Ask the mechanic: Is it necessary to change my VW oil filter?

Is changing the oil filter necessary and how easy is it on my Volkswagen Polo? Annet

Hello Annet, it is important to replace the oil filter of an engine during periodical oil service because the oil filter works as hard to keep the engine oil clean before the next service.

As you run your engine, the oil that flows around works in hot and harsh conditions to cool the engine, lubricate the fast moving metallic parts to avoid frictional or sheer damage as well as clean small metal debris deposits and soot from metal surfaces while carrying this dirt to the oil filter for trapping. 

Overtime, the oil filter will need to be replaced and failure to do so will lead to it getting clogged. A clogged oil filter will reduce the oil flow pressure and could lead to severe engine damage.

Removing the oil filter during an oil change is easy if a technician follows these simple steps: Once the car bonnet is opened, placed on the pit or hoisted up, the lower engine splash shield should be removed.

The oil filter can be seen and removed using an appropriate filter wrench. It should be replaced with a genuine one to avoid leaking or blockage of oil flow both of which can cause severe damage to the engine.

Does my car need XL tyres? 

I do not know whether my car needs XL or regular load tyres. The owner’s manual does not say, so how do I find out? Justine

Hello Justine, the quickest way to know if your car needs XL or regular (standard) load tyres is by checking the current tyres and confirming if they are inscribed with EL (Extra Load); RF/RED (Reinforced) or SL (Standard Load). XL stands for Extra Load. XL tyres are not necessarily meant for only vehicles carrying heavy loads. They are also designed for heavy cars or high performance cars. 

So, it is useful to know if your car belongs to the heavy category such as an SUV or a high performance car with a powerful engine or sometimes has to carry loads. XL tyres have a bigger load capacity than standard load tyres and can withstand higher load and weight pressure. XL tyres have more robust side wall build quality for higher load capacities and harder wearing. 

They also have better damage resistance and should last longer. Tyre load will be increased due to weight pressure, which is affected by the actual car weight or performance demands such as acceleration, cornering and braking. 

Therefore, if you fit Extra Load tyres on your car, it will have better road grip, improved traction on all terrain and better cornering stability. 

XL tyres have better resistance to accelerated wear caused by extra load due to acceleration and cornering.


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