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Checking your engine oil should be a regular routine. Most manufacturers recommend checking engine oil every couple of hundred miles of driving, or each time you get fuel. For most vehicles, you check engine oil with a dipstick that reaches down into the oil pan and dips into the oil reservoir. What you need to check engine oil and add or change it: Clean rag or paper towel Engine oil (if needed) Funnel (optional) How to check engine oil ? 1. TURN OFF THE ENGINE. You can check the engine oil at any time, but the best is at least five minutes after it has been running and is warm but not hot. Be careful not to burn yourself while checking a hot engine. 2. LOCATE THE OIL DIPSTICK. Most manufacturers are very good at marking the engine oil dipstick for identification. On this car, it is bright yellow and right up front, but it may look different in your car. 3. PULL AND INSPECT THE DIPSTICK. Remove the dipstick from the engine and inspect it for anything that doesn’t look like oil. 4. WIPE AND RE-INSERT THE DIPSTICK. Since the engine slings oil onto the dipstick when running, use a clean rag or paper towel to wipe the dipstick and re-insert it all the way back into the engine. 5. INSPECT THE ENGINE OIL LEVEL. Pull the dipstick back out to get a fresh reading. Check that the level falls within the minimum and maximum levels marked on the dipstick. Ideally, the level should be at but not over the maximum level. Difference between synthetic and regular oil? So your mechanic has recommended that you use synthetic oil. They say it’s better for your car, but it costs a lot more. What is the difference between synthetic oil and regular oil ? REGULAR OIL: Is a petroleum product, which has to be refined. Aftermarket engine parts manufacturers may recommend conventional oil when installing their parts. Regular oil is less expensive than synthetic oil, but must be changed more frequently, usually every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. SYNTHETIC OIL: It is made in a lab, which results in a more stable and, at times, better-performing product. Because synthetics can stand higher heat, some high-performance manufacturers recommend them. Synthetics can go 10,000 to 12,000 miles before they need to be changed, but since they cost three to four times more than conventional oils, the cost savings may be negligible. If your engine is healthy and you get regular oil changes, your oil level shouldn’t get low enough between changes that you need to add oil. If it is consistently low, it usually means it is leaking or burning oil. A very small leak is nothing to be concerned with, but all the more reason to keep an eye on the oil level. If you need to add oil yourself, here’s how to do it. Oil makers may also make “blended oil” which uses both regular and synthetic types to get the advantages of both, but fall between each in performance and ability. Both regular and synthetic oils have to meet a government standard, even the inexpensive generic brands. Car manufacturers also set standards for engine oil based on how the engine is made. Engine oil is rated by its weight (a “W” number, like 30W). Thinner oils have lower numbers than thicker oils. Most new cars are designed to use thinner oils, which take less energy to pump, saving gas. If you’re using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of oil, your car will operate just fine. A mechanic may recommend synthetic oil if you aren’t getting your oil changed frequently enough or if you do some high- performance driving. If you change your oil on a regular basis, conventional oil is sufficient. Consider a synthetic if you’re forgetful, have a lead foot, or like the added protection. How to add engine oil? If your engine is healthy and you get regular oil changes, your oil level shouldn’t get low enough between changes that you need to add oil. If it is consistently low, it usually means it is leaking or burning oil. A very small leak is nothing to be concerned with, but all the more reason to keep an eye on the oil level. If you need to add oil yourself, here’s how to do it. Be sure to use the type of oil recommended by your manufacturer. 1. LOCATE THE OIL FILL LOCATION. The oil fill is usually on top of the engine in one of the valve covers. If you can’t ﬁnd it, check the owner’s manual for its location. 2. POUR IN THE OIL. Use a funnel to prevent drips and splatters that could be mistaken for a leak. 3. CHECK THE OIL LEVEL. Your owner’s manual or the dipstick may tell you how much oil is between the minimum and maximum levels. Wait a couple of minutes for the new oil to run down into the oil pan and check the engine dipstick again. Repeat the fill process until the level has reached the maximum line. 4. CLEAN AND REPLACE CAP. Make sure you clean any spilled oil from your motor (be careful on a hot engine) and replace the cap. READING YOUR OIL GAUGE: The oil light or gauge measures the oil pressure as oil is pumped through the engine. Too little pressure means the oil may not be reaching the parts to lubricate them, and too much pressure may indicate a blockage. Both are very bad for your engine. Some cars use a light, and some cars use a gauge to tell you about the oil pressure. If you see the light come on, or if you see the gauge go up too high or too low, bring your car to a stop as soon as safely possible and check the level of your engine oil. Do not drive a car with low oil pressure; you will damage the engine. If the engine oil is very low, refill the engine oil and re-check the gauge while the engine is running. If the problem goes away, check for leaks or oil- burning smoke from the exhaust. Have the car checked by a professional as soon as possible. If you ﬁnd any other problems, do not drive the car, have it towed to a repair garage immediately. How to change engine oil? Changing your own engine oil is a good way to save money, but before you begin, check local regulations to make sure it’s legal for you to do it yourself. Recycling oil is a must, and items like the used filter may require proper disposal. Your local auto parts dealer will have information about regulations in your area and may be able to recycle used oil, too. Finally, keep in mind that changing oil is a messy job and your filter may be difficult to access. Be prepared to get dirty. What you need to change engine oil? Oil recommended by your manufacturer Oil filter appropriate for your car Paper towels Oil pan Tool to remove the oil drain plug (usually a wrench) Jack and jack stands (if needed) Funnel (optional) Oil filter wrench (if needed) How to change engine oil? 1. LOCATE THE OIL FILTER. With the engine cold, locate the oil filter. Make sure you can access it easily and take note of the style of ﬁlter your car uses. There are several filter types; the most common are cartridge and spin-on filters. This spin-on filter is located on the driver’s side of the motor, down by the front steering. Removing it requires adjusting the position of the steering linkage and crawling under the car (capture below). This cartridge filter is located up high and tucked under the engine’s exhaust manifold (capture below). 2. PREP THE CAR. Find a safe, level place to change your oil. Make sure your car is in “park” or in gear and set the emergency parking brake to prevent the car from moving. If your car is low to the ground, you may need to raise the car up to gain access to the drain plug and filter. 3. LOCATE THE DRAIN PLUG. The drain plug is located at the lowest point on the engine. It usually looks like a bolt. 4. REMOVE THE DRAIN PLUG AND DRAIN THE OLD OIL. Place your oil drain pan under the plug and remove the plug with your wrench. Be careful: the oil will drain fast and can splatter easily. Adjust the position of the pan if needed as the flow of oil slows. Allow the oil to drain completely. 5. INSPECT THE DRAIN PLUG. Before you reinstall the plug, inspect it for damage or contaminants. Clean the plug and threads with a paper towel before re-installing. 6. REINSTALL THE DRAIN PLUG. Reinstall the drain plug and tighten. Be careful not to overtighten the plug and strip the threads. 7. REMOVE THE OIL FILTER. Removing the oil filter can be tricky. You may be able to do it by hand, or you may need to use a special oil filter wrench. Place your oil drain pan under the filter in case of leaks. This spin-on filter is awkwardly positioned but can be removed by hand. Taking out this cartridge filter requires maneuvering a wrench under some wiring and removing the top cap of the ﬁlter canister. 8. INSPECT THE FILTER. Once you have the filter off and away from the car, look it over. On a spin-on filter, you can’t see the inside, but you can check the opening for metal shavings or debris from the engine. Check that the gasket on the filter is intact and hasn’t stuck to the engine (capture below). On this cartridge filter, you can see the filter element and check it for metal shavings or large contaminants. This cartridge has an O-ring gasket on the bottom and on the threads. Make sure the old gaskets come off with the filter and are not stuck to the engine (capture below). 9. CLEAN THE GASKET SURFACES. The gasket surfaces need to be cleaned before installing the new filter. On a spin-on filter, use paper towels to wipe off the flat surface on the engine where the filter gasket touches the engine. On a cartridge filter, check the bottom of the canister for contaminants and use a paper towel to wipe them out. Be careful not to leave any paper towel or any other foreign object in the canister. Use a paper towel to clean the threads on the top of the canister . 10. LUBRICATE THE NEW GASKET. For a spin-on filter, smear a small amount of new engine oil on the entire mating surface of the new gasket before re-installing it on the engine. This will help seal the filter and make it easier to remove on the next oil change (capture below). For a cartridge filter, snap the new filter into the top cap and use a small amount of oil to coat all the gaskets. Most cartridge-type filters will come with a new O-ring gasket for the cap. Install the new O-ring and coat it with some clean oil to help seal the gasket and make removal easier next time ( capture below ). 11. INSTALL THE NEW FILTER. A spin-on filter is designed to be tightened by hand. To install a spin-on filter properly, screw the filter on the mount until you feel the gasket touches the mounting surface. At this point, turn the fiter approximately three-quarters of a turn. Check the packaging for speciﬁc instructions. For a cartridge filter, screw the filter cap on by hand until the gasket fully seats and then snug the cap. Do not overtighten; you can tear or ruin the gasket. 12. POUR IN THE NEW OIL. Once the new filter and plug are back in the engine, remove the oil cap and pour in the recommended amount of motor oil. Using a funnel helps to prevent spills. Use paper towels to wipe up any spilled oil and replace the oil cap. 13. CHECK FOR LEAKS. Before starting the engine, check under the car for any drips from the drain plug or from the oil filter. Turn on the car and let it run for a minute or two and check under the car for leaks. 14. REMOVE THE CAR FROM JACKS, IF NEEDED. Once you are sure you don’t have to get back under the car, you can lower the car off the safety jacks. 15. RESET YOUR COMPUTER IF NECESSARY. Some vehicles come with a vehicle data center that includes a feature that tells you when to change your oil. The step for resetting this feature should be in your owner’s manual. If you don’t have a reminder, note the mileage and date when you performed the oil change and keep that information in your car. SMALL TIP Some people recommend that you put oil in the new filter before installing it so it isn’t dry when you start the motor. It’s fine to do this, but if your filter is mounted at an angle it can make a mess. If your oil pump is functioning properly, the new filter will be filled within a few seconds, so pre-filling it isn’t really necessary. Read more: Most Common Engine Problems
Netty posted a topic in Repairs & MaintenanceSo my 2011 Nissan Altima with 211,000 miles is having a slight problem. The engine oil smells of gas. I had it taken in 3 weeks ago for this issue and they said nothing was wrong. The oil is slightly above the second dot. No engine lights. Is this normal? Am I concerned over nothing? Or is it a bigger issue? Thanks
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Please help me diagnose. I ran this 8th gen civic si k20z3 mistakenly with little to no oil in it, no engine light or codes popped up. The oil level showed at the tip end of dipstick but barely. I drove it hard and hit vtec everyday for 2 weeks before i checked my oil again. But now its making this sound after a long ride. No power loss in the high end RPMs, little power loss low end What do you think it is? Timing chain/Vtc, crank shaft bearing, bent valves? You can hear the video: https://youtu.be/HV7Dg-t4WAI
Good day. I have a Mitsubishi Lancer 1992 Model running in a 1.3 Cyclone Engine. I changed my engine oil last August 2014. It is a Mobil 1 5W-50 Fully Synthetic Oil. That time, I was told by the mechanic that this type of oil can be changed after 5000kms (since I reside in the Philippines and km is the unit for mileage, not miles) since it's a fully synthetic type. So what I did is I reset the trip mileage (if I did it correctly I pressed the button on the odometer which reset the 4 digit number to 0000 right after oil change) so I can track the kms my car have ran. I also know for a fact that not just the numbers but you also have to consider the color and smell of the oil before changing it because sometimes, numbers can fool you. To give you a heads up, when I changed last August, the color of the brand new oil is light gold to clear, but just yesterday when I checked it, it's slightly red (not the extreme hue of red but you know how oils are a little bit reddish to orange). If it would also help, I drive on stop and go conditions here and the weather is probably around 30-32 degrees celcius on most days. So I guess my questions are: - How do you read the odometer picture that I attached here? Is it 244,794 miles for total mileage and 784 kms for trip mileage or is it a totally different reading? - Considering the factors that I stated above, the odometer numbers that I posted (since it was taken just yesterday), and the color of the oil that I also placed on the attachment, should I be changing my engine oil already? Thanks a lot for reading my post. I hope you guys could help me. Ciao!