Salute, folks, and, as always, hugs and kisses! Welcome! Today I wanna start a series of articles about car maintenance, and my main objective with it is to give you guys some tried-and-true, down-to-earth tips and ideas on how to take care of your cars and keep them healthy. It is important to check your ride for defects and imperfections from time to time, so that you can rely on your steel friend whenever you’re on the road, or off it, pushing the pedal to the floor.
A man’s job
So, this time around, I wanna shed some light on one really simple, but important thing, that every man in the United States has to know how to do – and that’s how to change the oil in your car. Yep, you heard me. It’s not as difficult as it may sound at first, but, your car will be grateful after you’re done, trust me. And plus, this will add you some cool points, or street credit – whichever you like more. Just imagine yourself out, in your yard, with a naked torso, relaxed, taking care of your car, and having a kool-aid – a pretty great picture, right? Yeah, that’s the idea.
Keep the flow rushing
Generally speaking, constant changing of the car’s oil is pretty much the most efficient thing one can do to increase the car’s chances to have a happy, trouble-free life. If you don’t, the oil breaks down, and the filter gets fouled. And nobody can really tell you, when this is gonna happen – it all depends on the way you drive, and the car you ride, and it can take as short as three month, or as long as two full years (and that’s roughly 3K miles, or 20K miles). Well, despite all that, you’re in luck, guys, because changing your car’s oil is a really easy and cheap procedure, so, let’s get to it!
How to change the oil in your car – draining the old oil
Alright, let’s get down to business. First of all, you need to drain the old oil, and to do that, you need to lift your car first. Hey, I’m a really strong fella, but even I can’t lift a car, so, you’re gonna have to jack it. So, place the parking brake on (make sure to do that on a flat surface – like maybe in your front yard), jack your vehicle up, and don’t forget to brace it with the jack stands. Hey, take your time with it; ’cause if you don’t do this procedure right, it could really damage your vehicle, so, it would be a good idea to check out your car’s manual for some guidance. Besides, it’s extremely dangerous (like life-threatening dangerous) to do work under a vehicle that’s not braced properly.
A quick tip: if you wanna use ramps for lifting, then you’ll have to brace the back tires with some kind of blocks. It’s a good idea to ask somebody to watch you drive up the ramps; otherwise you could very well just drive off the farther end. Ask your wife/girlfriend to do that – it will definitely add those cool points to your persona, guys. And if you’re a girl, well, even better – you’ll become a local star.
The royal treatment
Alright, we’ve come to the meat and potatoes, guys; this is where all the fun starts. So, what you should do next, is to heat your ride up for a few minutes, to warm up the oil a bit. This is done to churn the oil up, so that it can drain faster and trouble-free. The thing is, whether you want it or not, some substantial particles of grime and dirt make their way into the engine, and they like to settle in the bottom, especially if the oil isn’t warmed up. So, if you beam up your engine for a minute or two, that’ll get its crankcase cleaned up and as good as new.
So, just let your car idle for a while, and while you’re at it, get all the tools required. You’re gonna need your brand-new oil (obviously), brand-new filter, a piece of newspaper (if you still have those lying around) and a pan to fill the draining oil with, and maybe a socket wrench, and a flashlight (just in case it’s dark under your car). Next, you should check out your manual once again, to see, which type of oil and filter is required by your car. Actually, you can just visit any autoshop nearby; they’ll be able to tell you exactly what type of filter and kind of oil you’ll need, if you just show them the model and edition of your vehicle.
Removing the cap
Ok, next, open the hood and find the oil cap on the engine; after you get rid of your old oil, this is where you’ll add the new shiny one. Opening the cap will help the oil to flow much smoother, because the air will be able to sneak in as you empty the crankcase.
Alright, let’s go back under the car. Try to find a flat metallic pan, that’s located really close to the engine. There will be some sort of a plug on the bottom. You’ll need to remove it, so that the oil can drain. And that’s when you’ll need those newspapers and the pan – place them right under the plug, so that the oil drains into the pan.
A quick tip: Next to the engine pan is where you’ll also find the transmission pan. If you’re having a hard time distinguishing one from another, just run your car for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then, try to touch the engine plug: if it’s cold, than you’re mistaken, and that’s the transmission plug. The engine plug should be really warm.
Yep, that’s how you figure out, which plug is the right one, ’cause nobody can really tell the difference – not regular folks, that’s for sure. I mean, I could never tell it, and had some troubles back in the day, until a good buddy of mine told me about this simple, yet very effective method. Simplicity is gold, guys, your heard that one before, right?
Video of Changing engine oil:
Removing the oil plug
Ok, this is where the action starts, so, if you still wanna know how to make an oil change, then take a sip of that kool-aid, and get back under the hood. Loosen the plug in the counter-clockwise direction, using the socket of the right size, or your favorite wrench – if you’ve got space to use it, that is. It’ll be a good idea to also replace the paper drain plug socket with a new one.
So, as soon as you remove the plug, the oil will come flowing, but not at a straight angle, so, watch out – don’t let it ruin your favorite shirt. A good advice: after you’re done loosening the plug, try removing it with your hands, and make sure you’ve got your newspapers and the pan placed right underneath the tube. Plus, be really careful with the removing of the plug: if you drop it in the pan, full of blackish oil, it’ll make your day a lot harder – do you know what a messy job it is to get it out? I do.
Fortunately, you’re in luck, cause I’m gonna pass on to you what my Dad told me once: use a magnet, guys, the longest one you can find – it will do the dirty work for ya quick and clean. Some people recommend using a flannel to get the poor plug out of the pan, but I’m not a big fan of this technique. And if you’re looking for a bit more leverage for removing the plug, you can add some sort of a pipe extension to your ratchet’s handle.
How to make an oil change – finishing up with the draining
And hey, be advised: You will most certainly get oil on your hands and clothes, so, first of all, never wear your best outfit when you’re lying under your car – that’s like the rule number one. Plus, covering the ground with newspaper is a smart move, otherwise you’re gonna have to clean up messy oil stains from your front yard or garage.
Alright, so, if you got the oil draining, just wait for a couple of minutes – give it time to properly come out. When all of the oil is done draining, that’s when you replace the plug. Tighten it with your hands first, to make sure there’s no cross-threading with the oil plug. Once you’re done with the gentle part, tighten the rest with the wrench. And finally, install the gasket.
Ok, that’s it – that’s how you drain your old oil – you remove the engine cap to keep the air flowing, then, remove the plug for the oil to pour in, and get yourself a nice pan and a lot of newspapers, to keep the work clean and civilized.
So, crawl out from under the car – you’ve probably been down there for too long. Walk around your block for a couple of minutes, let your muscles rest, and your blood to flow.
Say hello to your neighbors; tell then what you just did a couple of minute ago, with a proud smile on your face, and, if some of them show interest (I’m sure at least one person will), have a nice chat with them, and get back home. The work has just started, guys, and we’ve got a filter to change.
And also see my other posts:
Video How to change oil – how to drain oil from a car