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Changing Your Oil – How To Do It Yourself

One of the things that auto maintenance requires is oil change.  The good thing about this is that you can probably save on it if you do it yourself instead of bringing your vehicle to a service center.

Once you have purchased your motor oil (you will have to get the recommended grade that the manufacturer put on your car manual), you will need to invest on the necessary tools.  You will need an oil filter, an oil drain, a socket set, a wrench that fits your oil filter, a small funnel, some safety glasses, and the more practical essentials like rags, plastic bags, and gloves.  The good thing is that you can purchase all of these from an auto parts store using your gas credit card which means more savings on your part.

Once you have all of these things prepared, drive your car around for about 10 minutes to warm the oil a bit.  You will have a better chance of pouring out the oil when it is not frozen.

If you have a lowered vehicle, you will need ramps so that you can easily slide under the car. Make sure that you park the car on a level surface, the ramps will be easier to put up and you would not be sliding down the surface while you change the oil.  Also, it would be wise to line your garage with cardboards or newspaper to prevent oil stains on the floor.

Make sure that your car’s parking brake is set and that you have turned of the engine.  Do not put yourself at risk by forgetting these safety rules.  You do not want your vehicle running you over or dripping hot fluid on your face or any parts of your body.  You also do not want to damage your automobile in a big way.

Next, you will need to look for your oil pan plug. Typically, it will be placed to the rear of the vehicle, under the engine, and right smack in the middle. Do not confuse it with the transmission bolt.

Then you place the drain bucket that you should have under the oil pan.  Oil will spill out and shoot a good 2 feet in the first few seconds because of the pressure inside the container, it would be warm so do not let it burn you. You will get the hang of this after a few tries; just make sure you have the area covered with paper or cartons so you would not have oils stains all over your garage floor.

Unscrew the plug with the right sized wrench, and make sure that you are wearing gloves that will protect your hand from the strain you have to put on turning the wrench.  Let the oil drain out, which will probably take around 10 minutes. After the oil has dripped out its last drop, plug the oil pan with the same wrench as before and tighten it with a socket wrench. If you find a washer in your oil plug, wash your hands and walk to the store to get one since you probably will need to change that too.

Afterwards, change the oil filter, pop the hood open and pour in your oil.  The measurement with the dipstick is essential so be guided by it.  Let it stand for a couple of minutes and check for leaks under the vehicle.

See: Gas cards

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