Why Oil Changes Are Important
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Oil changes are a necessary routine service maintenance to keep your vehicle performing at its best. Oil keeps the many parts of your engine working smoothly and efficiently. It helps pull heat away from the combustion chamber and reduces the accumulation of varnish and carbon in your engine. However, as the oil repeatedly passes through your engine, it degrades and becomes a sludge-like substance.
If you dont change your oil regularly, your engines components wont be properly lubricated and will wear down faster. Poor lubrication leads to greater friction and increased fuel consumption. It may also cause your engine to overheat. Oil and filter changes remove sludge and particles that make your engine dirty. If you dont remove the dirt regularly, your engine will corrode and have a shorter lifespan.
How To Change Oil In A Car Step By Step Guide
There is something captivating about doing some maintenance tasks on your vehicle: changing your car oil yourself is one of them. Besides saving you a few bucks, being able to do an oil change allows you to understand how your vehicle works. This is the first step towards detecting signs of wear early enough and prolonging your engines lifespan.
Pros And Cons Of Changing Your Own Oil
Changing your oil the first time can take a while depending on your knowledge of cars and your skill level. You also need to spend time and money gathering all the necessary tools and supplies. After the oil change, you must take the old oil somewhere to dispose of it properly. Changing your oil can also be a messy and dirty job.
The good news is that changing your own oil goes faster once you know how to do it. Sometimes it can take as little as 15 minutes. You may even enjoy the satisfaction of taking care of your own vehicle, and after the initial tool investment, youll save money by doing it yourself.
If you dont have the time or skills needed to change your own oil, its easier for you to schedule an oil change at your local dealership. Simply show up and wait in a comfortable room while a technician with professional tools performs the task quickly. For greater peace of mind, leave your oil changes up to our quality service technicians, who know whats best for your vehicle.
If you decide to change your oil, its a good idea to keep a maintenance record. Recording your vehicles mileage will help you know when its time to change your oil again. The general rule is every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, but it depends on the type of vehicle you drive. For some vehicles, youll need to reset the maintenance required light so it can alert you when its time to change your oil.
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How To Change An Oil Filter
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A vehicles oil filter keeps dirt and particles out of the oil so that it stays cleaner and lubricates your engine better. Be sure to change your oil filter every time you change your oil to keep your engine running smoothly. Once you locate the oil filter on your vehicles engine block, all you need is an oil pan, a new filter, and some oil to get the job done.
Performing Car Oil Changes By Yourself: The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, you should weigh the pros and cons: is it best to spend an hour or two of your Saturday to change your own oil, or should you trust the trained professionals? At our dealership, we frequently offer oil change specials. Consequently, you may find that the cost of doing it yourself isnt much cheaper than employing an expert.
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Tips For Replacing Your Engine Oil
- Read up on the signs that mean you need to replace your engine oil here.
- Aim to replace your engine oil every 5,0007,000 miles.
- Find out why its so important to replace your engine oil here.
- When you service your engine oil, you should also service your oil filter. Read our simple step-by-step instructions on how to self-service your oil filter here.
Can You Switch Between Regular And Synthetic Motor Oil
Although most of today’s new cars, trucks and SUV’s have synthetic oil inside their engines, there are still a few that utilize conventional motor oil as their primary source of lubrication. A commonly asked question here at YourMechanic.com is whether or not you can switch between regular and synthetic motor oil when you have your oil change completed.
The truth is – this is not a cut and dry, yes or no answer. In fact, depending on your individual application, the swap from conventional to synthetic or vice-versa may cause more harm than it’s worth. In order to simplify the equation and to provide you with facts so you can make an informed decision, let’s review some of the facts about oil changing with synthetic and conventional oil sold in the United States today.
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Get Together Your Filter Wrenches And Other Supplies
In addition to oil, you’ll need an oil filter, an oil-filter removal wrench, a wrench to remove the drain plug, a funnel, a drain pan and some gloves. You may also need to raise the car to gain access, in which case you’ll need a floor jack and safety stands, or a pair of purpose-made steel ramps. For this kind of work, never use the flimsy jack that’s supplied with the car.
Yes, my funnel is an empty, dry water bottle with the end cut off. Also, my drain pan has a screw-on lid and pour spout, which makes it easier to transport and recycle the old oil. The only other “tools,” not shown here, are a T-shirt and grubby jeans.
You can buy filters at the dealership or at an auto parts store. Make sure to ask if you’ll need a new drain plug washer. Some dealers automatically include a new washer, if you need one. Others charge extra for it. In this case, I didn’t need a new washer, as you’ll see later.
I like the sort of filter wrench that engages the serrations on the end of the oil filter. Wrenches like that are available at most auto parts stores for a few dollars and they snap onto the end of any common three-eighth-inch-drive ratchet. There are many sizes, but it’s easy to make sure you buy the right one if you match the wrench to the filter right there in the store.
Band-type filter wrenches are more familiar, but they can be frustrating to use if you don’t have enough space especially if the old filter was over-tightened.
How To Change Oil In A Car Step By Step
If you know how to change your car oil yourself, it becomes very convenient and economical to carry out the recommended motor oil checks. A well-lubricated engine not only runs smoothly but it also extends your vehicles value.
Unlike what most lube shops make you believe, changing your own oil is a relatively easy task. The process starts by getting the correct type of oil for your vehicle. This should be indicated somewhere in your cars manual, although you can also enquire online. Collecting the necessary tools for changing engine oil beforehand will also make the entire process a breeze.
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How To Change Your Oil In Less Than 5 Minutes
Beyond the new oil and oil filter, youll need:
- Something to catch the oil
- A ratchet to take the oil plug off
- Gloves to keep your hands clean
- A funnel to put the new oil in
- Paper towels to clean everything up
Now simply follow these steps:
When you start the engine, the oil pressure gauge should go up. Youre now good to go!
How Often Should I Change My Oil
Find out how often you need to change the oil in your car and what signs to look for should it need changing.
It seems that an oil change is the equivalent of heading to the dentist for a biannual cleaning. Its inconvenient on one hand but necessary on the other.
Todays newer-tech engines using synthetic oil are engineered to go anywhere from 7,500 to 15,000 miles between oil changes. While more exacting standards in engine-building technology are now in-play, the quality of the synthetic oils have also improved. And theres another factor: the addition of oil-use monitoring systems in more than half of todays new cars, that will give you a heads-up when its time to change the oil.
There are also general recommendations as to your specific driving style and needs. For example, if you drive around town for most of your excursions, putting around 6,000 miles on the odometer every six months or so, it might be a good idea to change it twice a year. If you do a lot of highway or long-distance running or operate your vehicle in sandy or dusty surroundings like the deserts of Nevada or Arizona, you might be a candidate for more frequent changes.
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When Should I Change The Oil Filter
Most vehicle manufacturers and mechanics recommend changing your oil filter every time you do an oil change. As a general rule, you should change your oil every 10,000 kilometres , or every six to eight months. It stands to reason that changing your engine oil goes hand in hand with changing your filter, since theres not much point in pumping new, clean oil through a dirty, used filter. Read more about how often you should change your oil.
Oil Changes: The Best Investment You Can Make In Your Car
Although there are many factors to take into consideration, making an appointment to get the oil changed in your car is the best investment you can make to keep your car running at peak proficiency. If you dont, the consequences can lead to an overheated engine, worn parts, and finally a seized engine.
Goodguys Tires & Auto Repair professional service staff is ready to partner with you in all your auto maintenance and repairs!
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Log Info Clean Up Recycle Used Oil
Write down your vehicles current mileage and the date. Refer to your vehicles owners manual for the recommended oil change interval , add that number to your vehicles current mileage and change the oil again at the resulting mileage. Carefully dispose of the used oil filter, any used rags, newspaper or paper towels. Put away your tools.
Recycle the used motor oil. Many service stations and quick lubes will accept used motor oil and used oil filters at no charge. Find recycling locations in your area at Earth911.com. Your local government and/or recycling coordinators may be able to tell you which materials can be recycled with your trash pickup.
Ready for your next oil change?
The miles can really add up quickly between oil changes. Bookmark this page and use these step-by-step oil change instructions as general guidelines each time. Refer to your vehicles owners manual for manufacturer-specific oil change instructions, warranty information and more.
Prevention Of Rust & Corrosion
Rust and corrosion are two of the most destructive enemies of anything primarily made of metal such as a car. One function of clean oil in a cars engine is to keep both from building up in the engine. Car owners can help by changing oil regularly and not topping off oil when it gets low. This isnt helpful because diluted oil doesnt have enough strength to keep an engine clean.
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Common Oil Change Questions
How often should you change your oil?
Follow manufacturer recommendations, or change when the oil looks dirty or the level is low.
What happens if you dont change your oil?
Your engine wont be properly lubricating, so overheating and excessive wear is likely. This is just one of the many ways you could inadvertently kill your car.
How much does an oil change cost?
For a professional oil change, expect to pay between $20 and $50, or up to $70 if you want synthetic oil.
How can you reset your oil change light?
This will depend on the specific make and model. Simply check your owners manual for instructions.
How To Check The Oil Properly
Heres a quick guide on how to check your own oil:
Dont wait to follow up on low oil levels. Its easy to let it slide, but damage can be eating at your engine out of sight. Have it checked out by Goodguys right away!
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Check The Oil Level Check For Leaks
Finally, after waiting a few minutes for the oil to settle into the pan, use the dipstick to verify that your oil is at the proper level. Checking your oil is simple: Pull the dipstick from its tube, wipe away all oil with a paper towel, reinsert the dipstick, remove the dipstick, and confirm that the oil is lined up with the full marking on the tip of the dipstick. Finally, start the vehicle and let it idle and warm up check for leaks under the vehicle and around the oil filter.
Congratulations! You’ve changed your oil and saved a bunch of money. Now, doesn’t that feel great?
Other Engine Issues Identified
An experienced oil change specialist knows to look for other problems with a vehicle as they change the oil. This is one of the best reasons to go to the same shop over time the mechanics will know your car and its history. And you will know that you can trust them to do a thorough, professional assessment of your car.
Help your engine last as long as possible. Book an appointment at Goodguys today!
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What Is A Normal Vs Severe Maintenance Schedule For Oil Changes
Remember how we keep calling the quick lubes usual suggestion severe? Owners manuals often list both a normal and a severe maintenance schedule, with the latter being for harder driving, extreme weather, and other cases where theres extra stress per mile on the engine, such as hauling heavy loads, towing, and track day use.
This is bad news for your grandparents couple-blocks-to-church use case: never getting the engine warm enough to burn off any condensation inside is also considered severe use. It typically takes about 10 miles to burn off that moisture, so if trips over 10 miles are rare-to-never, follow the severe schedule until you can get an expert analysis done.
How Can I Check My Oil?
Few things beat simply pulling the dipstick out of the engine for a visual check. Even new cars can consume a little oil and may need topping off, so this is a good idea to do about once a month anyway. Taking a look at the dipstick can also give you an idea of when you should change your oil based on your driving habits.
My Car Says Change The Oil Every 7500 Miles For Normal Driving Should I Follow This Or The 3000
You can change the oil based on the vehicle manufactures recommendations and never go wrong. However, be sure to differentiate between normal vs. severe driving conditions. Who would have thought Grandmas 20-year-old car with 18K miles was driven in severe conditions? But it was due to short trips. So be sure you are not in the severe category. The severe driving category will reduce the mileage interval.
Driving in stop-and-go traffic, extensive engine idling, taking multiple short trips averaging 5 to 10 miles in length, and driving in extremely hot or cold temperatures are all examples that could be considered severe driving. Understanding and following these guidelines will save you money in the long run and keep your car dependable.
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