Changing the oil of your car can be a dirty job, but it has to be done. Engine oil should be changed at least once in every six months. It is easy to do this task yourself if you want to avoid unnecessary costs. You should first assemble the requirements which include an auto funnel, the oil, a drain pan, a filter, wrench and a notebook with a pen for keeping date records. The following are tips to help you effectively change your engine oil.
Purchase the Correct Oil and Filter
It is important to check the car manual before you buy the oil that is specifically meant for the engine of your vehicle. The viscosity of oil differs, and the wrong one can adversely affect the functioning of your engine. For example, it is easy to damage the engine and reduce its performance. Additionally, different models of cars have varying filter recommendations which can be found in the manual.
Always make sure that before you change your oil, the engine is warm. If it is cold, ensure you start it to run for about 5-10 minutes. Besides, if the engine is overly hot, do not change the oil because you can get burned in the process. Give it about 30 minutes to cool.
Avoid working under a car which is only supported by a jack. This jeopardizes your safety because the strength of the jack is not very reliable. Therefore, it is important always to ensure that you use jack stands. Also, make sure that you wear gloves before starting the process. This is because you dealing with chemicals which may react with your skin.
How to know when you need to change your oil
It is important to check the oil on your engine every month using the dipstick. If you notice that the color has completely changed to black, this could be a sign that you need to change it as soon as possible. However, the dark color is not entirely in itself a reliable way to do it. This is because whenever the oil enters the engine, it tends to change color. A more reliable way is to check whether the darkness is unusual or it has become abnormally thick.
If you notice that your engine is producing strange smell of oil, that is an indication that there is a problem. There three possible reasons for a strange smell: Firstly, it could be an oil leak or secondly; it is overheating or thirdly; the oil needs to be changed. The second and third explanations are already enough to make you change the oil to avoid damaging the engine.
Check the Smoke from your Exhaust Pipe
During the cold weather, it is quite easy to see the type of product leaving through the exhaust. If what you see is translucent vapor, then your oil is still in good condition. However, if you see smoke, it is a sign that you need to change it as soon as possible.