how often do I really need to change my oil?
Generally every 3 months or 3,000 miles which ever comes first, read your owners manual for your particular vehicle, and make sure to note if your car is under what the manufacturer considers 'severe conditions'. 9/10 you technically are, unless you manage to have a 4-6 mile perfectly straight drive at 40mph with only 2 stops... Anyway, point stands, read your manual... ------------------ Go to the store and get your oil and filter Make sure you get the proper weight oil and grade, read your manual once again... (Generally speaking get at least a decent semi-synthetic, I recommend going to walmart and buying a 5quart jug of mobil 1) Other than that, there isn't much to changing oil... It's best to do it while the oil is warm and recently run to get as much crap out the engine as possible. So let your car get warm before starting. Pop the hood and check your oil level (make sure you're not loosing oil) (chances are you'll need to jack the car up or put it on ramps, either way be safe. NEVER SUPPORT THE CAR ON A JACK!!!!) Then put an oil pan under it... Loosen the oil cap(This lets air in so when you drain the oil it doesn't glug...IE keep your driveway clean) Use wrench, remove drain plug (Inspect the drain plug for stripping of the threads) If the oil filter is above the pan, you can take it off while the oil is draining... (otherwise wait till the oil is drain, put the plug back in, move the pan under the filter, and then remove the filter) Rub a little clean oil on the rubber ring on the new oil filter, and hand-tighten it onto the spindle. You don't have to go gung-hoe on it, but make sure it's tight. Hand tighten the oil plug on and then tighten with a wrench, once again no need to go all out on it, just make sure it's tight Fill the oil with the amount specified in the manual... Double check to make sure the plug is tight, the filter is tight, and the cap is on. Start the car, make sure the oi pressure raises (I believe you just have a little light that goes out once the pressure is up) If that light doesn't go out in first 3-4 seconds, shut the car down and make sure you put your oil in. Once the light is out get under the car again and make sure nothing is leaking... If all is good turn the car off, check and make sure your oil level is good on the stick, close the hood. Note mileage and date in the back of your owners manual or in a log somewhere and keep your receipt for the oil and filter. ---------------- I think that was a decent walk through but I'm about to fall asleep over here. Best advice I can give is have someone help your the first time and always double check everything.
I partially agree with Adam. Go strictly by the service interval recommended in your owners manual. I personally change my oil every 7500 miles because that is what the owners manual recommended for my vehicle. I only modified that by using 100% synthetic oil. The 3 month/3000 mile interval nonsense came about with the boom of the quick lube business. They recomended that to get a steady stream of business when it reality, you MAY NOT need change the oil "that" frequently. If your vehicle is in the bay, they are in your face and have the chance to "upsell" you for items that are often overpriced and sometimes not needed. NOW TO BE CLEAR! 3 month/3000 mile intervals will certainly prolong the life of the car! I'm just saying that the vehicle manufacturer knows more about THEIR product than the local quick lube. Do what you think is ultimately best for YOUR car.
True, I base the 3/3000 on the 'severe driving conditions recommended in most manual. A lot say 5,000 or 7,500 miles but then say if it's under severe driving conditions to revert to a 3/3000. In my area pretty much every car falls under this category as the ideal driving conditions are non-existent here, stop and go traffic with irregular heat cycles = bad for oil. I'm not sure where these ideal conditions exist, but it ain't round here :-D But as I said read the manual to be sure... --------Now I get to ramble a little bit(more)----------- Granted it has more to do with your oils additives than anything. 3,000 miles on a conventional is hell on a modern car while 10,000 on a good synthetic is comparatively not as bad. And more than 2,000 on a true racing oil is even worse since they carry very few detergents...(I find it hilarious when people use racing oil and think it extends the oil change interval) Granted that also changes as some brands, Brad Penn racing oil, are superior even to most standard full synthetics in this regard. Long story short, oils are complicated, that's why petrol engineers make big bucks, crap I picked the wrong major twice. One of the better explanations of oils, IMO, can be read at http://lnengineering.com/oil.html These guys did sampling and analysis of many oils run on an control engine specifically made for their test in a controlled environment. I haven't seen a better side-by-side comparison done by anyone else. Granted they were looking for oil performance for air cooled Porsche engines so the properties they look for are slightly different than on a modern Honda engine, but it's still some pretty good information on oil in general... If not a boring read.
i got a great story for yah... guy a couple weeks ago talking about all the ricey bits on his car in a parking lot i stopped in to offload some cardboard recycling... BIG ricer wing (primed not painted but he clearcoated the primer... he tried to tell me it was carbon fiber and this was how its suppose to look... right... ;) ) his car had a set of gauges on the A pillar... all not hooked up all showing that he was making boost while idling, the temperature was at 240f and his air fuel mix was very very very rich... lol) his exhaust a coffee can bolted to his stock exhaust and the list of mods to his engine was impressive and that would have been awesome to see if he could get the hood pins he installed to unlatch... they were accented with a drill hole where he missed the first time... lol... the neon lights were actually rope xmas lights that he had wired into his cig liter... i could go on about the unpainted body kit but i think you get the picture... anywho... the best bit... i got him backed into a wall and challenged him to a unlisenced, unregulated, test of acceleration... which he lost badly... when he launched the second time against my friends charger (concluding that mine had 30000 dollars worth of work under the hood) we had a huge plume of smoke out of his exhaust and that unmistakable sound of broken internals bouncing about the oil pan hahaha... which promptly broke and started to leak oil... and oh my goodness... molasses filled with iron filings is how i would best describe the consistancy of the oil... he showed me the oil bottles (still in the trunk...) a race oil that he had been running for well over 30000 km... my goodness... yeah... race oil should come with a warning label NOT FOR STUPID PEOPLE... anyways hope that made you smile cheers...
Well I honestly feel bad for the kid, chances are a mechanic told him it last longer than normal oils.... It's the most common thing done in a shop, yet it's likely the thing the mechanic and techs knows least about... Hurray for irony!
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