packages typically cost $90-130 for Asian cars and $110-160 for continental cars2.

The three factors that affect the price of your service packages are:

Type of engine oil used: Fully synthetic oil is more expensive while mineral oil is cheaper
Type of oil filter: Continental cars use more expensive oil filters than Asian cars
Labor charges: Depends on the workshop

4) What engine oil should I use?

Depends on the age of your car

For newer cars released in the last 10 years, most carmakers would recommend fully synthetic engine oil. We recommend consulting your owner’s manual to find out the most suitable oil.

Types of engine oil

Mineral: Cheapest type of oil. Most widely used globally.
Semi-synthetic: A mix of synthetic and mineral. Performance and price is somewhere in between.
Fully synthetic: Made for high-tech engines and better performance. Lasts double the duration of conventional engine oil. Price is double (or more) that of mineral oil.

5) What happens if I don’t change my engine oil?

Your engine could fail and engines are expensive to fix

Engine oil degrades into sludge over time, which can cause insufficient lubrication. This leads to your engine wearing, which could eventually cause engine failure.

In Singapore, replacing your engine requires submitting paperwork to Land Transport Authority . As a result, most car engines that require servicing undergo overhauls which costs $2,000 or more, depending on the severity.

Reduces fuel consumption

Without the lubrication from fresh engine oil, your engine is hotter and works harder for the same amount of fuel. Assuming a 5% reduction in fuel efficiency, skipping one engine oil change (10,000 km) could result in you spending $118 more in fuel consumption3.

6) Which are the best workshops for engine oil change?

There are over 1,000+ workshops covering all corners of Singapore. Get started with a comprehensive list of workshops, sorted by customer ratings.

Book now with Steer to get exclusive discounts off your first servicing and cashback on top of that.

1 Woodlands to CBD is around 25km.
2 There are also American cars and other less common cars.
3 This assumes 1) 95-octane oil at S$2.25 per litre and 2) fuel consumption of 10 km per litre.

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