10 Tips to Get the Best Possible Oil Change

Like any auto repair and service shop, we do a lot of oil changes. We also see the effects of neglect and shoddiness when it comes to oil changes. If you decide to do your own oil change, or you find yourself at a quick lube station, make sure the job is done right. Here are some tips, and keep in mind, following a routine maintenance schedule for oil changes is probably the single best thing you can do for your vehicle.

  1. Allow your vehicle’s engine to warm up fully before you change the oil or get your oil changed.
    Once an engine is warmed up completely, all the dirt particles and contaminants that settled at the bottom of the oil pan when the engine was off get churned up and suspended in the oil. This will ensure that most of the contaminants get removed when the oil is drained.
  1. Make sure your vehicle is level when the oil is being drained. This enables the old, dirty oil to drain out as completely as possible.
  1. Examine the waste oil as it is draining into the pan. Look for signs of contamination, such as water, because with every drain, water will settle at the bottom of the pan. Also, feel for bits of metal which could suggest internal engine problems. A thorough mechanic will often run his fingers through the oil while it is draining to feel for grit, metal, and other contaminants that signal possible engine problems.
  1. Remove and inspect the old filter carefully. Most modern cars use a spin-on oil filter. When removing the filter, make sure that the gasket sealing ring comes off with the filter. If it does not, use your fingernail to pry it loose and remove it.
  1. Choose your new filter carefully. Select one that has been manufactured by a company widely known for the quality and efficiency of its filtration products.
  1. Install the filter properly. Make sure to coat the sealing ring with fresh motor oil and hand-tighten only.
  1. Oil Change

    Make sure you use the correct oil for your car.

    Choose the correct grade of new oil. Oil is the lifeblood of the engine and choosing the appropriate grade will ensure proper performance. Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct service designation. It will be specified as an API (American Petroleum Institute) rating.

  1. Choose the correct viscosity or thickness of oil. It will vary by make and model of car and the climate in which the vehicle is operating. The viscosity of the oil will be specified in your owner’s manual as an SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) number. For example, a typical multi-grade oil is 5W30.
  1. Use exactly the right amount of oil. Too much or too little can endanger the life of your vehicle’s engine parts. Over-filling can cause oil leaks and can damage engine seals and gaskets. Having too little oil can cause friction and shorten engine life.
  1. If you plan to regularly do your own oil changes, invest a few dollars in a magnetic oil pan drain plug. It will capture most of the potentially damaging metal particles that may collect in the oil pan.
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~ by 2ndtononeservice on March 19, 2015.

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