Book an engine oil and filter change at National
The benefits of a new oil and filter change are abundant, it keeps your car engine clean, optimises performance and can even improve your fuel economy. Oil is often described as the 'lifeblood of the engine' since it lubricates and removes harmful deposits which may impact on your engine's performance. Regular oil and filter changes are essential. You can never change your oil and filter too often.
National Tyres and Autocare has over 1,000 fully qualified oil and filter technicians across the UK who are standing by to help you select the right type of oil for your vehicle.
How do I tell if my oil needs changing?
Oil is vital to the functioning of the engine; therefore, it is important that it is regularly changed to keep your engine running smoothly. There are some signs that you can look out for that may indicate that your oil needs changing;
Excessive dirty smoke coming out of your exhaust is a tell-tale sign that you need your oil changing. The excess smoke can be a result of aging oil losing its lubricating abilities causing friction in the engine. Without clean lubricating oil in the engine, fast-moving parts in the engine begin to heat up due to forces of friction that in turn causes the smoke.
Just like engine smoke being visible, your engine being abnormally loud when you drive is also a clue that you may need an oil change. This is an indication that the current oil circulating around the engine has begun to wear thin, effecting the viscosity and lubrication qualities of the oil. This makes the engine run less smoothly than before causing it to make more noise.
One of the main benefits of engine oil is that it circulates around the engine cleaning it from residue and particles that build up over time. Once these particles are swept up, they are then trapped by the oil and over time this can cause the oil to lose its viscosity (stickiness) and gives it a gritty texture. If your engine oil appears to have a gritty texture, then this is a key indication that you should change your oil.
This is one of the most evident ways in which you will know your oil needs changing. To check your oil, make sure that you are parked on even ground, put your bonnet up and check the level with your dipstick. This should be done once a week and after long drives to check that you have an adequate amount of oil in your car.
Most modern cars have an oil regulating system so the minute that an oil change is required a symbol will appear on the dashboard, urging you to get an oil change as soon as possible. In older cars this may not be the case. A specific symbol for an oil change may not appear, but instead a check engine light. The check engine light may come up for a number of reasons but it is advised that you check your oil level when you see this light displayed.
With the purpose of oil making the engine run smoothly and lubricating any moving parts, shaking whilst idling is an indication that this is not taking place. The reason that the car is shaking is the oil that lubricates moving parts and avoids metal-on-metal rubbing together has either depleted or has lost its lubricating qualities, in either case an oil change is required. It is important that if your car is shaking whilst idling you should get it checked.
A final warning sign that you need an oil change is if you hear a continuous ticking noise when you start your engine. When the engine starts the oil pump immediately starts pumping oil around the engine. If there is no oil in the sump for the oil pump to circulate, then this noise will be audible when starting the engine. If you hear this noise, then it is important to check your oil level and book in for an oil change if necessary.
To ensure you get the best price for your next oil and filter change, speak directly to one of our local technicians on the telephone number above or use our simple registration number lookup system to get a quick quote or make an online booking. National completes thousands of oil and filter changes every week, helping customers' engines run better and last longer for a low cost.
FREE Visual Safety Check
Not sure if you need an oil and filter change? Why not book in for a free safety check at any of our branches. The check takes about 20 mins and as well as checking your engine oil, they will also check the tyres, battery, shock absorbers, exhausts, and also your brakes. Once the Safety check has been completed, you will receive a full written safety inspection report and you will be advised of any technical matters that may have been found.
Express, Interim or Full Service package
Here at National, we now offer three different servicing packages. As part of all of these servicing packages, whether that be an Express Service, an Interim Service, or a Full Service, an oil and filter change will be conducted.
How much is an oil change?
Oil and filter change prices vary depending on the vehicle manufacturer, model, and its specific oil requirements. The easiest way to find a price for an oil and filter change is to enter your registration number into the search box at the top of this page and it will give you an instant quotation for your vehicle, including the recommended oil.
We also provide a Payment Assist for our customers, where we can take the payment over 6 instalments. Please note that Payment Assist is only available on orders which are over £250. This would be a perfect option for you if you were purchasing tyres along with an oil change.
Oil & Filter Price Promise
National can offer a speedy and low-cost oil & filter change to get you back on the road with the minimum hassle. Don't forget our Price Promise – if you can find the same product at a lower price in stock locally within 7 days of purchase, we promise to beat the competitor's written quotation.
What oil do we recommend?
The health of your engine depends greatly on the performance of the oil and filter. At National Tyres and Autocare, we only use top quality engine oils from one of the world's largest lubricant manufacturers, Valvoline.
Click here to see the Valvoline oil specifications
Valvoline is one of the world's most trusted oil brands who have been making oil since 1866. In fact Valvoline was the only engine oil recommended by Ford for their 'Model-T' in 1920. Valvoline has over 150+ years of manufacturing excellence and was responsible for developing the world's first racing oil and the world's first high-mileage blend.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fully Synthetic Oil
What is fully synthetic oil?
Fully synthetic oil has been engineered for peak performance of your vehicle and is seen as the premium oil for high performance vehicles.
The characteristics of this oil include:
- Increased lubrication
- Higher viscosity levels
- Resistance to oxidation
- Resistance to oil sludge
- Improved fuel efficiency
All of these characteristics are to benefit an engine working extremely hard and fast, delivering large amounts of horsepower.
Synthetic blend oil
What is synthetic blend oil?
Synthetic blend oil is a more cost-effective synthetic oil, offering a blend of the premium synthetic with conventional motor oil. Due to the cost-effectiveness and the added benefits of the partial synthetic blend, this oil is becoming increasingly popular amongst a variety of different motorists and can be seen in a number of vehicles.
Characteristics of this oil include:
- Withstand higher and lower temperatures than conventional oil
- Increased oil life
- Better durability
- Added resistance to oxidation
Conventional Motor Oil
What is conventional motor oil?
Conventional motor oil is the most common type of oil used and also the most cost effective. It is categorised into different grades based on viscosity and quality. It is suitable for light-duty and older model vehicles with a less complex engine and average mileage.
Characteristics of this oil include:
- Basic lubrication qualities
- Able to perform at high temperatures
- Basic quality for a cheaper price
There are a number of different variables which can determine which motor oil is best for your car. It is essential that the right oil is put in the car to make the engine run at optimum performance. If the incorrect oil is put in your car it can lead to a lack of performance, shorter engine life and complications with your engine, therefore it is important to know what oil to put into your car. There are three different types of engine oil: Fully Synthetic Oil, Synthetic Blend Oil and Conventional Motor Oil.
Oil is graded with a combination of letters and numbers by The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), based on the viscosity of the oil. Viscosity is how resistant the oil is flowing around the engine, the lower the viscosity the easier it is for the oil to flow.
Monograde oils are suitable for older engines and are used at a lower temperature. In the winter an oil marked W (winter) needs to be used as the lower viscosity of this oil circulates the engine better in winter months.
An example would be 5W-30
5 = The viscosity at colder temperatures
W = Winter
30 = How thick the oil is at the engine’s normal operating temperature.
In a warmer climate an oil with a high viscosity that is not marked W is recommended such as SAE 16 in order to protect the engine at higher temperatures.
Multigrade oils are similar to Monograde oils but with one major key difference. Multigrade can work effectively in all seasons and at a variety of temperatures, making them more popular and convenient.
An example of a multigrade oil would be 10W40. It is the same layout and meaning as the monograde oil with the W still meaning winter and the numbers representing the same.
The benefits of a new oil change are abundant, it keeps your car engine clean, optimises performance and can even improve your mileage. In order to reap these benefits, it is essential that the oil is changed at the right time to make sure that it is effective and doesn’t have a detrimental effect on your engine. With all of this being said a large number of people don’t know when they should change their oil, so we are going to provide some clarity.
Firstly, there are a number of different conditions that change the frequency of when you should get your oil changed, such as:
- Age of engine
- Type of oil used
- Driving conditions
Age of the engine
The first variable is how old the engine is. The older the engine then the more frequent the oil changes need to be, this is due to the older parts in the engine requiring more oil to keep them cool and lubricated. You should look to change the oil in the engine of your older car every 3000 miles if it is older than 2007. Oil helps to lubricate your vehicle, ensuring the moving parts run smoothly, while the filter helps to carry dirt and debris away from your engine. However, over time oil can lose its viscosity and the filter can become clogged so regular oil and filter changes are recommended.
Type of oil used
The type of oil used can also have a profound effect, this is due to the different qualities that each oil presents. Essentially the newer synthetic oil has much better durability and better lubricating qualities, meaning that the intervals for an oil change can be extended much further to as much as 7500 miles with full synthetic oil.
Driving conditions can also have a big impact. Firstly, if a car is being commonly used somewhere where it is dirty or dusty this can lead to a more frequent oil change. This is because dust particles can get caught in the engine which is then carried away by the oil causing a build-up, making the oil less lubricating and causing friction in your engine. Also, the driving habits of the driver have a big effect as the worst conditions for oil life is driving small distances at a slow pace. Driving like this will cause you to increase your oil change intervals. The optimum driving habits for oil life is driving long distances at motorway speed.
What is an oil filter?
As you drive along the engine will pick up a number of different contaminants. One of the beneficial qualities that oil has is that when it circulates the engine it picks up contaminants and removes them from the vital parts of the engine, cleaning it in the process. An oil filter is a component in the car located under or at the side of the engine block, designed to filter out these contaminants trapped in the oil so that only clean oil will circulate the engine. The oil filter is an essential part of the oil’s journey through the engine as without it dirty oil would circulate the engine, causing it to lose its lubricating qualities and even viscosity.
When do I change my oil filter?
In order to keep your new oil contaminant-free then it is also important to change your oil filter which can be done when you go for an oil change. The oil filter can get to a point where it has filtered out so many contaminants and particles that it begins to lose its effectiveness. Therefore, it is recommended that you change your oil filter every other time you change your oil, or to be more precise every 7500 miles.
Firstly, engine oil begins its life in the sump. The sump is a basin where the oil is stored before it begins to circulate throughout the engine. The sump acts as a reservoir for the oil preserving it for later use.
Next, the Oil pump sucks the oil from the sump and pumps the engine oil around the engine. Before the oil goes around the engine it first goes through an oil filter. The purpose of an oil filter is to filter out any contaminants and particles that may be carried in the oil, preventing any damage to the engine and ensuring that the oil retains its lubricating qualities. The oil is also pressurised before heading through the engine.
From here clean oil is moved to all the vital engine parts. The oil passes through the bearings that support the crankshaft, ensuring that there is a constant flow of oil on them. Pistons are cooled down and kept clean. The oil also circulates to the valve train too, coating it to avoid it wearing over time. The biggest quantity of oil goes to the valve train, as this is where the oil is put to the most stress. It is essential that the oil lubricates all of these fast moving parts to avoid wear, friction and damage.
Finally, the oil is returned to the sump through oil return channels, where the whole process starts again. This whole process happens constantly when you are driving to keep the engine running smooth, with the journey through the engine back to the sump taking about 5 seconds.
Checking your oil is very important to the maintenance of your car and every driver should know how to check their oil level to see if they need an oil change. Firstly, the ideal way to check your engine oil is to make sure that the car is parked on even ground. This is to ensure that you get an accurate reading. It is also better that you check your oil when the car is warm (turn off the engine before checking the oil and let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes). To achieve this simply park on even ground, wait a few minutes and then the car should be the right temperature and the oil would have settled. Next, you need to open your bonnet and locate the dipstick. This is a stick that usually has a T shaped or round handle and will be located near the engine. The dipstick should be wiped clean before use to give a clear indication where the current oil level is at. The dipstick will have two marks on it to show where the ideal level of oil should be. Put the dipstick in the oil pan, if the oil level is in between the two marks then it is an ideal level. If the oil level is below the bottom line, then it should be topped up to the adequate level.
Other signs on the dipstick may indicate you need an oil change such as –
- Darker colour oil on the dipstick, showing the oil has been exposed to high heat for too long
- Oil level too high on dipstick, indicating that another contaminant has been added to the oil such as cooling fluid
Changing your own oil can be beneficial as it is cost saving and not too difficult, however, there are a number of benefits to why you should go and get your oil changed by professionals.
Better for inexperienced drivers
For people who are not familiar with how to replace their oil and does not have much experience with cars, then they may feel more comfortable getting it done by a mechanic that will do a professional job. This will also give you the opportunity to ask the mechanic any questions or concerns that you may have regarding your car.
Right oil selected
Engine oil is categorised into different grades based on viscosity and temperature. Certain car engines require a certain viscosity oil for their engine, so for optimal engine performance, it is important that this is right. For someone who is not familiar with any of these grades or is not sure which oil is best for their car, mechanics would be able to find this information and change your oil with the correct grade.
Oil is changed as part of an Express Service
The opportunity is there if you want an oil change without getting your car serviced. However, an oil change comes as part of a service. This is a big benefit because it gives drivers the opportunity to address any other problems with the car as well as getting an oil change. This can be a particular advantage if you notice that you are running out of oil regularly as it gives the mechanics the opportunity to investigate and solve any issues.
Engine oil is a liquid made from a petroleum hydrocarbon base stock derived from crude oil, with added properties. Due to what the oil is made from, it can quite easily pollute, causing considerable environmental damage. Oil should never be poured down the drain. In the UK, certain regulations need to be adhered to when disposing of your engine oil.
Oil must be disposed of properly, by taking it to an official oil bank. You can find your nearest oil bank at www.oilbankline.org.uk or contact your local authority recycling officer.
If you have an oil spill, do not hose it down with water or mix with cleaning products to try and get rid of it as this makes the pollution worse. Instead, buy an oil spill kit or use sand to soak up the oil and then dispose in the nearest oil bank.
Some motorists tend to think that you can just keep up topping up the depleted oil level and this will ensure that it continues to circulate your engine with the same beneficial effects. However, this is wrong. If you simply topped up your oil without an oil and filter change, then the new oil would simply not perform as it would become diluted down with the old oil. The old oil does not disappear, it simply is mixed with the new fresh oil. We recommend that the old oil is drained and replaced with new oil. This will be performed during an oil and filter change.