One of the most crucial maintenance tasks for car owners is changing the engine oil as needed. Failure to do this can damage your car's engine and reduce its life span. If you plan on changing the oil yourself, it's vital that you do it correctly. Here is a look at some of the key points to keep in mind when changing the oil in your vehicle.
Warm or Cold
One of the main questions that arise when changing your oil is whether it is better to change it when the engine is warm or when it's cold. Because oil drains out of the engine more easily when the engine is warm, this is the preferred method, according to the experts at the CarTalk website. Do not change the oil when the engine is hot, however, as this can result in burning your skin. Wait at least half an hour after the engine has been shut off to start working on the car. If you do not mind having the oil drain out slowly, you can change the oil when the engine is cold, if you wish.
Oil and Filter
Always check your owner's manual before any oil change and use the type of oil and filter that they recommend. You may harm the engine if you ignore these recommendations. You will generally have a choice of whether to use synthetic oil or regular oil. Synthetic oil, although more expensive, is better for your engine, lasts longer than regular oil, and is the preferred choice. Oil filters come in different grades and it's a good idea to use the highest grade that meets your manufacturer's specifications.
You will need to lift the car up to work on it safely, so use a set of ramps or jack stands and make certain that they are securely in place before getting under the vehicle. If possible, use both to make the car even more secure.
Also, wear a pair of safety glasses to protect your eyes and some type of gloves, such as welders gloves or oven mitts with slots for your fingers, to protect your hands.
Make sure that you keep these key considerations in mind when preparing to perform an oil change. Of course, not every car owner will want to do a dirty job like this themselves. In that case, it's time to turn to the professionals. So if you're not interested in doing this task personally, take the car to an oil change shop, such as Furgerson's Garage, in your area.