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Use an oil filter wrench to make changing your motor oil easy

Updated on August 6, 2011

Why change your oil?

Changing your motor oil is a job that is easy to overlook. Literally every new motorist is told about the need to check the level of oil in the pan so there is an adequate supply to the engine. But you shouldn't wait on the oil pressure gauge to tell you there's something wrong. Oil used to clean away leftover elements from the combustion process, provide additional cooling on top of the cooling system and most critically of all lubricate moving parts to stop them from damaging one and other. However, what is sometimes overlooked is that every several thousand miles the oil must be changed completely as like any other component it becomes worn out. The constant heating and cooling of engine oil can make it less effective as a lubricant and on top of this the additives which are used to change the way the oil behaves in hot and cold conditions (as well as for many other reasons) become all used up. There is no way to replace them without replacing the oil.

Can I change my own oil?

It is worth asking when your car is serviced if an oil changes included. But it is possible to save some money by changing the motor oil yourself, if you do decide to do this you will need some equipment. First you have to find a way to lift the car off the ground safely and a set of ramps is the only safe way to do this. You should never lift the car using a jack or jacks intended for use when the tire is changed. They do not provide stable support and you should never get under a car lifted this way.

An impressive engine needs special care

What you'll need

When you change the motor oil you will need a container to catch the oil as it comes out. Of course, it needs to have a large enough capacity to catch all of the oil in your car. Because a lot of oil can be held in the oil filter and because the field to itself becomes blocked with contaminants (as it is designed to do) you should also change the filter the same time. You will need an adjustable oil filter wrench to do this otherwise it can be difficult to remove, but this cheap tool makes it an easy job and a lot less frustrating than trying to do it with a makeshift tool like a screwdriver.

You tell me

Have you changed your own motor oil?

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Don't forget the next time

A good way to remind yourself when a change is due is to get an of oil change sticker. On the sticker you can write the date of the change and the mileage when the car will next need an oil change. By applying one of these small stickers to your windscreen you will have a reminder every time you drive your car.


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