Car Mechanics (UK)

DRAIN­ING THE OIL

- Belgium · Iceland · Volkswagen Golf Mk4 · Belarus

1 An en­gine flush added to the en­gine oil prior to drain­ing can help to re­move car­bon de­posits. Usu­ally, the en­gine needs to be run for a few min­utes after adding the flush and be­fore drain­ing the oil. Warm oil is eas­ier to drain than cold be­cause it’s thin­ner, so run­ning the en­gine be­fore adding the flush will also help.

2 Try to po­si­tion the ve­hi­cle on level ground prior to drain­ing the en­gine oil. Make sure it is se­cure, with one or more of the road wheels chocked and the hand­brake on. Re­move any un­der­trays that re­strict ac­cess to the sump drain plug and/or oil fil­ter.

3 Be­fore drain­ing the oil, en­sure you know where the sump drain plug and oil fil­ter are and that you have the right tools to re­move them. First, try to undo the sump drain plug. You may need to slacken it with a breaker bar or long ratchet.

4 Po­si­tion a drain tray or sim­i­lar con­tainer underneath the drain plug. Release the oil filler cap to aid air­flow through the en­gine and help drain the oil. Wear­ing gloves, care­fully un­screw the drain plug and be pre­pared for a surge of oil once it has been re­leased. Some drain plugs have a drain hole to avoid this type of messy surge (in­set pic).

5 While the oil is drain­ing from the en­gine, re­move the oil fil­ter. For spin-on fil­ters use a fil­ter wrench or cup to release it. Oil will leak out of the fil­ter when it’s re­leased, so wipe it up. Check that no seals re­main at­tached to the oil fil­ter hous­ing.

6 Be­fore fitting a new fil­ter, add a smear of fresh oil to the seal around its screw thread. This will re­duce the risk of the rub­ber seal catch­ing and tear­ing when fitting the fil­ter. Fit and tighten it by hand – DO NOT use the fil­ter wrench or a cup to tighten it.

7 Where an oil fil­ter is con­tained in­side a can­is­ter or hous­ing, use a suit­able socket, ex­ten­sion bar and ratchet to undo its hous­ing, then un­screw it by hand. Once re­moved, ex­tract the old fil­ter and re­new the rub­ber seal that’s fit­ted around the thread of the can­is­ter – prise off the old one with a small screw­driver and fit the new one by hand.

8 Fit the new fil­ter into the can­is­ter the same way up as the old one, not­ing that some need to be clicked into po­si­tion. Re­fit the can­is­ter by hand, then fin­ish it off with a torque wrench, tight­en­ing it to the rec­om­mended amount stated in your work­shop man­ual or on the body of the hous­ing (usu­ally 25Nm).

9 Re­fit the sump plug. If a cop­per washer was fit­ted, re­new it as it will have been crushed pre­vi­ously. Some sump plugs must be re­newed with ev­ery oil ser­vice – they don’t cost that much any­way. Tighten it to the rec­om­mended torque set­ting and wipe around it to en­sure it’s clean – this helps with check­ing for leaks once the en­gine is started.

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