How to change your oil and oil filter

Automotive servicing tips

48w ago

Servicing your vehicle's oil and oil filter is an essential part of your car's regular maintenance. Petroleum-based oils will degrade and break down over time from the heat and pressure inside of the engine. As this occurs, the chemical composition of the oil changes and it becomes contaminated, and after thousands of kilometers, the oil is unable to protect the engine.

The engine oil filter also plays an increasingly important role in maintaining the engine. The oil filter is designed to trap any unwanted materials from travelling through sensitive parts of your engine such as bearings and oil galleries which can cause long term damage and costly repairs. Oil filters become even more important as the vehicles gets older with long term carbon deposits building up within the engine internal parts which the oil filter will capture if they make there way into the oil.

So today, we will look at the basics of how to carry out an oil and filter change. Before starting the job, you should always make sure you have the correct tools, a safe place to work on the car, the correct filter and oil for your vehicle. To do so, you'll need to provide your local parts outlets with a Make, Model and Year of your vehicle. Always buy the best oil you can afford and make sure to use a quality oil filter from Ryco Filters. If you don't have a great amount of experience working on cars, then get a friend who does to help you, or obtain a workshop manual and take your time on the job.

As oil filter changes can be a messy job, it always pays to have plenty of rags on hand, nitrile gloves and an adequate sized drain bowl to catch any oil that falls. As you'll more than likely be changing the oil on the ground, a good sturdy jack and jack stands are essential to get the car safely off the ground.

When jacking the vehicle up, always remember to do it on flat solid ground like concrete and leave the handbrake on so the wheels on the ground still are locked. Once the car is off the ground, you should first drain the oil. It often helps to run the car before you've even jacked the car up as it warms the oil up and helps it to drain the oil faster. Where possible though, don't get it too hot as it could cause burns while trying to service the oil, also some oil filters may be impossible to get to due to hot components around them.

With the engine oil drained, you can remove the filter. As these can often be quite tight, it pays to obtain a filter removal tool from your local parts shop, Ryco has a range of specialized oil filter tools to do the job. Be careful when removing the spin on oil filter as it will also contain oil, so you don't want to be directly under it. You may have a cartridge type oil filter that lives inside the oil filter housing; normally these will need a large sized socket to undo the filter housing to access the oil filter, in some cases, it may require a special service tool. With the filter removed, let the excess oil from it drain into the bowl and where possible use the rags to wipe off any excess oil that may have run down the engine.

Before you install your Ryco oil filter, compare it to the one you removed to ensure you have the right part. To install the new filter, make sure the mounting face on the engine is clean and that the old oil filter seal hasn't stayed there. Unwrap the new spin on oil filter and wipe a small amount of fresh oil onto the new seal, from here, you can install it. Make sure the filter goes on straight to prevent cross threading and tighten it by hand. In most cases, spin on filters only need to be tightened by hand, if unsure read the directions printed on your Ryco Oil Filter. In the case of a cartridge filter, simply place it inside of the housing correctly, you may need to change the housing O-ring seal which will be supplied with the Ryco oil filter. Just a note, some vehicles may need the oil filter filled with oil before installation, its worth looking at your owner's manual or online to verify if this is required.

With the new Ryco Oil filter in place, it’s time to put the new washer on the sump plug and refit it to the sump ensuring that its tight. You can now refill the engine oil to the manufacturer's specifications and start it up. With the car running you should firstly check that it has oil pressure by either checking the light has gone out or the oil pressure gauge needle has come up. You should also check to make sure there are no oil leaks. Once you're satisfied it's all ok, it’s time to lower the vehicle off the jack stands, let the vehicle sit for a minute and check that the oil level is at the top of the dipstick. Also, ensure that you have secured your oil cap and that no tools or rags are left under the bonnet.

Once you've done all of this, you now need to dispose of your old oil and filter. To do this you should check with your local council to find out where the nearest recycling location is.

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