When it comes to your car’s engine, regular oil changes are necessary to protect it from corrosion and keep it performing at its best. But as tempting as the idea of a free “spot” might be, you should resist the temptation of letting your own engine perform that “spot” change, as doing so can actually cause oil change failures, and other serious engine damage that can potentially cost you thousands in repairs and possibly even replacement of the engine. Taking the time to learn how to perform a proper oil change instead of “spotting” your own change can save you money and time in the long run.
The first step to performing an effective oil change is to identify exactly where the oil is currently located in your engine. You should look for a small dot in the black box (or some other indicator) under the oil cap. This small dot will indicate where the oil cap should be removed and then placed back into place. This oil change preventing engine damage tip is especially important if you’re performing the change on a cold day – with the engine colder, it’s more likely that the cap will come off at this temperature, allowing the coolant to pool and create additional pressure in the engine, which will lead to additional wear and tear on the engine parts.
Next, it’s time to remove the oil filter. Remove the oil drain plug under your vehicle’s oil filter (if applicable). Pull out the gasket and set it aside to allow it to cool. If the gasket has a lip around it, use a small screwdriver to pry it loose, but don’t break it, as this can lead to further damage to your engine parts.
Now, remove the oil filter and place it inside the oil pan (if applicable). Once this is done, reinstall the gasket and plug the drain plug. You should now be able to see that the oil has been drained and the gasket is back on. Reinstall all of the oil hoses, drain plugs, and oil filters, and replace the oil cap.
Finally, it’s time to check your fuel system. It’s possible that the oil leak is not visible or isn’t so noticeable that it can be seen by someone not trained to look for fuel system problems. In this case, you’ll need to open up the hood and take a close look at the bottom of the engine. Look for a small bit of white powder. If you see this, then your fuel lines have become clogged.
If you don’t find any white spots, then your oil filter may be damaged. Remove the gasket from the oil pan and look for any visible damage to the filter. If you notice a dent in the gasket, you’ll either need to get a new gasket or to replace the entire filter assembly. Otherwise, your fuel system should be working as good as new! To help prevent future gasket or filter issues, follow these steps the next time you take your car out for an oil change. Incase you need the service of an oil change center in Illinois click here.