Changing Your Oil
Maintaining your oil levels and changing your oil regularly is a vital step in mechanical preventive maintenance.
Your oil and filter should be changed every 3,000 miles or every 3 months, according to whichever comes first (unless instructed otherwise). This is because oil will breakdown over time once it has been opened and introduced to the atmosphere. Failure to change your oil regularly could allow your motor oil to breakdown and/or become too dirty, prematurely expediting wear on your engine.
Recommended Motor Oil
- American cars usually take 5 quarts. Check your manufacturer's requirements for required oil weight and amount.
Oil Filter Wrench
- Cheap at Kmart, Target & the Wall of China Mart.
- (Or "Spanner")
Oil Drain Pan
- Or self-enclosed resealable Oil Drain Pan & Container system.
It is best to allow your engine to cool before changing your oil.
To change your oil, you will remove the drain plug from underneath the engine oil pan, which is a large reservoir to hold the oil on the bottom of your engine. Have a drain pan ready to drain the old oil into. Check to see that your drain plug's gasket is in good shape. If not, replace it with a new one. Some oil drain plugs are magnetized to attract any small metal filings and prevent them from circulating throughout your engine and damaging it. If you have such a drain plug, be sure to clean all the metal from it that it had attracted.
Unthread the oil filter and allow the oil in it to drain into your oil drain pan. You may need an oil filter wrench to loosen the oil filter.
When the oil is done draining, carefully start threading the drain plug back into the oil pan with your fingers to avoid cross-threading. When the oil drain plug becomes harder to turn and you are comfortable that the plug has screwed in correctly, use a wrench to tighten it snuggly so that it compresses the gasket well and won't loosen, but not so tight that you strip the threads.
Apply a small amount of oil to the rubber seal on the new oil filter before threading it back on.
Refill with the correct oil weight and quantity requirements for your make and model by the manufacturer. refer to the owner's manual for the proper weight for the upcoming season, and quantity of oil required for your vehicle.
Changing your motor oil on a regular schedule also can help improve your engine's performance and fuel economy, as it allows your motor to maintain the factory tolerances with which it is intended to work the most efficiently.
Although this article is Copyright Syd's Eastside Auto Parts, Used Cars & Rebuilders, it is available free from the Automotive Articles section archive. This article may be used or distributed freely from any website or article directory as long as this author's block remains intact and unaltered (with links active) and the entire article text remains unedited. However, this article may be presented in, and/or formatted to, your website's style (to better fit with your website's look and formatting) as long as the text is not edited. You may download a text document containing the textual content of this article (with simple html formatting commands included) to use as content within your own web page, from http://www.SydsAutoParts.com/Articles/Oil-Change.txt. This article is authored by Daniel Franks, Syd's Eastside Auto salvage yard man, parts man & mechanic. Syd's Eastside Auto Parts, Used Cars & Trucks offers a searchable, up-to-date inventory of used auto parts online which is cross-indexed to allow results for interchangeable parts across makes, models and years. New auto parts are custom ordered for pick-up, delivery or shipment via our toll-free line. Syd's Eastside Auto is also a licensed South Dakota used auto dealer with a catalog of used cars and trucks available online.
Automotive Articles Index