Changing Your Car’s Engine Oil – Everything You Need to Know
Every car will need an oil change now and then to keep it in good condition and running smoothly. Some DIY skills when it comes to changing your engine oil can be a good way to save money on car maintenance. Changing the oil is an essential part of maintaining your car, but the good news is that most people can do this at home. Keep reading to find out more about the different steps involved and get some answers to frequently asked questions. If you are using conventional engine oil, then a change is recommended around every three thousand to five thousand miles. On the other hand, if you use synthetic oil in your car, then this might allow for a longer period between each change. You should be able to get more information on when you will need to change your engine oil by consulting your owner’s manual or asking a mechanic for advice.
Car Oil Change Preparation
Before you start the process of changing the engine oil in your car, it’s important to make sure that you are prepared. Most cars will use similar steps to one another, but this can vary depending on your vehicle, so it’s important to check a repair guide or your car’s handbook to find out exactly what you will need to do. You will also need to get information on the right type of oil, oil filter, safety equipment and tools for your car. Oil is available in different types and weights and different cars will require different amounts, so it’s important to get this right otherwise your car could end up breaking down. You should be able to find information on the type, weight, and amount of oil to use in your car owner’s manual.
Oil Change in Car – How to Do It Safely
To make sure that you are safe and to ensure that the job is easier for you, you will want to make sure that the oil in your car is warm, but not too hot. If it is cold outside, you can do this by running the car for a little while. Or, if the car has been running, then wait a while for it to cool down before starting the oil change. Make sure that your car is parked on a flat surface, the parking brake is engaged and there are wheel chocks behind the back wheels to keep it in place. Use jacks and jack stands to raise the front of the vehicle and keep it up. Or, you can drive your car onto a weight-bearing ramp if you prefer. Wear safety equipment like safety goggles and gloves.
How Do I Change the Oil in My Car?
To get started, open up the hood and remove the oil filter cap. Check under your car for the drain plug, and set a container underneath it. Use a wrench to remove the drain plug and allow the oil to drain. Inspect the plug and the plug gasket during this procedure; check for any damage or wear and replace them if needed. The oil should be drained until it slows to a drip. This will usually be faster if the oil is warm. Then, clean the drain plug and put it back in place, being careful not to over tighten it since this can cause leaks by damaging the threads. Locate the filter and put the container underneath. Remove the filter using the right tool. Oil should start coming out into the container. Make sure that both the filter and the gasket have been removed as the new filter will also have a new gasket. Lubricate the gasket seal if you’re using a spin-on filter, or if you are using a cartridge filter, lubricate the O-ring. Install the new filter, again being careful not to over-tighten it. Finally, once the drain plug and the new oil filter are in place, use a funnel to put the correct amount of new oil in your car.
Be careful not to overfill and check your owner’s handbook to make sure that you are putting in the correct amount for your car. You can use high mileage engine oil if you have a car with a high mileage.
Oil Change on Car – How to Check Oil Levels
Once you have changed the oil, you will need to check the oil level to ensure that it is correct. You can use this by removing the dipstick, wiping it clean, placing it back in and then removing again to check the level. Once you have done this, put the dipstick back. Replace the engine cap and check around it for any leaks. Make sure that the oil cap, oil filter and drain plug are all securely in place. Then, start your engine, let it run for a few minutes, and switch it off before letting it sit. Check your oil level again, inspect for any potential leaks, and top up the oil if needed.
What is Oil Change Service?
You can also ask a mechanic to change the oil in your car for you. This might be a good idea if you are having issues such as oil leaks as they will be better trained to figure out the root of the problem, or if you are not sure which oil your car needs. Of course, you can simply have a mechanic do it for you if you do not have the time to do it yourself.
A full service oil change can include completely changing the engine oil, installing a new oil filter on the car, and some additional steps to make sure that your car is returned in top condition. The steps involved in this service include:
1 – Car Oil Change
Engine oil is a crucial part of the car. It ensures that the moving parts in your engine are kept lubricated, along with keeping your car cool and clean. A standard oil change will involve the mechanic first draining the oil and then changing the oil filter. Once they have installed the new filter, they will replace the oil based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
2 – Car Service and Oil Change – Air Filter Check
Along with changing your engine oil, a mechanic will also check your air filter to see if it needs replacing and may be able to do this for you during the service. Driving with an air filter that is dirty or damaged will impact the performance of your car, causing the flow of clean air to be blocked, which may prevent fuel from burning correctly. Over time, this means that the air filter becomes less effective at filtering clean air into the engine, which could cause the ‘check engine’ light to come on or reduce your car’s performance.
3 – Coolant Levels Check
Along with checking and replacing the oil in your car, the service will also involve a check of your coolant levels. As you are driving, antifreeze pumps around your car’s engine to help it maintain the right temperature and prevent corrosion. The mechanic will check how much coolant is in your system and will top it up if necessary. There are different coolant types to choose from, but you can find out which one is the most recommended for your car by checking the owner’s handbook.
4 – Brake Fluid Check
During an oil change service, the brake fluid will also be checked. When pressure is applied to your brake pedal, you are actually applying pressure to the brake fluid, which is then transferred to your brakes and causes your car to stop. If the brake fluid is low, then you will need to apply more pressure than usual to the brakes, which can become a hazard. During the service, the mechanic will check the sensitivity of the brakes and add more brake fluid to ensure safe braking if needed.
5 – Power Steering Fluid Checks
Your power steering fluid will also be checked to see if it needs topping up. The steering fluid transfers power to the hydraulic systems within your vehicle to make it easier to turn the steering wheel. Without it, steering your car around a corner would be a huge struggle. Like with coolant and brake fluid, your mechanic will check the power steering fluid levels and top them up if needed.
6 – Washer Fluid Level Checks
Windscreen washer fluid is an essential part of your car to keep your windscreen clean and clear, but it can be easy to forget to top it up especially if you have not needed to use it for a while. This fluid is important for visibility at all times throughout the year. Anything that hits your windscreen when you are driving will need to be cleaned off quickly. Most mechanics will do a quick check of your windscreen washer fluid and top it up if needed.
When it comes to making sure that your car engine runs smoothly, a regular oil change is advised. You can do this yourself at home with the right tools or book an oil change service for your car.