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How to change car oil

Just how easy is it to change your car's oil? A garage will do it for you, even firms like National Tyres UK offer auto care services. These options come at a price, however, so why not do the job yourself? Not only does this save you money, but you also know the job has been done properly.

Preparation and tools

Changing the oil in your car isn't as difficult as it seems. To complete the task, you need to allow about an hour and have access to a basic tool kit. Spanners or a socket set will be a necessity along with a car jack, axle stands and a large bowl to catch the waste oil. A pair of rubber gloves are useful as the job can be a dirty one. If you have a good local motor factor, then purchase the parts you need from them as they are invariably cheaper than more well-known outlets. They will also advise you as to which engine oils are suitable for your vehicle. It is vital to get this information correct as there are many motor oils on the market and not all are suitable for every car. Having purchased your oil and filter and collected your tools, you are ready to begin.

The oil change

Firstly, ensure your working area is as clean as possible. Run the vehicle until the engine is fully warmed up. You can add a proprietary flushing fluid if you wish but this isn't necessary. Switch off the engine and remove the oil filler cap. You need to jack the car up, so a level surface is a must. Raise the vehicle high enough to allow you access underneath and "support the car on firm axle stands. Never work under a car on a jack!" Take care with this stage as you will be working under a hot motor. Place your drain pan under the sump and remove the drain plug at the base of the engine. Hot oil will pour out so be ready to remove your gloved hands quickly! If you have access to an oil filter removal tool, use it to unscrew the old unit. If not, don't worry, you can hammer a screw driver through it and use it as a lever. Allow the old oil to drain for half an hour. Next, screw the new filter on hand tight and replace the sump plug. Now lower the car down and slowly add your fresh oil until the dip stick reads full. Run the car up to temperature and check for leaks. Finally, allow the car to cool fully and recheck the oil level, topping up if necessary.

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