How to change your car’s motor oil

First, let’s answer the question; Why should you change your own oil? Because you can save time and money. You don’t have to queue at the service shop or the quick oil change shop. For ten dollars you can get the best oil and a new oil filter. And it’s so easy to do that you could train a monkey to do it.

Changing the motor oil in your car is a very simple three-step process: 1. Drain the used oil. 2. Replace the oil filter. 3. Add the new oil. But before we go through the steps, let’s answer some basic questions.

When should I change my oil?

Look in your car’s owner’s manual. Most automakers recommend changing the motor oil every 6,000 miles for normal service or every 3,000 miles for severe service. I change my oil every 6,000 miles, and my engines run like new when I change my vehicles with 100,000+ miles on them. One thing I do is change the oil in a new car after the first 300 mile break-in period. Then after that I change the oil every 6,000 miles.

What type of oil should I use?

You are not going to save money by using a different brand oil because your engine will wear out sooner. Use oil that meets the American Pertroleum Institute (API) SL classification. I use Valvoline, Quaker State, Pennzoil, or Havoline brand oil. These quality oils contain additives that make them work better and longer.

If you are changing your oil just before winter, use SAE 10W30 weight oil. This number means that the oil will have a thin viscosity of 10 pesos when the engine is cold, which will help the engine start more easily, and then the oil will thicken to a viscosity of 30 pesos when the engine heats up, better protecting the motor. If you are changing the oil just before the summer, use SAE 10W40 weight oil. The extra 40 weight viscosity will better protect your engine in hot weather.

Which is the first step?

Let your engine cool down first. Modern engines run near 300 degrees (F), and hot oil will definitely burn you badly. You shouldn’t have to lift your car unless you have some kind of sports car or low rider. Most cars have enough room underneath to reach underneath and change the engine oil.

Step 1: Drain the old oil.

Locate the oil drain plug and place a pan underneath to collect the oil. Using a box wrench, remove the oil plug.

Note to beginners: To remove the drain plug, turn it counterclockwise.

– If you have a GM dual overhead camshaft EcoTec engine, you might have a hard time locating the drain plug in all that aluminum.

When the oil stops draining, reinstall the drain plug.

Note to beginners: To replace the drain plug, turn it clockwise. Start the plug with your fingers. If turning seems a bit difficult, back off! You are crossing the threads.

Step 2. Replace the oil filter.

Move your oil pan under the oil filter. Using an oil filter wrench to start, remove the oil filter. (beginners: counterclockwise, and you will get some oil in your hand).

– A strap type oil filter wrench is the best type to use. A socket-type oil filter tool with a ratchet is used just like a regular socket. The problem with the plug type is that it tends to get stuck in the filter. Use the given type tool if you do not have enough space around the oil filter to use the belt type.

Put a thin layer of oil on the gasket of the new filter with your finger for a better seal.

*! Now pay attention, this is where you can ruin Royal!

By hand, install the new oil filter. If turning seems a bit difficult, back off! You are crossing the threads. Most filters have an instruction printed on them to give the filter one more turn after the gasket has made contact.

Here’s what I recommend: Screw in the filter until it’s “hand-tight.” Then use the oil filter wrench to tighten it another 1/8 to 1/4 turn. This is critical!

When the vehicle is running, the oil pump puts the oil under pressure. If you don’t install the oil filter tight enough, the oil will gush out. If that happens, stop the engine immediately. Without oil, an engine will crash in seconds.

The first time I changed my oil, I used the filter wrench to tighten the filter as hard as I could. Wrong! The next time I went to change my oil, I couldn’t remove the filter. Fortunately, I had a lot of room around the filter, so I drove a screwdriver through the filter body and used the screwdriver handle to turn the filter off.

Warning! Do not over-tighten the filter. Please follow the above instructions carefully!

– GM’s EcoTec dual overhead camshaft engine has an unusual oil filter located on top of the engine. Remove the air inlet hose from the engine. That’s the oil filter canister just to the right and below the end of the open air intake tube. Use an appropriately sized wrench to remove the lid from the container. This engine uses a special filter cartridge.

Step 3. Add the new oil.

Locate the oil fill cap on the valve cap. I’ve seen motor oil novices in everything from the master brake cylinder to the radiator cap. Make sure you have located the oil fill plug. Remove the oil filler cap.

When pouring in the oil, it would be advisable to use a funnel between the oil can and the oil fill hole in the valve cover.

How much oil should you add? Look in your car’s owner’s manual. Most engines have a capacity of four or five quarters. Do not overfill the crankcase. When you start the engine, the extra oil is extinguished through the PCV value, possibly stopping your engine.

Tip: If you don’t know the engine oil capacity, add four quarts, then check the oil level; if it is a low quart, add another quart.

Replace the oil fill cap.

Step 4. Start the engine.

Yes, I know, I said there are only three steps. You are done, this is not really a “step”.

Start the engine and make sure the oil warning light goes out. Look under the vehicle to make sure there are no oil leaks. Turn off the engine and let it sit for a minute to allow the oil to drain into the crankcase. Then use the dipstick to measure the oil level.

How to check the oil level: Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, and reinstall the dipstick. Make sure the dipstick is fully inserted or you will get a false reading. After a few seconds, remove the dipstick and examine how high up it is covered in oil. Most dip sticks have a “full” mark printed on them.

Note: I find the best way to dispose of the old oil is to use a funnel to pass it from the collection tray to the bottles that the new oil comes from. When I have a large pile of used oil bottles, I take them to the oil recycling center. Be sure to mark used oil bottles so you don’t accidentally think they are new oil.

Copyright (C) 2004 Bucaro TecHelp.

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