Shopping for Motor Oil
Companies offer plenty varieties of motor oil to choose from. Each brand has many types with different formulas for specific engine types, car use, and other features they'd brag about. For the inexperienced shopper, this may be an overwhelming challenge when doing an oil change. Read this simple guide to help you give have a grasp on the options you can choose from.
Oil can be placed under two major classifications: conventional or synthetic.
- Conventional: This is the OE standard for most cars, be it brand new or one needing a basic oil change. Its low price is the reason this is commonly used. Conventional motor oil can be used for any most ordinary vehicles. A regular problem for this type is its quick rate of sludge build up. Too much sludge and the engine will have a tougher time to move, and easily cause engine wear. Despite this issue, it is good enough to be used for regular driving. Just remember to check the oil frequently.
- Synthetic: This type of is usually used for high-powered engines. Racers and heavy-loaded trucks have engines filled with synthetic oil. It's superior to conventional oil in terms of flow and lifespan. Another advantage is its ability to work under extreme temperatures. This type also has lesser tendency to form sludge and wear the engine. The biggest downside of synthetic oils is its huge price tag.
Between the two are many other names oil makers use to give their product a specific edge. To avoid confusion, always start with these two to help you make sense of all the different types on the market.
It is important that oil flows smoothly, lubricates the engine, and manages heat, under any condition. Oil too thick will have a hard time working under cold temperatures. Make it too thin, and it will virtually be useless in a hot environment. Bottles are usually labeled with a thickness rating that will tell you what how much the oil can handle. Balance the weather you usually drive in and the type of engine you have when shopping for the right oil for your car.
You want to make sure you put good oil in your engine. Make sure it has the seals of the right research organizations like the American Petroleum Institute (API) or the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).These seals verify the oil's quality. Beware of fake seals counterfeiters use to trick unsuspecting costumers.
Doing a Basic Motor Oil Change
Motor oil is the blood of the engine. It is mostly responsible for maintaining lubrication and managing heat to let your engine run efficiently. As mileage increases, the oil's quality decreases. Overtime, it becomes murky, dirty, and unsuitable for engine use. Bad motor oil is never good, hence the need to perform routine oil change.
Difficulty level: Easy
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Wrench set
- Oil drain pan
- Dry rags
- Oil filter wrench
- Replacement oil filter
- New motor oil
- Car owner's manual
Step 1: Park your car on a flat surface. Turn off the engine and let it cool for about 30 minutes. Raise your car with a floor jack. Secure it with jack stands. This makes the underside of the engine more accessible.
Step 2: Open the hood to remove the engine oil cap.
Step 3: Go underneath the car. Remove any covers that get in the way of accessing the engine oil plug. Place the oil drain pan directly under the oil drain. With an open-end wrench, unscrew the oil drain plug. Let the old oil flow to the pan.
Step 4: Inspect the drain plug's condition. Replace its washer if necessary. If the plug uses a rubber seal instead of a washer, simply wipe it with a rag.
Step 5: Once all the oil is out of the engine, return the oil drain plug.
Step 6: Move the oil drain pan under the oil filter. With an oil filter wrench, partially unscrew the oil filter from the engine. Put down the wrench, and support the filter with your hand. Turn it counterclockwise to completely remove it. Some oil might spill, so have rags on hand. Wipe and clean all the areas you can reach. Pour the remaining oil from the oil filter into the drain pan. Dispose the old filter after.
Step 7: Grab the replacement oil filter. Lightly rub some of the new engine oil on its rubber seal. Screw the filter in place as tight as your hand can go. Do not over tighten.
Step 8: Return to the top of the engine. Place a funnel on the engine cap hole. Carefully pour the new engine oil according to the amount specified on your car owner's manual.
Step 9: Return the motor oil cap to the engine. Underneath, return any covers removed. Lower the car. Turn on the car and let the engine circulate the new oil for a few minutes.
The whole process will take around 30 minutes up to 1 hour.
- Never change oil while the engine is hot. Hot oil will definitely burn if it hits you.
- You may want to wear latex gloves to stay clean. Also, put a flattened cardboard box or a slab of plywood on the floor to prevent oil from staining the floor.