In my last review on Turtle Wax Gloss Guard, I stressed the importance of maintaining the exterior of your vehicle. Judging by the volume of reviews for beauty products, it's much the same for us humans and not just the girlies either, it would seem. That said, if you are butt ugly to begin with, no amount of pampering will achieve much.
Of course, even though we may receive a confidence boost by trying to look our best, it's what's inside that counts - that's what we all tell butt ugly people, anyway. It is certainly the case with cars as well. You may have the shiniest glossiest car on the street but if your car doesn't work, then it's not worth having.
So, maintenance is the issue when it comes to cars and the engine above all other components is the one that you have to keep running efficiently. Thesedays, engines are really very reliable and you don't often see drivers with their heads under the bonnet by the side of the road. However, they do need attention from time to time and anyone reading this who doesn't check their oil level from time to time needs to make a resolution. It isn't just the level that you need to check, making sure that you do it on level ground with a warm rather than hot engine, but also the state of your oil. You can get a good idea from looking at the inside of the oil filler cap when it has cooled a bit after a journey, but if it's bad you can sometimes see a creamy discolouration on the dipstick as well.
The amount of oil needed by a car will vary. Too many of us leave oil checks to the garage when the car goes in for a service. However, with service intervals getting longer and with money tight, a lot of us don't get our cars serviced as often as we should - making it even more important that we check the oil regularly.
My father advised me long ago to always use good quality engine oil and he was always a Castrol man. Liquid Engineering they call it - which is an excellent strap line because it clings to the moving parts of your engine to keep it functioning smoothly. I always keep a bottle in the garage. I say a bottle - it comes in an easy pour plastic container. It's very expensive to buy when compared to the huge variety of cheaper oils available. I saw a 4l container on offer in Asda at Christmas for a tenner and bought some for stock, even thought my car doesn't need much oil. It will come in handy for the next oil change which I do myself. (it's quite easy to do this and at least that way, you'll know that the job has been done - I have often wondered whether garages actually do it properly if at all - and they charge top dollar for the oil they claim to have used, don't they?
It's important that you buy the right oil for your engine - the 15W-50 is the important bit and getting diesel oil for diesel engines is also important. To amateurs, it's all very confusing but it will almost always tell you in the car manual what engine oil to use and it's worth checking and sticking to what is indicated.
The Castrol GTX oil is easy to pour as the container has a pull off/replaceable cap and the shape of the stubby spout allows you to accurately gauge the pouring angle when you are trying to direct it at the fairly small hole in the top of the engine. It is a thick brown liquid, reassuringly viscous. You can see how this would cling to anything with which it comes into contact. The product claims on the front label to clean away and protect against harmful engine deposits and I believe that it does and am happy to trust this established brand that has an excellent reputation to uphold.
The best course of action is to buy the larger containers such as this - if you have ever had to buy oil at a service station when your oil light comes on, you'll know that it is Rip Off City, so making an oil check part of your regular checks will ensure that you seldom need to top up whilst out and about. It's not such a regular purchase so you can keep a look out and only buy when the product is on offer.
Castrol has a very good website if you want any technical details, but it's a good quality tried and tested product and it has been used in all my various cars since leaving home. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.