Essay on How to change your engine oil

Submitted By bobbydlg3
Words: 1697
Pages: 7

Ever since I’ve owned a car, I have always changed my own oil. My father, who worked as a mechanic on the side, learned how to work on cars from his dad. So naturally, when I was old enough he decided to teach me how to work on my car. One of the first lessons in do-it-yourself car maintenance is how to change the motor oil. A simple process that only requires a few tools, and is an easy way to saves money. All while having a sense of accomplishment once finished.
First, you must get the proper tools and materials needed for an oil change. For the tools, you will need a socket wrench or an adjustable wrench to remove the drain bolt, oil drain pan, funnel, wheel chocks, jack and jack stands or ramps. You may also need an oil filter wrench if you cannot loosen the oil filter by hand, but they often vary in size depending on the filter. There are two main types of oil filter wrenches; ones that are socket type that grip onto the serrations at the end of the filter, and band-type filter wrenches that wrap around the filter and tighten as you begin loosening the filter. I have found that the band-type filter wrenches only work well when there is plenty of space around the filter, but in cases where there is hardly any room, the socket-type will work fine. The correct socket wrench you will need will depend on the size of the drain bolt. The bolt could be S.A.E. or metric in measurement, but an adjustable wrench will cover any size you need. As for the materials, you will need motor oil and a replacement filter. Refer to the owner’s manual to confirm the type and amount of oil the engine requires. Most engines take anywhere from 4 to 6 quarts, and there are different kinds of motor oils with different viscosities (for example, 5W-30). Make sure to match the oil’s viscosity to the engine. Filters can be found at the dealerships or any auto parts store. Most places have a filter reference book with all the makes and models or you can always just ask a sales associate.
After you have gathered all of the tools and materials it is time to get to work. It’s a good idea to warm up the engine for a little while before you begin to drain the oil. Letting the engine idle for a few minutes should be enough warming up, and will allow all the oil to thin out and drain easier. By doing so, it will loosen particles of dirt and grime that tend to settle at the bottom of the oil pan when the engine is cold. Warming up the engine allows for the crankcase to be cleaned out. Make sure not to let the engine get too hot or it will make it difficult to work under the vehicle and possibly causing burns. Once the vehicle has warmed up, raise the car for better access to the drain bolt and filter. To raise the vehicle you will want to find a large level surface that will sustain the weight of the vehicle. Do not use an uneven or non-level surface, this will create a hazard when raising the vehicle. If you are using vehicle ramps, ensure that the ramps are made to support the weight of your vehicle. Lace them directly in front of the front tires, and carefully drive up the ramps until you feel the vehicle reach the top. Ensure the transmission is in park and engage the parking brake before exiting the vehicle. Place a chock behind the rear wheels for added safety. If you are using a jack and jack stands, make sure they can support the weight of your vehicle. It’s always a good idea to inspect them for any visual defects or damage. Consult the owner’s manual to find the weight of your vehicle if you are unsure. With the vehicle in park, engage the parking break and place a chock behind the rear wheels. Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on where to place the jack or ask an associate at your auto parts store to show you. A lot of the newer vehicle will have an arrow or an indicator under the vehicle telling you where to place the jack. If you are using a scissor jack, insert the rod or wrench over the knob and begin to crank. For a hydraulic