- Do It Yourself Auto Repair
How to Change the Oil in Your Vehicle in Under 5 Minutes With No Mess
What Does Motor Oil Do?
- Lubricates the Engine Parts
- Removes Contaminants Like Dirt
- Keeps Engine Running Cooler
- Reduces Corrosion
- Can Help with Fuel Economy
- Minimize Damage to Emission Systems
What is Motor Oil and Why Should you Change It.
Motor oil is made up of base oils and additives. Base oil is basically what we get out of the ground and then it is refined and additive packs are added to it.
Motor oils main function is to capture dirt and other contaminants and removing them from the engine. It stores this until you remove the oil and change it.
Normally there are three types of oil and they have there various uses. They are synthetics for vehicles under high loads (RPMs), high mileage motor oil is for vehicles with over 75,000 miles on the motor, and conventional oil is what is used in most vehicles that dont meet the criteria above.
You should change your motor oil at every 7500 miles or more. Today's motor oil can handle these tougher conditions. There are a few exceptions though and we will get into those next.
Engine Oil Formulation
Think of Motor Oil as a Bath for your Engine
The main purpose of the oil is to remove contaminants from the motor. If you left those contaminants in then it would cause sludge which has been shown to hold heat which can lead to engine failure.
It is important to not gauge when you change motor oil by mileage but by usage.
For instance you dont take a bath by how long you are out and about. You do it based on how dirty you are. If you take a shower in the morning and get dirty in the day you will take another shower to get clean.
I remember we were remodeling our kitchen and they were sanding the granite counter tops down to put a bevel on them. They did this for about three days and blew the dust out of the house through the garage and into the open air. Several times a day I would get in my car, start it and go do my daily stuff.
I had access to an oil sample machine, which takes a reading of oil from your vehicle and analyzes it. So I ran a test on the vehicle because I wanted to see what the oil was like. I mean I had just had it changed so it should be fine. I got the sample back and it as super high in silica or sand.
Sand is a contaminant that acts like sandpaper in your engine causing a lot of damage to internal engine parts. I was very surprised about this and was told I should drain my oil twice to get rid of it or it can reduce the life of the engine. SO THIS IS A GREAT EXAMPLE of changing oil based on vehicle usage.
Sand, contaminants, and other particles enter into your vehicle through the air intake system. So every time you start the car it sucks in air (normally from the ground) and it gets in your engine.
SO change your oil based in usage, if you tow a lot, use high RPMs all the time, live in a dusty area you should drain your oil often to keep your engine clean. So do I have to change the filter to?
What is the deal with the Oil filter?
So if you are doing regular oil changes, and sometimes if I am doing them one to two times a month do I need to also change the filter?
These answer is you should but it may not do you any good. You see the oil filters you normally get are just paper. And if you remove the paper and try and blow through it is very hard. Almost NO AIR passes through the media. So how effective is the filtration? The answer is not very well. It mostly just soaks up the dirty oil and then is pretty useless.
A more effective oil filter is a stainless steel reusable one that can be cleaned and reused. But it is an expensive alternative. But they actually do filter the oil down to the micron level and some even have earth magnets in them to pick up any metals.
So what I do is change the filter out every 7500 miles at that oil change. Even if I have drained and replaced the oil several times. The main thing for me has always been to make sure I am keeping the motor clean. I do have a stainless steel filter in my off-road vehicle because I change the oil in that after every off-road excursion and it only takes 5 minutes. So how do I do this? Well that is the next topic...
What is your Favorite Motor Oil
To Easily Change Your Oil in Less than 5 Minutes Install an Oil Drain Valve
It is really as simple as that. Install a quick drain oil valve and you can drain the oil pretty quickly. The drain valve installs in place of the drain plug and with the turn of the tab you can open or close the valve.
This is easy to install in the place of the plug. It takes only a few minutes. You can install a hose on the drain valve to make sure you dont have a big mess on your hands. They make them for most makes and models and if you are not equipped to install it you can probably have your mechanic do it on your next oil change.
The tab locks in place to it cant be activated accidentally or with vibration, but if you want to make double sure you can get a clamp that locks it in place. But I have a Jeep and I go off-road a lot and I have never had it leak or loosen.
Once you have this installed you can easily drain and refill your oil when you need to. Kits normally run around $35.00 and once it is installed you can save yourself a lot of money. An average oil change costs $44.95 from a dealer or lube shop. After you install a drain valve you can change out your oil for only the cost of the oil. And dont worry about recycling you can just put the old oil back in the bottles you got and return it to the auto store who will recycle it for free for you.
This has been a great deal for me and I hope that this article will help you get your own drain valve and make the costly bills of oil changes a thing of the past.
So in conclusion remember that to clean your engine you need to change the oil. IT IS IMPORTANT that you keep it clean. Either use a quick drain valve like the one we show here or have it done by a professional.
Remember just because you cant see the oil or the damage that it is doing that doesn't mean it is not happening. Remember if you live in a dusty area, you have a work vehicle, you do a lot of towing, a high performance motor, or you just plain baby your car you need to keep an eye on your oil a lot more than you probably do now.