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Valentine One Radar Detector

Eric
10-20-2009, 05:16 PM
Changing out your car's oil/filter is generally a pretty simple job. Here's how:

* Obtain the proper quantity of oil and a new oil filter. Be sure both the oil and the filter meet the specifications listed either in your car's owner's manual (look under "service") or on the sticker in the engine compartment.

* Obtain a catch pan with at least a couple of quarts more capacity than your engine's oil pan. Obtain a filter wrench that will fit the oil filter your car uses. There are several types, including a ratchet type and a cap type that is used with a socket wrench and extender bar. The cap type is usually better for tight spaces but use whichever type works best for you/your vehicle.

* Find a large old towel (one you don't mind getting dirty beyond washing) and a roll of paper towels.

* Drive the car for 15 minutes (to warm the oil; this will help speed drainage as well as help to remove contaminants that might otherwise settle into the muck at the bottom of the oil pan. Never change oil without first having warmed up the engine).

* Let the engine cool for 15-30 minutes so as to avoid the chances of contact burns from touching very hot engine parts as well as from scalding hot oil.

* Put the transmission in Park and set the parking brake.

* Using a floor jack (not the tire jack in the trunk!) raise the front end of the car enough so that you can comfortably crawl underneath to get at the oil pan/underside of the engine. Use fixed jackstands underneath structural parts of the car, such as the frame rails, for additional support. Do not crawl underneath the car with the weight supported only by a hydraulic floor jack. It could fail and allow the car to come down and crush you. Always support the car's weight with fixed jackstands. Be sure the car is parked on a firm and level surface, such as a concrete or asphalt pad. Do not attempt to raise the car on grass, or on an inclined surface.

* Raise the hood, remove the oil fill cap on top of the engine and the dipstick. This will speed drainage once you loosen/remove the oil pan drain bolt.

* Crawl underneath the car and look for the drain bolt on the oil pan. It should be on the bottom of the pan, or near the bottom, to the side someplace. Your owner's manual may have a picture of the oil pan/bolt in case you have trouble identifying it - but it's usually very obvious.

* Place your old towel underneath the engine, then place the catch can on top of that.

* Using a crescent/box/open-end wrench or the appropriate size socket/socket wrench, carefully loosen the oil pan drain plug. Do not apply too much force as you may damage the bolt or its threads in the pan. Once you feel it loosen, use your hand to manually back the bolt out. Keep inward pressure on the bolt as you turn it out; this will limit leaking past the threads (and save you some mess). When the bolt is close to all the way out, remove it quickly and let the oil drain into the catch pan.

* When no more oil is draining from the pan, use a paper towel to wipe the immediate area clean, then re-install the oil pan drain plug. Thread the bolt into the hole by hand to assure it's on straight on not cross-threaded. Once started, use the wrench, etc., to tighten it up. Be careful not to over-tighten. Also be sure the drain plug's nylon or copper gasket is in good shape. If it is damaged, get a replacement at the auto parts store before reinstalling the plug, otherwise it's likely to leak/seep.

* Using your oil filter wrench, loosen the oil filter so that it can be turned out the rest of the way by hand. Place the catch pan directly underneath the filter, then turn the filter out and remove it.

* Wipe the mounting boss down; be sure the old filter's rubber gasket did not stick to it. If it did, be certain you remove it before proceeding.

* Unless the new filter is mounted upside down (rare, but possible), fill it half to three-quarters full with fresh oil (this will help the engine build oil pressure more quickly on initial re-start) and using your finger, run some oil on top of the rubber gasket. This will aid sealing and also make the filter easier to remove when the time comes for your next oil change.

* Spin the new filter onto the threads by hand - again, to assure it is not cross-threaded. Once the filter contacts the boss, the general rule is to turn it - by hand - another half to three quarters of a turn or so. Do not use a wrench to tighten the oil filter. Excess tightening will compress the gasket and cause leaks.

* Fill the engine with the appropriate quantity of fresh oil, per the owner's manual. Be certain you know the oil capacity of your car's engine. Do not overfill.

* Reinstall the fill cap and dipstick.

* Start the engine and let it idle. The "oil" light should go out very quickly (if you have an oil pressure gauge, it should show normal pressure within a few (no more than 10-15) seconds of start-up. If the oil light stays on or the gauge shows low pressure, immediately shut off the engine and re-check your work. Never operate the engine with the oil light on or the gauge reading low/abnormal pressure. Major engine damage could result.

* Assuming the light goes out/normal pressure is indicated, check for leaks and if all seems ok, shut off the engine, lower the car off the jack/jackstands.

* Clean up any mess - you're done!

dBrong
10-20-2009, 10:42 PM
Consider pumping the oil out of the crankcase. Although it's not cheap at $90 (maybe there are cheaper ones to be found) I used a pump like this for years. It pretty much pays for itself in time and mess.



http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car+maintenance/oil+changes/multi+fluid+extractor.do?search=basic&keyword=oil+change&sortby=newArrivals&page=1

Eric
10-21-2009, 07:16 AM
Consider pumping the oil out of the crankcase. Although it's not cheap at $90 (maybe there are cheaper ones to be found) I used a pump like this for years. It pretty much pays for itself in time and mess.



http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car+maintenance/oil+changes/multi+fluid+extractor.do?search=basic&keyword=oil+change&sortby=newArrivals&page=1

Yes. I had that item in my 2009 Gearhead Gifts article!

The only thing about it I don't like or have some concerns about is that it may not get as much of the heavy sludge out from the bottom of the sump as would come out via a drain plug....

DonTom
10-21-2009, 08:18 AM
"* Using a floor jack "

They have been known to fail too. You shouldn't be under a car that's jacked up -- but with the jackstands it's okay, but isn't it a lot easier to drive up a pair of ramps?

-Don-

Eric
10-21-2009, 09:04 AM
"* Using a floor jack "

They have been known to fail too. You shouldn't be under a car that's jacked up -- but with the jackstands it's okay, but isn't it a lot easier to drive up a pair of ramps?

-Don-


Ramps have become hard to use with many late model cars, which are much lower to the ground or have air dams/body kits, etc. that get in the way (or could be damaged) Ramps can also slip.

I prefer using a floor jack to raise the car enough to get fixed jack stands underneath. I then lower the jack just enough to put the weight on the jack stands, but leave it in place so it provides an additional back-up support.

dBrong
10-21-2009, 01:08 PM
Ramps have become hard to use with many late model cars, which are much lower to the ground or have air dams/body kits, etc. that get in the way (or could be damaged) Ramps can also slip.


I've never liked ramps. With lower cars, AWD, and SUV's with skid plates, they're not suitable in many cases.

A floor jack is really a good investment because the jack that comes with the car is always minimal, is a PITA to use, and a PITA to stow back where it belongs, and not have it rattle.

How I feel safest, is to slide a big chunk of wood under the frame - I have a couple 2' sections of 8x8.

Eric
10-21-2009, 02:17 PM
I've never liked ramps. With lower cars, AWD, and SUV's with skid plates, they're not suitable in many cases.

A floor jack is really a good investment because the jack that comes with the car is always minimal, is a PITA to use, and a PITA to stow back where it belongs, and not have it rattle.

How I feel safest, is to slide a big chunk of wood under the frame - I have a couple 2' sections of 8x8.

My sentiments also!

I have a 3 ton floor jack that I use to raise the car; it is rated for much more weight than the typical passenger car or truck, so it lifts the vehicle with ease. It also has a large round pad for its contact point, which spreads the load.

Once the vehicle is raised, I slip ratcheting safety jackstands under the frame rails, etc. then gently lower the car down until the jackstands are carrying the load. But I usually leave the jack "up" as extra security. I don't like taking chances with 4,000 pounds of car over my chest!