A longstanding rule of car maintenance has been to change your oil every three thousand miles. But, with the advancement in modern engine technology, that rule may no longer be applicable. Although they operate on basically the same principle as their older cast iron counterparts, todays engines are built to be smooth-running, efficient machines. Less friction means less wear-and-tear, and can also significantly increase gas mileage.
Although your car’s operator’s manual may still suggest that you adhere to the three-thousand-mile rule, many independent shop owners will tell you that it is okay to bend that rule a little.
What You’ll Need
- The first thing you’ll need is oil obviously. Make sure you choose the right weight. You can refer to your operator’s manual for the correct brand and weight.
- An oil filter. Again, refer to your operator’s manual for the proper type. Or, you can ask your local auto parts store what type fits your particular automobile.
- An oil receptacle. If you are changing your oil at home, or in your garage, you’ll need some place to store the spent oil. Whatever you do, do not let the spent oil trickle out onto the ground. That would harm the environment, and is probably against the law in most states these days. Being environmentally conscious is the first principle in car maintenance.
Getting Down To Business
- Make sure you cover the area where you’ll be working with an oil absorbent material. This will protect your driveway or garage from the oil.
- Place the oil receptacle directly underneath your car’s oil pan. You’d want the spent oil to go directly into the opening and not splatter all over the place.
- Remove the drainage plug situated on the bottom of your car’s oil pan and wait until all the oil has drained out before replacing the plug.
- Remove the old oil filter. At this point, most do-it-yourselfers make a big mistake: They attach the new filter straight out of the box. Wrong! Before attaching the new filter, fill it with oil first. This ensures quicker lubrication of your car’s engine when restarting. Protecting your car’s engine is the second principle in car maintenance.
- Using a funnel, refill your car with the oil specified in your operator’s manual, using only the amount specified there also.
If you’ve followed these simple instructions correctly then cleanup should be a breeze, and your driveway won’t have any of those unsightly splotches that disfigure so many others. The spent oil can be recycled. Simply take it to any of the major auto parts stores and they’ll take care of it for you. And the good news is, it won’t cost you a penny. Saving money is the third principle in car maintenance.