People today keep getting lazier and lazier. If they can pay someone to do something for them, they will do so. I know this is true because I myself am guilty of this. There is something that I think everyone in this world can do for themselves though and that is changing the oil in their vehicle. Depending on the type of filter used and the type of oil used, a consumer can save anywhere from ten to fifteen dollars changing their oil themselves.
Picking motor oil is probably the hardest step in the process. If you can, you want to continue using the same type of motor oil throughout the life of your car’s engine. If you begin using Quaker State oil then it is better to continue using that oil for the life of the car. Next, you must pick the weight of the oil. It seems that 10W 30 motor oil is the most common weight used among cars of all ages. Lighter weight motor oil is obviously less thick and would be used during the winter or during colder weather. If your vehicle leaks motor oil, a heavier weight could be used to compensate for the leak. Therefore, the motor oil would drain from the car less fast.
Now it’s time to move onto the filter. A filter can be picked up at the local Wal Mart or any auto car store. If you purchase a filter from Wal Mart, you can look up the oil filter based on the make, model, year, and engine size of your car. You must know these specs in order to obtain the correct filter for your motor vehicle. At the auto parts store, the individuals behind the desk will look up the filter for you, but you will still need to know all the information that I have just given. They usually have many different options depending on how much you want to spend on the filter. If the oil is changed quite frequently in your vehicle, which I would say is every 2500 to 3000 miles, the lower priced filters will be fine. If you do not change your oil but every 3500 to 5000 and even more, then I would spend a little more money to get a better filter.
Now it’s time to get the job done. I use a floor jack to raise my car off of the ground but a lift or even car ramps will work to lift the car enough to climb under. When I use the floor jack, I find a part on the car that is stable and part of the frame. Before you lift the car, you must make sure the parking brake is on if your vehicle is front wheel drive, otherwise the car could roll down the incline you may be changing your oil on. Once we get the car in the air, we must locate the oil pan. There will be a screw in this oil pan. We must find the correct socket or wrench in order to remove this “plug.” We must make sure that we have a drip pan to catch the oil in place right under the plug. The plug must be removed so that all of the oil exits the oil pan. Now we wait until the oil stops dripping from the oil pan.
I immediately put the plug back into the oil pan and tighten it up before I move onto the next steps; when putting the plug back in, you do not want to over tighten the nut because most of them are made from aluminum and will strip very easily. After the plug is in place it is time to search for the filter. It should be on the side of the engine but I have encountered one directly under the car next to the oil plug. You must remove this old filter any way you see fit. If there is enough room and the filter is not on the car too tightly, then one can loosen it with their hand. I try this method first. If it is too tight, there are filter sockets made that can be easily placed on the filter and hooked up to a socket to remove. Other methods are available but one of these should work. After the filter is off, you may want to make sure that the rubber gasket that is on the filter did not come off and is stuck where the new filter must go. This would not be good if it were kept there. I also like to line up the filters just to make sure that I got the right one. If the rubber pieces do not line up, then you should not put this on your car because it will not work properly.
Next you will get the new filter and rub some of the old oil around the round rubber gasket on the new filter. The filter will now be placed where the old filter was and screwed on. Once again, do not over tighten this filter because the rubber gasket could be broken and cause oil leakage. Tighten to the specifics that the filter gives or until hand tight. Do not generally use the socket to tighten it back up because it can be over tightened.
Now that the filter and plug are back on the car, we must put the oil back into the car. Using a funnel makes this job much easier and less messy. The oil fill is generally right on top of the engine. You must fill your vehicle to the specifics on your car. Do not overfill because this causes stress on the engine. Fill to the general guidelines.
While you do this, it is best to check your other fluids such as brake fluid or coolant. After you get the specific amount of oil back into the car, you can now lower it back down and check under the car for any leaks. If you do not see any leaks get into the car and turn it on so that the oil can run through the car. Again, check for leaks just to make sure. You want to remove your emergency brake if you have engaged it prior.
You have just changed the oil in your car and saved ten to fifteen dollars. Generally it takes between fifteen and twenty minutes to do such a task and little clean up. So next time your car needs an oil change, follow these simple instructions and you too could be saving some money.