WITH A WARM EN­GINE

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Servicing from Home -

En­gine oil thins when warm, mak­ing it eas­ier to drain, so go for a drive of sev­eral miles. On your re­turn, pro­vided that you have not done so al­ready, you might have to re­move the plas­tic un­der­tray. This can be tricky on some mod­els – note how it fits to­gether. Drive-on ramps are a worth­while in­vest­ment for this. As you re­move the un­der­tray, re­tain the var­i­ous clips and fas­ten­ers – be pre­pared to buy more, be­cause they can break eas­ily. Once the plas­tic cover is off, look for any fluid spills, oil leaks or old stains, all of which will give you a clue that all might not be well. An in­spec­tion torch is very use­ful for this. Opin­ions dif­fer on whether, or not, it is a good idea to use an en­gine oil flush. They tend to be ben­e­fi­cial, es­pe­cially for tur­bod­iesel en­gines, if you know that oil changes have not been ne­glected in the past. Al­ways fol­low the in­struc­tions, which usu­ally re­quire that the en­gine is run at a fast idle speed for 10 min­utes.

Af­ter shut­ting down the en­gine, al­low 10 min­utes for the en­gine oil to gather in the sump. Lo­cate the drain plug and un­screw it. You can buy tools that suck-out en­gine oil via the dip­stick tube, which makes the task eas­ier, but many tech­ni­cians think that this method stops harm­ful con­tam­i­nants from be­ing ex­tracted with the old oil.

Use a suit­able re­cep­ta­cle that can ac­com­mo­date the re­quired quan­tity of oil (ver­ify this from your work­shop man­ual's spec­i­fi­ca­tions list). Once the plug is re­leased, oil can flow from the sump sur­pris­ingly quickly. Be pre­pared: diesel oil, in par­tic­u­lar, can stain drive­ways. En­sure that there is suf­fi­cient news­pa­per laid on the floor to soak up any spillages. Al­ways wear la­tex/ni­trile gloves.

There are sev­eral de­signs of oil fil­ter. The spin-on type screws onto the en­gine block; if it has seized, you can buy an oil fil­ter wrench that will aid with both grip­ping and turn­ing the fil­ter – only one de­sign of which is pictured. Once loos­ened, un­wind it sev­eral turns and wait for the oil in­side to drain out into the en­gine (or drip down into your re­cep­ta­cle), prior to re­mov­ing it com­pletely.

To renew spin-on oil fil­ters, in­sist on an Oe-qual­ity re­place­ment. Smear a thin layer of oil (old or new) around the top seal and wipe around its mount­ing point on the en­gine block. Screw the new fil­ter onto the en­gine and tighten it us­ing hand force only. Do not use tools.

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