One of the most basic automotive repair operations is to change your car’s engine oil. The engine of your car is an engineering wonder, no doubt about that. Basically, it’s made of a lot of metal pieces that shift continuously while the engine runs. Since these metal parts rub against each other, to prevent the parts from heating excessively and to ensure that everything works optimally, they need adequate lubrication. In essence, this underlines the meaning of adjusting the engine oil. However, instead of taking your car to the garage, you can actually change your car’s engine oil on your own. This is how:
1. Check the oil and oil filter that the manufacturer of your vehicle recommends.
You must first secure all of your materials before you start raising your vehicle to gain access to the engine oil drain plug. And the oil itself and the oil filter are two of the most essential materials you will ever need. Although it is easy to simply get the readily available items off the shelf, you must first consult the manual of your vehicle owner to verify and create the recommended oil and oil filter for your vehicle.
However, take the climate in which you live into account, as this can have a huge effect on your engine oil selection. Although the owner’s manual will give you a suggestion, know that these are in general terms, in an otherwise common situation with a car. Unfortunately, if you live in a warmer or even colder area, then you may have to search your vehicle for the most suitable engine oil based on ambient temperatures. For such cases, it’s a good thing some manufacturers already have recommendations.
2. Run your engine for about 5 minutes.
If you have not noticed, when the ambient temperature is low, oil has this peculiar characteristic to become one solid block of fat. Although your engine oil does not have this characteristic, luckily, in the event of a cold engine, there is still a propensity for oil to settle down with metal particles and dirt. Therefore, to encourage the oil to become less viscous, you need to crank up your engine and let it run for about 5 minutes. This facilitates quick drainage of the oil.
When warmed up, don’t instantly remove the gasoline. To allow the oil temperature to slightly decrease, wait another 5 or even 10 minutes. This helps to avoid wounds that are secondary to oil burns. If your car has been running for several hours, before trying to remove the oil, make sure to increase the period of time to reduce the oil temperature.
3. Secure your car in a flat, stable, and even terrain and raise it.
Park your vehicle on clear, even, and secure ground. If it’s an automatic, or Neutral if the manual, make sure your car is put in the Park spot. Engage the brake or handbrake for parking, too. To lift your car, use an alligator-type hydraulic jack now. Now is the best time to use it to support one or two of the lift beams on the underside of your car, if you have a vehicle trunk. As this is very dangerous, you can never use a single jack.
4. Drain the old oil of the engine.
If your car has a splash guard to protect the underside of your vehicle, you must first remove it to gain access to the sump plug. You would need a wrench to unscrew it to remove the sump plug. Make sure that an oil drain pan is put directly under the sump plug, so the oil can flow straight into the pan once you remove the plug. Also, take this chance to clean the sump plug. To help avoid leaks, you may also want to adjust the crush washer. Enable several minutes for your engine to fully drain the gasoline. You can still need to wait a few more minutes to drain it full, even though there is no more visible oil dripping from the sump. You can screw the sump plug back once that is finished.
5. Remove the oil filter and clean up the filter compartment.
Here’s the matter of replacing the oil filter. If you have a car that comes with an oil filter insert that is usually placed at the top of your engine, it is best to remove the oil filter first until the oil is drained. This helps to extract the oil from the filter and channel it into the engine to be applied to the oil to be drained afterward. If you remove the oil filter after the oil has been drained, then the oil from the filter can still be returned to the engine, which means that you have not fully drained the engine. If your oil filter is a form of the plate – located at the bottom of the engine – you can remove it after the oil has been drained. You may use an oil filter remover or even ordinary sandpaper to improve your grip on the filter cap to remove the oil filter. When removed, clean the oil filter compartment using old but clean cloth rags. Make sure no trace of the old oil can be seen from the filter compartment.
6. Place the new oil filter.
Any time you change your engine oil, you’re supposed to replace the oil filter as well. Also, change the O-rings when you’re there to further maintain a leak-free device. Lubricate the O-ring with the new engine oil you’re going to load your engine with. This helps to ensure that the seal is flawless. Now, place the oil filter on it and tighten the filter cap. When tightening the cap, make sure to apply the recommended torque force.
7. Add new oil to the engine.
Often use a funnel to make it easier to fill your engine with fresh gasoline. The oil cap is at the top of your engine. Usually, this is labeled with an oil that can sign. You should already know how much oil you need to put in your engine before you enter this stage. If you don’t, make sure you read your manual first to get an idea of how much oil your engine needs. You may also use the dipstick to get an idea of the amount of oil you’ve already poured. Make sure you’re not overfilling your engine with gasoline, as this can also cause problems in your vehicle. Close and tighten the cap until you have loaded your engine with the right amount and type of engine oil.
8. Start the engine of your car and let it run for a couple of minutes.
Often make it a point to run your engine for a few minutes after any oil change. This is to allow the new oil to circulate in the engine, including the oil filter and the logs. It’s also a perfect opportunity for you to search for any leaks. If this is the case, you need to turn the engine off, allow it to cool a bit, and tighten the parts where the leakage was seen.
9. Check the amount of engine oil.
After you’ve allowed the engine to run for a few minutes, allowing the oil to circulate, turn off the engine and let it cool for around 5 minutes or so. First, check the amount of oil via the dipstick. It should be between the MIN and MAX marks on the dipstick, although some vehicle manufacturers are currently proposing that the oil level of the dipstick be at MAX. Again, you need to check the manual of your owner.
10. Record the oil change.
This is a move that you can never forget. You need to record the oil change you’ve made, including the mileage displayed on your vehicle’s odometer. This will give you an idea of when the next oil change is going to happen.
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