Regular oil changes are essential for ensuring the longevity and performance of any engine. With the relative ease of access to most major engine components, changing motorcycle oil is often done more quickly and easily than with other vehicles. From understanding the process to selecting the right engine oil, cyclists would do well to learn more about changing their own oil.
Heat and Viscosity Breakdown
Motor oil serves to lubricate moving parts that might otherwise suffer damage from excess friction. Over time, exposure to the heat created both in the combustion chamber as well as the friction of moving parts can cause oil to break down and lose viscosity. Oil that is overdo for a change may only provide a fraction of the lubrication and protection that may be needed in order to ensure safe engine operation.
Selecting the Right Engine Oil
There are a number of reasons why conventional motor oils may not be ideal for use in a motorcycle engine. Smaller engines that are designed to operate at speeds and temperatures radically different from their larger counterparts often require motor oil and other lubricants that have been specifically formulated. Choosing the right oil is never a minor concern and motorcycle owners should always refer to their manufacturer’s recommendation before making a selection.
Removing, Inspecting and Disposing of Old Engine Oil
To change the oil, owners must first locate and remove the oil drain bolt. This will allow the old oil to drain out of the engine where it can be collected. The oil filter should also be removed and inspected for signs of wear or visible damage. The engine oil itself needs to be disposed of safely and should be taken to garage, auto-part retailer or other suitable site. After replacing both the filter and the drain bolt, cyclists should consult their manual in order to determine how much oil should be added.
Problems and Complications
An oil change is a relatively simple procedure, but there are still problems which may crop up from time to time. Common problems may include a stuck drain bolt can become a nuisance or gasket separation when removing the old oil filter which may lead to an improper seal. Other things to watch out for include low oil levels which may indicate a leak somewhere within the system or the presence of metal shavings or other debris within the oil itself which may indicate a more serious mechanical issue.
Frequent Oil Changes Make a Difference
Most oil changes require very little time and effort and even novice mechanics should have no trouble completing the process. Regular oil changes are essential for ensuring engines are able to last as long as possible. For cyclists who love their bikes, regular oil changes should always be a top priority.