Changing the Oil

Changing the oil is another part of regular car maintenance that should not be forgotten. Few other materials can impact your engine so greatly, and cause very expensive issues to arise when it’s neglected. If you want to see the effects of bad oil, take a look at an engine that has been run with no oil. The negative results are nearly the same, with all the dirty oil causing ruin and irreparable damage to the internal working parts of the vehicle.

Gathering what you need is a big timesaver in terms of making the process even simpler, same goes for changing air filters. You will need a few things, and they include a ratchet, wrench, a container to catch the recycled oil, a funnel, a clean rag, and obviously, a new oil filter and replacement oil. This can sound a little complicated but with the right instructions, it can be done very quickly.

Draining the old oil out of the engine is the first step, and you can do this by draining it out of the oil pan. This is located at the bottom of the engine and the plug looks like a big bolt. Simply remove this with your wrench and let all the old, dirty oil drain into your screened recycling container. Once it has finished, then you can replace the plug and seal up your container. You’ll need to contact a local auto shop or recycling center that accepts oil for directions on how to give it to them.

Now, the fun part comes of having to slide under your car. You are going to remove the oil filter from your car with a special wrench, and turn it counterclockwise to release it. Be careful as this container has oil in it that can spill all over you or the surface you’re working on. It’s a good idea to have something there underneath it to catch whatever drips or spills happen during this process.

While it’s just a matter of changing out the internal filter from the old one to the new one, you must remember to rub some new oil on the end with the rubber gasket. Lubricating this portion preps it properly so nothing freezes up when you start the engine again. Now, fill that filter about 2/3 of the way with new oil and screw it back into place.

This is done in a clockwise motion but be sure not to over tighten it. If you somehow manage to strip the threads while over tightening, you’re going to have leaks afterward, which require a fix and more maintenance cost and time. Just tighten it with your hand until it feels right without stressing the threads.

If you have not done so before, read your vehicle’s manual to see how many quarts of oil the engine holds. Have this on hand for the next step. Get your funnel and put it in the top of the engine where you normally add oil on a regular basis. Now, you will simply begin to pour in the oil one quart at a time. Once you get to a point where you think it might be filling up, check the level with the dipstick that is normally placed there. The ideal amount to have in your car is ¾ of the amount your engine will hold.

The last step is one of the most important, and amusingly, one of the most forgotten when changing the oil. Put the oil cap back on. While this may seem like a logical step, many people forget it only to have oil spray all over the inside of their engine, causing smoke and a big mess.

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