What does engine oil do?
Engine oil lubricates your motor, moving through the engine parts while your car is in motion and collecting impurities as it goes. Over time, the oil will be polluted by contaminants and become darker in colour. This can be a good indication that it’s time to change your oil!
How often should you change your oil?
You need to change your oil before it loses its viscosity and becomes too dark in appearance. However, some manufacturers recommend changing the oil well before this point, at every 5000kms driven. Keeping your oil well-maintained is a proven strategy for extending the life of your engine and getting the best performance from your vehicle.
How to change your oil
Although it’s often performed during a car service, changing your car’s engine oil isn’t a difficult thing to do yourself.
- Locate the drain plug.
You’re looking for a large nut or plug near the car’s oil pan. If you can’t reach it easily, you may need to jack your car up. Once you’ve located the plug, place a container underneath it to catch the oil.
- Open the drain plug and empty the oil.
It’s a good idea to cover your hand with a rag while performing this step. The oil will drain from the engine fast. When the oil has finished draining, clean off the drain plug with a rag.
- Remove the oil filter.
Head to the top of your engine now and remove the oil cap from the oil filler hole. You’ll want to be careful as you remove the oil filter as it will have oil in it. Carefully remove this piece and drain the contents into your oil container.
- Replace the oil filter.
Place the new oil filter onto the gasket (where the old one was). Turn it until it clicks into place. Discard the old oil filter safely.
- Replace the drain plug.
Use an adjustable wrench to ensure it is tight.
- Pour the new oil into the engine.
Using a funnel, add about ¾ of the fresh oil into the engine before replacing the oil cap.
- Run the engine for 60 seconds.
This allows you to ensure there are no leaks and that nothing requires tightening. Rest the car (engine off) for 10 minutes before proceeding to the next step.
- Check the oil level.
Now that the engine oil has settled, use the dipstick to check the oil level. Continue adding oil until it is at a suitable level.
- Repeat steps 7 to 8 until the engine oil is at the ‘full’ line.
You’re done! Time to take your baby for a spin around the block.
We’d like to thank the team at Scott’s Rods Mechanical for their advice in putting together today’s article.