Rene Hutchinson Rosemary Mack English 091 20 October 2012 How to change your car’s oil. Having a car not only implies driving it, but also involves taking care of it, which can be expensive. Fortunately there are certain things we can do by ourselves. An oil change periodically is imperative to keep a car in optimum conditions and actually it is easier to do than it sounds. Is good to know that a car needs an oil change every 3000 to 5000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first, which comes out to 4 to 5 times a year what means about 200 to 400 dollars depending on your type of car.
The home oil change is a simple process that requires a few tools, and it’s a sure way to save some money while you avoid the hassle of sitting in a dull waiting room somewhere reading outdated magazines. Following this tutorial you will be able to perform this simple task. You might think that an oil change is a hard and nasty work. Well, you are partially right, it could be a little messy, but with the right tools it is a very simple procedure, so lets start with the things you will need for this process.
First and most important you are going to need 4 to 6 quarts of motor oil and an oil filter, items that you can find on any auto parts shop. That doesn’t mean that you will buy the first you find. To be sure you are buying the correct oil and filter you can easily check your car’s owner manual, which will tell you the right viscosity, performance and quantity of oil required for your type of engine. This manual will give you the size of the filter and of the drain plug as well.
You will need also a drain pan (5-7 quarts of capacity), a jack and two jack stands, a funnel (you can use an empty, dry water bottle with the end cut off), is important that you get some rags because you’re going to get dirty. Now that you got everything you need for this task, let me give you some tips before we get started. First, never change the oil on a car while the engine is hot because oil can burn you badly so let it cool a few hours; next make sure you have a safe area to do your oil change, the ground must be solid and completely level so you can safely jack up the vehicle; make sure you either ave the tools where you can reach them or have somebody pass them to you because while under the car moving is hard. With all the implements ready and the tips I gave you in mind, you are ready to start. The first thing you want to do is to jack up the car. To do this put one brick or piece of wood in front of each rear tire to keep it from moving; then look for the adequate spot to place the jack and raise it up until you get to a height that is comfortable for you to work. When you reach to the height you want, place the jack stands one under each side of the car.
The next thing is to carefully get under the car and locate the oil filter and drain plug, which is a little bolt that holds the oil in the oil pan; the following step is to drain the old oil out of the engine, to do this place the drain plug, but not directly under it. The angle of the drain plug will cause the oil to stream out at an angle, so I’m offsetting the pan to that side by several inches. If I were doing this outdoors, I would also account for wind. No, really. Those last wispy ribbons of oil can blow around and make a mess.
After oil stop coming out of that hole do the same with the oil filter, a little bit of oil is going to come out so make sure you place the draining pan in the right place, Hold the filter over the pan to drain it, but try not to drop it in. It makes a very messy splash. After all the old oil is out of the car put back the drain plug and install the new filter in place smearing a dab of new oil on the filter’s O-ring and tighten by hand. After you reconfirm that the oil drain bolt and filter are both in place and properly tightened, it’s time to add the new oil.
Unscrew the oil cap on top of the engine and with the funnel add approximately one quart less than the recommended amount. Now it’s time to replace the oil cap and start the engine. Run the engine for 30 seconds or so to circulate the new oil, then shut it down and check your work area underneath the car for leaks. Once you’re satisfied that everything is okay; lower the car off the jack stands. Now that you’re on flat ground, check the oil level, if is low poor some more. The only other step now is to properly dispose of the old oil and filter.
Most auto parts stores that sell oil will take your waste oil at no charge. If yours won’t, local municipalities often have household hazardous waste drop-off points. That’s it. We’re done. Once you’ve done an oil change a couple times, you will be familiar with your car’s idiosyncrasies and it will take you less time every time. If you stockpile oil and filters in your garage you will save time and money compared to going to the mechanic. And once you get comfortable with the basic oil change, a whole slew of other maintenance tasks begin to seem easy to reach.