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10 Major Mistakes You’re Making When Changing Your Car Oil



10 Major Mistakes You're Making When Changing Your Car Oil

10 Major Mistakes You're Making When Changing Your Car Oil


If you change your own oil (or even if you have a shop do it), your car may not be getting all the attention it needs. Almost everyone who has ever changed the oil in a car has made at least one of these mistakes at one time or another.

To help you learn from our mistakes (and so that you don’t have to make them yourself), here is our list of the top ten major mistakes you’re making when changing your car’s oil.

Changing the oil too frequently, not frequently enough, or not at all

It’s best to follow the oil change interval specified in your owner’s manual. If most of your driving is stop and go, you spend a lot of time idling, you tow regularly, or you live on a dirt road, you may need to follow the ‘Severe’ oil change schedule.

While changing the oil too frequently probably isn’t going to damage your engine, it is going to hurt your wallet. Not changing the oil frequently enough on the other hand can lead to costly engine repairs and the dreaded ‘sludge

Not checking the oil between changes

The recommendation used to be to check your oil every time you filled your car up with gas. Some full-service stations (remember those?) even offered to check your oil for you, and if the attendant forgot to offer, your gas was free.

Today you are probably safe checking your oil once every week or two, unless you know your car burns oil or has a leak. Some people are pedants and recommend checking it every day, which seems excessive, but better safe than sorry, right?

Not performing other routine maintenance at the same time

If you bring your car into a shop for an oil change, they’ll probably want to do a lube job, grease your doors, grease your emergency brake, and check the air filter, brake fluid, transmission fluid, engine coolant, and power steering fluid. Many times people who do their own maintenance will call it a day as soon as they are done swapping out the oil, without tending to these other tasks.

While many cars today don’t come with any grease fittings that need servicing, some aftermarket parts still include grease zerks that should be kept filled with a good quality grease.

Using oil additives

With today’s oils and engines, using an oil additive is probably not going to provide any benefits, and may in some extreme cases actually harm your engine. Generally, if your motor is in good shape, and you follow the recommended oil change interval and use the recommended type and weight of oil, using an oil additive is just going to be a waste of money.

Today’s engines often outlive the vehicles that they are installed in, even without the use of any special additives.

Using the wrong weight of motor oil

If you are still using 10w30 because that’s what you’ve always used or because that’s what you remember your mother or father buying, you’re probably making this mistake. Modern cars have tighter tolerances, and aren’t usually designed to use 10w30 anymore.

Using too expensive or too cheap a motor oil

If your owner’s manual recommends synthetic oil, you should follow the recommendation, but otherwise using synthetic might be just a waste of money. Unless your car sees severe duty such as extreme engine temperatures (some turbocharged and supercharged vehicles fall into this category, as well as some high performance naturally aspirated engines), towing, or racing, conventional oil might be the right choice for you.

Synthetic is not recommended for use in some engines, for example in rotary engines where it can damage seals unless specific care is taken to choose a compatible synthetic oil.

Over tightening the filter or drain nut

Some people seem to really like to tighten things as much as they possibly can, even when there is no reason to. Tightening a clean new oil filter with one hand is usually enough, and makes removing it much easier (you might not even need to use a wrench, sometimes just two hands are enough).

For the drain plug, if it doesn’t have a crush gasket, 20 to 25 ft-lbs is usually about right, while plugs with crush washers are usually tightened a bit more, around 30 to 35 ft-lbs. Overtightening will just cause you problems when it comes time to remove the filter or drain plug.

Not replacing the drain plug crush washer or oil filter cover o-ring

On some cars, especially those designed in European countries, the oil drain plug will use a soft metal washer to seal it. These washers are often not reusable because they are crushed the first time the drain plug is tightened down.

If you don’t replace the washer, you may end up with a slow and annoying leak. If your car uses a replaceable oil filter cartridge instead of a normal filter, you might want to consider changing the oil filter cover o-ring at every oil change as well.

Not rotating your tires

Oil changes often coincide with the tire manufacturers’ recommended tire rotation schedule (usually somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 miles). Rotating your tires every oil change can be quite a bit of work (especially if you don’t have a lift), but should help them wear more evenly and last longer.

Not keeping track of oil changes

Usually when you get your oil changed at a shop they will place a sticker on your windshield telling you when the oil was last changed. The sticker acts as a reminder, and lets you know when the next oil change is due.

If you are changing your own oil, remember to keep track of the mileage and date, so you know when it’s time to do the next service. Otherwise, you’ll be trying to remember the exact date and mileage of your last change, or you may forget to do your oil change altogether.


Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via

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Passengers Stranded as Abuja-Kaduna Train Derails



Abuja-Kaduna train

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna train were stranded on Friday in the Kubwa area of Abuja when the train conveying them derailed.

According to reports, the incident happened a few distances to its destination at about 3:20 pm and left the passengers frustrated.

Today’s derailment occurred barely a week after 300 stranded passengers on the Warri-Itakpe train missed its track in Kogi State.

In the latest incident, there were no reports of casualties, though the exact reason for the derailment is still sketchy.

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), which manages rail transportation in the country, was yet to give an update on the situation.

The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari revamped the rail system in the country. Loans were taken from China to build rail tracks to ease the movement of people from one point to another.

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Airtel Supports Police for Safety of Lagos Road Users



safety of Lagos road users traffic booths

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

As part of its commitment to support the activities of the police in ensuring the coordination and safety of Lagos road users, Airtel Nigeria has donated some traffic booths.

According to the Commissioner of Police for the Lagos Police Command, Mr Abiodun Alabi, the booths will be placed in strategic locations across the state to serve as an inspiration to other organisations to support the police in the discharging of their duties.

At a brief ceremony to hand over the items at the Lagos State Police headquarters, Ikeja, on Thursday, January 19, 2023, Mr Alabi thanked the telecommunications service provider for the gesture, recounting previous support over the years.

Some of which included the donation of phones to all police commissions in Lagos, donation of patrol vehicles, renovation of Zone 2 Command, renovation of Lekki Phase 1 Police post and the provision of CCTV cameras, etc.

“On behalf of the Inspector General of Police, Mr Alkali Baba Usman, and the Lagos State Police Command, I would like to thank Airtel for their support to the Nigeria Police over the years and for this particular donation of traffic booths for our traffic officers through its corporate social responsibility.

“Not everyone or every organisation appreciates what the police does for society; therefore, we are pleased to see that Airtel recognizes and supports our effort to carry out our duties optimally,” he said.

Also speaking, the Director of Corporate Communications at Airtel Nigeria, Mr Femi Adeniran, said, “Over the years, Airtel Nigeria has worked closely with the Lagos Police Command, and we have collaborated on several initiatives with a positive impact towards making Lagos a safer and more secured State to live in and do business.

“We are firm in our resolve to drive the vision of Airtel Africa towards sustainability consistently, and we consistently work to demonstrate this in our deeds through our CSR interventions.

“We are always glad to support the police force in the great work they do daily because we understand that once there is security, people can live and make ends meet without fear, and that is the only way we can say that we have a good society.”

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Traffic Gridlock: Lagos Directs Petrol Stations to Close by 4pm



Petrol stations traffic lagos

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Petrol stations located along the major roads in Lagos will now operate from 9 am to 4 pm daily, the Lagos State government has directed.

A statement signed by the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Frederic Oladeinde, explained that the move was to curtail the traffic gridlock witnessed around such fuelling stations in the metropolis.

The incessant scarcity of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, in the city and other parts of Nigeria has caused vehicles to queue for the product, causing a clog in vehicular movement.

Most of the queues are seen around petrol stations belonging to major oil marketers because of their pump price. At the moment, most of them sell at the official price of N169 per litre, while other fuelling stations sell between N240 per litre and N260 per litre.

The quest to buy cheaper fuel has forced most motorists to queue for many hours at stations selling the official pump price.

To address traffic caused by the queues and ensure the free flow of vehicular movement in the metropolis, the state government has moved to “regulate the activities of major and independent petroleum marketers operating along major roads and traffic-prone areas within the state,” according to the statement.

Mr Oladeinde said the state government was not happy with the “indiscriminate activities of motorists queuing to buy petroleum products and often impeding the free flow of traffic on some roads.”

He said the government has now decided to ensure that, “petroleum marketers whose filling stations are situated on major highways and areas susceptible to traffic will henceforth be allowed to operate only between the hours of 9 am to 4 pm daily, pending when the fuel shortage crisis subsides.”

The Commissioner added that the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS), Transport Operations Compliance Unit (TOCU) and other law enforcement agencies have been charged to ensure a seamless flow of traffic across the State.

Mr Oladeinde urged “all major and independent petroleum marketers operating across the state to comply with the directive to avoid sanctions.”

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