Monday, 28 May 2012

Basic Car Maintainence Part I; Oil Change

What you'll need:

Tools Required

-Axle Stands (EUR20 approx per set)

-Socket Set (EUR50 for an adequate set)

-Oil Funnel (Any motor-factors, EUR8)

-Rag cloths

-Metal Oil Drain Pan (Again any motor factors, ensure you have this placed accurately before draining the oil)

-Fresh Oil (EUR16, will vary with quantity and quality of oil)

-Some Common Sense in relation to car mechanics!

Prior to attempting an oil change, you must ensure that you have the appropriate tools (as listed above), which prove essential for performing the task successfully. You will need to invest in a set of Axle Stands, a socket set and oil drain pan.

Preparation and Safety:

o Starting your cars engine before draining oil is advisable. Warm oil will drain faster than cold oil, so let the engine run for ten minutes before progressing to drain the old oil.

o Make sure you have placed the car on a level surface. Engage the handbrake and get to work!

o When parked, ensure the car is supported securely, prior to crawling beneath the chassis. Do not attempt to start an oil change without secure support. After jacking the car up, place two Axle stands at the front to prevent the car moving.

o Make sure to consult your owner's manual or an automotive parts specialist to find out the weight of oil which caters to your cars requirements. Quantity of oil required will vary with differing cars and engines. Quality will rely on you; do you want to buy fully or semi-synthetic oil? Obviously expect to pay more for fully synthetic popular brand names.

o Always handle hot automotive oil with extreme caution, (wear appropriate gloves to remove plugs and basins by hand).

Draining old oil:

o Locate the oil plug for draining oil on the underside of the engine, which is usually to the front centre of your car. If you cannot find its location, consult your owner's manual. Once found place your oil pan/basin underneath the plug. Loosen the plug anticlockwise with a socket wrench, and remove by hand.

o The oil will drain into the basin, whilst this is happening hold onto the oil plug.

o Once the oil finishes draining, wipe off the oil plug with a cloth and the surrounding area before replacing the drain plug gasket. You can opt to replace the old gasket, though we advise you change it every time you perform an oil change

o Once fitted reinstall the drain plug slowly.

o Tighten with a wrench or socket. Be careful not to over tighten the plug, which may result in threading of the bolt head.

Replacing with fresh oil:

o Remove the oil filler cap on top of the engine (underneath the bonnet).

o Now place a funnel where the opening lies and pour in your new oil (3 litres approx, again check your workshop manual which will of course vary with engine size and type!). Once finished put the cap back on.

o Having poured in the new oil, start your car and let the engine run for around one minute. Stop the engine, check your oil dipstick (in close proximity to the oil filler cap) and add more oil if necessary.

o Once level is perfect, check around the oil drain plug for leaks. Wipe away excess oil with old cloths and take one last run around the oil drain plug area.

o Dispose of the old oil by placing in a plastic container and bringing to an appropriate disposal location (Motor garage, recycling area), do not just throw away!

Make sure to record the mileage at which you changed the oil, so for future reference you will know when the car is due another change. The universal figure for recommended change of oil is around ten thousand miles. Safe motoring!

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