Car Mechanics (UK) - - Servicing from Home -

The other fil­ter type is this tra­di­tional el­e­ment de­sign, which has made a come­back in the last 15 years. It con­sists of a top-threaded hous­ing (typ­i­cally made from plas­tic) con­tain­ing a re­place­able fil­ter cartridge. Un­screw the el­e­ment top par­tially, al­low the oil to drain into the sump, then lift the unit away from the en­gine block. Re­place­ment el­e­ment fil­ter kits will in­clude a seal for the top of the hous­ing, which must be re­placed. Prise it away with a screw­driver, as pictured, dis­card it and fit the new item. The old oil-soaked fil­ter can be pulled from the hous­ing, so that the new fil­ter can click into place. Prior to re­fit­ting the hous­ing, lu­bri­cate the seal and thread with clean en­gine oil, be­fore screw­ing it into place by hand to start, then use a socket to tighten it to the spec­i­fied torque. Avoid ap­ply­ing ex­ces­sive pres­sure to the plas­tic hous­ing and do not use an open-ended span­ner, or mole grips, in lieu of a socket.

If fit­ted, add a new crush­able cop­per/ alu­minium washer to the sump drain plug – reusing the old one is likely to re­sult in a messy oil leak. Screw the plug into place by hand and tighten it to the spec­i­fied torque. Be wary of over­tight­en­ing. This can strip the del­i­cate alu­minium threads in the sump, which are com­mon to most mod­ern cars.

Re­move the oil cap and wipe its un­der­side. Should a rub­ber seal be fit­ted, en­sure that it is not cracked. Pour in the cor­rect quan­tity of fresh lu­bri­cant via the oil filler, tak­ing care not to spill any oil over the en­gine. Con­sult your work­shop man­ual for the cor­rect ca­pac­ity, in­clud­ing that of the oil fil­ter.

Start the en­gine and note that the dash­board’s oil pres­sure lamp should ex­tin­guish soon af­ter­wards. Al­low the en­gine to run for sev­eral min­utes, prior to switch­ing it off and check­ing the level on the oil dip­stick. Top-up if re­quired, us­ing the dip­stick af­ter each fill to check the level of oil. Nei­ther un­der­fill, nor over­fill. Some en­gines don’t have a dip­stick, in which case con­sult your hand­book.

Man­ual gearbox oil lev­els should not drop, un­less there is an ob­vi­ous leak. Check your work­shop man­ual, or lo­cate the com­bined filler/level plug. Should you undo the wrong bolt, you might dis­man­tle parts within the gearbox. Not all cars are fit­ted with level plugs, in which case drain the fluid and re­fill with the spec­i­fied quan­tity. If no drib­ble of fluid comes out (pre­sum­ing the en­gine is cold and a filler/level plug is fit­ted), top-up the oil with a squeezy bot­tle, but heed ad­vice about ob­tain­ing the cor­rect spec­i­fi­ca­tion lu­bri­cant. When you no­tice fluid trickle out of the hole, re­fit the plug with a new cop­per washer and tighten it to the torque spec­i­fied in the man­ual. Many man­u­fac­tur­ers state that their trans­mis­sions are ‘sealed for life’, but it’s worth­while chang­ing the oil ev­ery 50,000 miles re­gard­less, en­sur­ing that you use the cor­rect oil. A drain plug might be pro­vided (as pictured) for the com­bined man­ual gearbox and dif­fer­en­tial unit. Con­ven­tional (ie, nei­ther sin­gle nor twin-clutch) au­to­matic trans­mis­sion fluid level checks are de­pen­dent on the oil’s tem­per­a­ture – con­sult your hand­book on how to check the level and en­sure that the fluid is nei­ther brown, nor black. Many trans­mis­sions also ben­e­fit from fluid changes, de­spite most be­ing ad­ver­tised as ‘sealed for life’, but it's quite an in­volved process.

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