An oil change is a standard part of the necessary maintenance of every vehicle, and ignoring the need to have it done can lead to serious problems down the road. To make it cheaper and more convenient to have this done, learn how to do it yourself.
Most vehicles are recommended to require an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, but that is not set in stone depending on the specific model and the normal driving conditions they operate in. Some cars and trucks are able to go closer to 10,000 miles before needing this maintenance, while others who operate in extremely warm climates may need it more often regardless of mileage.
To determine when it is necessary to perform an oil change on your vehicle, read the owner’s manual or discuss the issue with the dealer who sold you the automobile, or one who deals in that make and model.
Once you have determined that it is time to do so and you want to do it yourself, it is important to make sure you start with the right tools and equipment and are properly prepared to do the job safely and correctly. It can be very helpful to have someone with experience show you the ropes the first time to make sure you are not putting yourself in harm’s way.
The materials you need to start with include a socket set, a pan to catch the discarded material, a new bottle of whatever product you choose to use, a new filter and vehicle jacks if your car has low clearance and needs to be raised in order to get under it. Those who must use jacks are the ones who can most benefit from having someone with experience show them how to safely operate this type of equipment.
Once you are ready to start the work, it is best to park on a flat, level surface let your car run for several minutes to warm up the engine and make the draining process easier. Once this has been done, crawl under your vehicle and locate the drain plug. Use the socket to loosen and remove the plug and let the old product drain into the pan. Once this is done, replace it and tighten it back up. Next, find the filter and place the pan beneath it. Remove the old filter, effectively clean the area and replace it with a new one.
The final step of your do-it-yourself oil change is to pour new oil into the reservoir. Locate the cap on the top of the engine and use a funnel to neatly fill it up. Check with your owner’s manual to determine how much you should use, and once filled you should run your engine for several minutes before you’re officially done and ready to go.
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