An important part of being a car owner is maintaining it to a good standard. If you don’t maintain your car correctly, then you will find yourself with an unreliable car which will eventually cost you a considerable amount in repair bills. Or worse still you may even need to completely replace it. Maintaining your car isn’t rocket science, takes just a few hours every year and will reward you with a reliable car that you can trust.
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to maintain your car is to change the oil regularly. If you car’s engine is the heart, the oil is the life blood. It is recommended that the oil is changed every 10,000 miles or so. Or if you don’t drive that many miles, once per year. Changing your oil regularly will help it to cycle around your engine better, lubricating all of the vital components and significantly increasing the life of your engine – the heart of your car.
Follow Instructions Carefully
If changing your car’s oil is new to you, it can be a bit scary. Find a tutorial online, take your time and make sure that you follow instructions carefully so that you get it right. The best ting to do is ask someone who has done it before to help you. There’s no substitute from learning a skill from a real-life person.
The first thing you need to do, is make sure that you have all of the correct tools and equipment before you start the oil change. It’s more than just a case of getting some new engine oil and a funnel. You’ll most likely need the following:
- A cloth
- A funnel
- New engine oil
- A new engine oil filter
- Oil filter removal tool
- Container to catch the old oil
Be sure to check your car’s manual for the specifications of the oil filter, as well as the make, grade and amount of new oil that you will need. Also make sure that you change your oil as per the correct intervals as described in your car’s manual.
Invest in the Right Tools
Having the correct tools on hand can mean the difference between a nice, pleasant job and an absolute nightmare of a task. Some of the tools and equipment may not be specialised, such as rags and an old container, but they will make the whole job a lot easier than if you didn’t have them. Take the time to get all the right tools and equipment. Even if you have to buy them you will be saving money compared to having someone else do it, and you’ll be learning a new skill so it’s well worth it.
Not too Tight and not too Loose
It’s very common to over-tighten the oil drain plug and filter, but doing so will damage them and cause your car to leak oil. At the same time, not tightening these enough will cause oil to leak through the gaps that are created. When it comes to the oil drain plug, this needs to be tightened fully, until there is resistance then stop. The oil filter should be tightened by hand as far as possible, and then loosened by half a turn.
Another handy tip is to start your car and let it run for five minutes before draining the oil, if the engine is cold. This will help increase the viscosity of the oil so that more of it drains from the sump at the bottom of the engine. If the engine is hot however it should be left for at least 30 minutes to cool to minimise the risk of scalding yourself when you drain it.