What’s the first thing you do after you buy a car or a motorcycle? I for one will want to ride or drive the vehicle, understand how well it gels with my characteristics. The idea of checking the owner’s manual is mostly lost unless I find some feature which I can’t understand. I am referring to 2006, the last time I bought a new bike. Times have moved and the user manual has been relegated to the coffins ever since “google kar le” has taken over. However, the user manual whether in digital or paper form tells you a lot on how to maintain your two or four-wheeler. For example, the first oil change or when to replace the filters and so on. While this is an exhaustive topic, for today I will be telling why exactly is an engine oil change the most important aspect of vehicle maintenance.
When you bring home a new bike (taking this for the sake of reference. Applies to a car as well), the engine is nouveau. This means a few components inside the engine, along with other parts like brakes, tyres are yet to bed in. During this period, while you are riding, the components start to mesh and then settle into a rhythm. In this timeframe, small metal bits from the engine sleeves or piston, due to friction, mix with the engine oil. These metal shavings might just enter the oil reservoir, if not flushed, and cause damage in the long run. This is precisely why the manufacturer recommends that you change the engine oil within 500km (depends on the company) or 30 days.
The oil lubricates the engine parts, thereby allowing them to work with minimum friction. At the same time, the heat accumulating in the engine compartment due to the innumerable combustion cycles is carried away by the oil, thereby helping the engine maintain an optimum temperature. Imagine the amount of work that litre or two of oil has to do to keep your bike running smoothly. In the course of time, the oil wears out and thereby is rendered less effective at its aforementioned tasks. This is where the oil needs to be changed. Ideally, if the manufacturer says that the oil has to be replaced at 2,000km, try and get it done at 1,800km.
If your bike is under warranty, never overshoot the oil replacement interval. If you do, then the warranty will be void. At the same time if your bike has an oil filter, get it replaced during the oil change as well. Remember this, a healthy motorcycle will perform at its optimum best and give unending smiles to the rider.
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