“How often should I change my oil?” is one of the questions that we here at Pace answer on a daily basis.
The answer is simple – the more often your engine oil and filter are replaced, the better for your vehicle’s engine. In fact, many vehicles which are covered by extended or third party warranties require the vehicle’s engine oil and filter to be replaced every six months or the warranty becomes void or invalid.
Realistically, however, your engine oil and filter should be replaced every 12 months at the bare minimum. Unfortunately, not every vehicle is serviced this frequently and, for many, this can have performance implications down the track.
These photos show debris caught in the oil pick-up strainer from an Audi A4, pre delivery to the oil pump, and are an example of what can occur when a vehicle has extended oil service intervals.
Fine carbon debris gathered under negative pressure in the strainer, restricting oil flow and, most importantly, oil pressure to all moving parts in the engine. Unfortunately for this client and his Audi A4, the by-product was a seized turbo charger, which was the furthest point from the oil pump itself.
We suspect that the orange pieces that can be seen are from a broken plastic dip stick tube while the rest of the particles are dislodged carbon build up. A closer look shows finer debris lodged in the wire gauze of the pick up strainer.
The symptom for this issue was an intermittent loss of power that became more frequent with time, until eventually the turbo stopped boosting the engine air intake and drastically reduced power is noticed permanently.