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Tips on Changing Your Oil

Aug 9, 2008
Panic sets in when you discover that your oil should have been changed five months and two thousand miles ago (which ever came first). Don't panic just yet. If there's an adequate amount of oil in your engine you're not in serious trouble. But if your car had an oil leak or a low amount of oil, you'd be in serious trouble.

The car's engine is composed of metal pieces that are always in motion. The oil basically acts as a lubricant for the car. Failure to change it on a routine basis significantly reduces the engine's life span. Consider using a professional service to change your oil. It will not cost significantly more than a fresh filter and 5 or 6 quarts of oil. Besides, you also have to bring the used oil to an auto shop or mechanic for proper disposal.

Changing oil can be a hassle but the experts can do it blindfolded. It only takes 20 minutes and costs aren't that much more than buying just the parts themselves. However, if you're adamant about servicing your own car, continue reading.

First, get all of the essential supplies and tools together. The procedure requires a new oil filter, 5 or 6 quarts of the recommended oil (look at manual for your vehicle), an oil filter wrench, a socket set, rags and an oil pan or old bucket for catching the used oil. Take a quick drive around the block to warm up your engine. Remember, you only need to warm up the engine so you can loosen up the oil, which drains more efficiently when it is warm. However, hot oil is very hazardous! Do not overheat the oil.

After warming up the oil, place the pan right below the oil pan's drain plug. Use the socket wrench to take off the oil pan plug and let the oil flow out. Watch out for hot oil and try not to drop the plug into the pan. Wearing old clothing is recommended, as splattered oil can stain your clothes. Once you've drained the oil, use the filter wrench to remove the filter. Set it aside and use a fresh rag to clean the filter's mounting surface. Take the new filter and add a thin layer of oil to the gasket. Connect it to the vehicle and tighten it in accordance with the guidelines on the package (generally hand tight).

Lastly, install the oil pan plug. Open the hood and pour the proper amount of oil into the engine. Make sure you do not pour an excessive amount. It'll probably take some time for the fresh oil to trickle down. If the oil level on your stick appears to be too inadequate, give it another chance and add a very tiny amount. If you pour too much, you'll have to start the entire procedure all over again.

That's all there is to it. Clean up the mess and properly discard the used oil and filter. A local mechanic should be able to give you advice on where you can do this. Search for coupons if you're trying to save money. If you are unsure about the skills you picked up in auto shop, you might as well have your oil professionally changed. Good luck!
About the Author
Chris Jensen is a contributing author of Jetfly Blog. For more related articles and views visit Jetfly Automotive Blog now. Also, for the best up-to-date related online products, check out Jetfly Automobile Collectibles Shop for todays current online deals.
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