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 stand in line at the service shop or 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, 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 old oil. 2. Replace the oil filter. 3. Add 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 auto manufacturers recommend changing engine 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 over 100,000 miles. One thing I do is change the oil on a new car after the first 300 mile break-in period. Then after that I change the oil every 6000 miles.

What kind of oil should I use?

You are not going to save money by using an off-brand oil because your engine will wear out sooner. Use oil that meets the American Petroleum 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 be a light 10 weight viscosity when the engine is cold, helping the engine start easier, and then the oil will thicken to a 30 weight viscosity when the engine warms up, better protecting the engine. . If you are changing the oil just before 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 close to 300 degrees (F) and hot oil will definitely give you a serious burn. You shouldn’t have to jack up your car unless you have some sort of sports car that sits low to the ground or a short driver. Almost all cars have enough space underneath to reach and change the engine oil.

Step 1: Drain the old oil.

Locate the oil drain plug and place a pan under it to catch 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 cam EcoTec engine, you may 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 it seems a bit difficult to turn, back it up! You are crossing the threads.

Step 2. Replace the oil filter.

Move the oil pan under the oil filter. Using an oil filter wrench to start it up, remove the oil filter. (newbies: counterclockwise, and you’ll get some oil on your hand.)

– A strap type oil filter wrench is the best option. A socket type oil filter tool with a ratchet is used as a normal socket. The problem with the plug type is that it tends to get stuck in the filter. Use the socket type tool if you do not have enough clearance around the oil filter to use the strap type.

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

*! Now pay attention: you can ruin royalty here!

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

Here’s what I recommend: screw the filter in until it is “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 do not install the oil filter tight enough, oil will gush out. If that happens, stop the engine immediately! Without oil, an engine will seize up in seconds.

The first time I changed my oil, I used the filter wrench to tighten the filter as tight as I could. Mistaken! The next time I went to change my oil, I couldn’t get the filter out. Luckily I had plenty of room around the filter, so I stuck a screwdriver into the body of the filter and used the handle of the screwdriver to turn the filter off.

Warning! Do not overtighten the filter. Please follow the above instructions carefully!

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

Step 3. Add the new oil.

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

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

How much oil should you add? Look in your car’s owner’s manual. Most engines have a capacity of four or five quarts. Do not overfill the crankcase. When you run the engine, the extra oil will be pushed out via the PCV value, possibly stalling the engine.

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

Replace the oil filler cap.

Step 4. Start the engine.

Yes I know, I said there where there are only three steps. You’re done, this isn’t really a “step”.

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

How to check the oil level: Remove the dipstick, clean it with a rag, reinstall the dipstick. Make sure the dipstick is all the way in or you will get a false reading. After a few seconds, remove the dipstick and examine the extent to which the dipstick is covered in oil. Most dipsticks are stamped with a “full” mark.

Note: I find the best way to dispose of the old oil is to use a funnel to transfer it from the collection tray to the bottles the new oil came from. When I get a big 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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