Changing the oil in your Mini is a relatively easy job to do, but what happens if you don't stay on top of it?
This week's blog takes a look at the issues you can face & also talks you through how to do it yourself!
Changing the oil & filter in your Mini helps improve fuel efficiency & ensures that you keep your car running reliably.
The oil in your Mini deteriorates in time and high mileage, due to constant heating and cooling, it gets contaminated with oxidants and minute metal particles. The viscosity also deteriorates with age & mileage also which can reduces the oil pressure, which is important for lubrication and protecting the bearings and pistons etc. Regular oil changes reduce the build up of sludge in the oil galleries and the gearbox (sump) too.
Oil carries out a multitude of vital jobs in your Mini - it protects, cleans & cools your engine, this is why it is so important in keeping your Mini in tip-top shape.
We would recommend changing your oil every 12 months or every 12,000 miles - whichever comes first... If your Mini does very few miles, we would suggest using your own discretion when it comes to changing the oil.
If you don't change your oil as frequently as you should, or don't do it at all, you run the risk of causing issues:
- The oil in your Mini's engine has lubricating properties to help protect the many moving parts that it is comprised of - such as your pistons and valves, the oil reduces the friction, which ultimately reduces the chance of damage & wear.
- As oil can reach many places in your engine that coolant cannot, oil also plays a vital role in keeping your engine cool. However, the older the oil gets in your engine, the more it breaks down & gets thicker - this is due to the repeated high temperatures. The more the oil breaks down, the less it can absorb the heat, meaning your engine could over heat, parts could potentially wear & warp, and head gaskets can blow.
- Oil also keeps the inside of your Mini's engine clean by removing particles & debris. Dirt can build up overtime which can not only decrease your engine's lifespan, but also causing your engine to have to work harder, resulting in losing power. If you don't keep on top of changing your oil when required, the old oil begins to solidify, resulting in a mucky sludge type substance, which means your oil can no longer reach the parts of your Mini's engine that need it the most - such as the crankshaft, camshaft & bearings. This could result in irreparable damage to your engine!
- The thickened oil, or sludge as it will be, also causes your engine to have to work harder. The result of this is your Mini will use more fuel to try and produce the same amount of power! Increasing anywhere between 1% - 2%. Old oil burning can also release a toxic smoke in to the environment.
- By not changing your Mini's engine oil you risk major damage to your engine, which can lead to expensive repairs, or even needing a replacement engine entirely! Changing your oil within the recommended timeframe will help maintain your engine's life & also help your Mini run to it's maximum potential.
Here at Mini Sport we sell a selection of oils for your Mini, if you're unsure about which one would be best for you, don't hesitate to get in touch. Our friendly & knowledgable Sales Team will help you choose the right one.
Changing the oil & filter in your Mini
Changing the oil on your Mini is a relatively easy job to do requiring very little skill & a few basic tools. Many people choose to let their local garage do this, however you can easily do this yourself at home!
What you will need:
- 5 litres of new oil
- Replacement oil filter
- A large spanner
- A screwdriver set
- An oil filter removal tool (or large flat-headed screwdriver)
- A funnel
- A clean rag
- An oil tray
How to change your oil & filter:
Ideally run your Mini's engine for 15 minutes to warm your oil through before you attempt to drain it as warm oil will flow easier than when it is cold.
- Make sure you wear protective clothing and latex protective gloves to prevent getting the old contaminated oil on your skin
- Take care handling the oil and the filter as the oil will be hot!
- Drain the oil into a suitable container and dispose of it later at a specific disposal point – refit the sump plug with a new copper washer.
- Remove the oil filter and dispose of it together with the old oil, apply a sliver of grease to the oil seal on the new filter, fill the filter with new oil and fit the filter, the filter only needs to be hand tight.
- Refill the engine with new oil 20/50 mineral oil (we recommend Millers Classic 20/50)
- Run the engine at idle speed only, to circulate the new oil around the oil galleries and engine components, check the oil level and check the sump plug and oil filter for leaks.
We hope that this blog can give you a little advice on why you need to change the oil in your Mini (and how to do it!), don't forget - our team is available 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday to assist you with any questions you may have – or assistance you may need, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!