The importance of regular oil changes on performance cars.

Tuning guide "Engine oil change schedules for performance cars."

Engine oil change schedules for performance cars. Guide

You spent a lot of time and effort tuning and enhancing the performance of your car. You want to keep the car in peak condition and dread a visit from Mr Breakdown! How important is a maintenance schedule for your tuned car? We shall look at the importance of oil changes in this first of our maintenance articles.When pushing the engine to its limits each and every component is put under more stress. The payoff for the extra performance is often much less reliability or at best poor running. If you car has a 10,000 mile or 1 year service schedule as standard you should ideally shorten this by 1/3. This may sound like a pain but you are pushing the engine harder, it is running more power and receiving more wear as a result. So shorten the service interval to 6000 miles.

The single most important thing to do is to change the oil and ideally this should be done every 6 months. The oil is the one barrier the engine has to protect itself against wear. An engine which had an oil change every 6 months was stripped down. Despite its high mileage (240,000) the engine was still in very good condition and require very little rebuild work.

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Which oil you use depends on the specifications for your engine but please research this and get it right. Too "thin an oil" (less viscous) will lead to excessive wear and eventually oil burning and damage the engine and too thick an oil can lead to heat build up and premature wear. If you have a turbo engine the only oil I would recommend you use is a fully synthetic oil. Long life oils have better characteristics and can stand up to the extra stress put on an engine.

As an engine gets older you may be tempted to use a slightly thicker oil as the pistons have worn down and blow by can occur causing oil burning but the rate of wear will increase and you will actually be harming your engine, so stick with the recommended oil spec throughout a cars life and upgrade the oil if the car has been specially tuned. The oil grades typically range from 0w15 to 30w60. Most oils starting with a 0 are synthetic. Semi-synthetics are a mixture of minerals and synthetics and work well in most performance cars.

Remember the turbo is spinning at 100,000's of rpm and also runs really hot so any oil in the turbo when the engine is switched off will degrade unless it is in good condition. This also shows the importance of allowing and engine to cool down a little after a spirited run.

When changing the oil you will also need to change the filter. The small metal particles from the engine will collect in the filter and you don't want the smaller particles breaking up and flowing round the engine again.

Oil additives can be effective at improving the qualities of the oil but most are over rated. A good quality premium oil will outperform a cheap oil with an additive (and probably cost less overall!)

Warning - some oil additives will block up your filter and may also damage your engine! We do not recommend using oil additives.

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One Response to “Engine oil change schedules for performance cars.”

  1. Vishak says:

    Lots of very useful information. An eye opener to me.