DIY Car Maintenance Oil Changes

So we have all seen the signs everywhere, Oil Change and Lube only $19.99, so you drive up to this place claiming to be a ten minute oil change, and you have to get in line and wait an hour, then you find out that the 19.99 only covers an in house filter, (which most vehicles use) and 5 quarts of oil. If your vehicle uses 6 quarts like mine does you have to pay extra for that quart. Sometimes as much as 6 dollars extra for that quart. Now if you don’t like doing it yourself and dont like getting greasy then I guess this is the perfect deal for you. My problem is I have a lot of things to do, and I don’t like waiting around, and not only that I like to do things myself, (why pay somebody to do something you can do yourself and save money at?)Okay let’s get to the business of changing the oil in your car.Go to a parts store or wal-mart and get your oil and filter. If you use wal-mart they have a directory hanging on that aisle (well most of the time they do), use it to look up your model and make of vehicle, then pick the appropriate filter, get an air filter while you are there also (changing the air filter can improve your gas mileage, by up to 3 miles per gallon).Pick up the amount of oil your vehicle needs. Most four cylinder engines use 4 quarts, most 8 cylinders use 5 now, most 6 cylinders use 5 also, unless you have an older Ford with the 4.9 liter 6 or any of the older V-8 engines they use 6 and sometimes 7.All in all for my truck, oil filter, oil, air filter, and tube of grease (which lasts about a year, through regular lubing of my truck) costs almost 18.00. It would be cheaper if I used one of the off brands of oil, but I like Valvoline, or Castrol.Okay you have the oil now lets get to changing that stuff.Drive home.Park Car.See if you can locate oil plug, it is usually on the back of the oil pan.See also if you can fit under car to reach oil plug.Make sure that oil plug is facing down hill, (so that all the oil drains).Locate oil filter, different vehicles have it in different locations, just look for a place that you figure there is no earthly way you can get your hand in there to remove an oil filter and that is usually where it will be.Okay now we are ready to start,Step 1 Loosen the oil filler cap, should be on top of engine, don’t remove it yet (to keep trash from falling in).Step 2 Scratch up your arm and hand in preparation for removing oil filter. Using a wire brush usually works for me. A Bench grinder is overkill in this part.Step 3 Scream.Step 4 Reach into awkward spot and try to twist off oil filter, they are usually stuck, but this helps to add scratches to your arm.Step 5 Pull arm out and get the filter wrench, if you don’t have a filter wrench you can push a screwdriver through the side of the filter and use it for leverage to get the filter loose.Step 6 Cuss because you just stuck a screw driver through a heater hose.Step 7 Finally remove the filter.Step 8 Crawl back under the vehicle, using a drain pan or a bucket, remove the oil plug, from the oil pan, be sure to cover your hand, arm and part of your face with hot oil, (some people pay spas big money for hot oil treatments, so you save double on this step).Step 9 By the time you clean the oil from your eyes well enough to see, it should all be drained from your engine.Step 10 replace the oil plug.Step 11 Take a little bit of oil and rub it around the rubber gasket on your oil filter.Step 12 Install new oil filter. Tighten as tight as you can by hand. (Some people fill their filters with oil before installation, but if your filter mounts sideways in stead of up and down, you will pour out more oil than you save.Step 13  Remove Oil cap and pour in new oil. Like I say my truck holds six quarts, so I pour in six quarts.Step 14. Start your engine, and look under vehicle for leaks.Step 15 Shut down engine, wait a few minutes, then check your oil.Step 16 If the oil is low add some if it is overfull you may have to drain a little, if it is just right close the hood you are done.Step 17 Scream for someone to come out and open the hood because you have gotten your fingers caught.You can take the old oil to a recycling center or you can make use of it yourself.If you have a dual fuel heater system, most of those will use recycled oil.If you have a chainsaw, you can use the recycled oil for your chain oil tank.If you have a dog with mange, mix some sulphur with some of the recycled oil and rub it on your dog.If you have a friend that needs a good prank, sneak over and put some in his driveway under his car. (always good for a laugh, unless you have to clean it up).Put it in an oil can to lube hinges, and other things with.Some folks mix it with gasoline for their two stroke engines ( I do not recommend this, due to viscosity and metal particles that may be in the old oil).


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