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Oil Changes - how much more complicated the process has become.

edsl48

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#1
So Easy Even a Caveman Can Do It


Oil changes are still pretty simple. But easy is another thing. If you haven’t done one in awhile – to a new car – you might be surprised by how much more complicated the process has become.

First, it’s gotten harder to get underneath new cars. Or rather, to get them up in the air, so you can get at things.

Driving them up on ramps – as was common back in the day – is often not possible today because the front end of many new cars will push the ramps forward as you try to drive up and on. Or they get pushed unevenly. That can be very dangerous to your wallet as well as to you. The ramps may also hang up on the lower part of the fascia – the rubber front end cover all late-model cars have – and be damaged during the attempt. A $40 oil change becomes $400 in body damage.

.

One way to avoid that is to use some boards to “step up” gradually to the ramps – as in this picture.

Similarly, standard floor jacks may not slide under a new car’s low-slung bodywork.

The good news is there are low-profile floor jacks specifically made to get around this problem. The bad news is if you haven’t got one already, you’ll need to buy one – and a good floor jack usually costs at least $75 or so. Either way, be certain of your jacking point before you start pumping up the jack. Most new cars are unibody designs – integrated frame and body – and it can be not-obvious which is body and which is frame. You want frame.

Don’t apply jacking force to body panels such as the floorpans or the rocker panels.

Once you have the car raised, you may discover you can’t find the oil drain plug.

Many new cars are fitted with plastic underbelly pans – designed to smooth airflow underneath the car, for reasons of fuel economy as well as noise reduction. But these pans have to come off before you can access the car’s mechanical underbelly, including the engine oil drain plug (and oil filter, if it’s not topside).

With the car on a hoist and a technician able to stand/walk around under the car, removing the underbody pan isn’t that much of a hassle. It’s
not so easy when you’re lying on your back, in your driveway.


Actually, getting the pan off isn’t too hard.

It’s getting the pan back in place that can be a pain. These things are often large and unwieldy. You have to line them up with multiple holes and then get the plastic tabs or whatever the fastener system is locked down without the pan moving out of position.

Here’s where a helper – human or floor jack – is . . . helpful. A second pair of hands to hold the pan in place while you get it fastened. Or, use the floor jack to do the same. The pan is usually made of plastic and isn’t heavy. It’s just awkward to get it lined up.

Be sure it’s reinstalled correctly before you lower the car and drive off. If it falls off with the car at speed, you will not be happy. Neither will the driver of the car behind you.



As far as the actual oil:
Modern car engines are much more sensitive about which oil goes in the crankcase. It’s not like it was in the past – when almost any off-the-shelf-oil would do. Or at least would do no harm. Synthetic or standard; 10w-40 was on sale this week.

Today’s engines want very specific oil and using other-than-specified oil can lead to problems which you’ll end up paying for – because use of other-than-specific oil will usually void your warranty coverage. If the manufacturer says use synthetic – use synthetic. If it says use only 5W-15.



Don’t use 10W-40.

And don’t use additives, either – unless they are approved additives.

Also be exacting about the oil level. Too much can be as bad as too little. This, by the way, is one of the perils of having someone elsechange your vehicle’s oil. Quick lube places often use a pump to feed fresh oil to the engine, rather than pour the oil in one quart at a time, as you would at home. The pump system makes it easier to lose track of how much actually got pumped in.

If you have someone else change your oil, always check the level on the dipstick before you drive off.



Another thing to check is for drips under the car before you drive off. Quick lube places sometimes overtighten oil filters, crushing the gasket – which results in leaks. They also sometimes overtorque the the oil pan drain bolt, damaging the threads. If that happens, the leak can become a gusher when the now-barely-hanging-on-by-a-thread drain bolt falls out while you’re driving.

If you do your own oil changes, you’ll never have to worry about stripped threads or overtightened oil filters.

It’s just not quite as easy as it used to be!
 

Professur

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#2
Just one more reason my daily driver dates from the 1980s
 

Hystckndle

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#3
Gave a Taurus to my stepdaughter.
She is 26, married to a now 30 millennial.
He allows as to how he takes the car to a mechanic and the guy eats his ass out for the amount of oil
in the car.
He says he " thought " it might be needing some and he added a few quarts.
Over a quart to much apparently.
Time goes on.
After a year or so they say it is " jerking" and want to get rid of it etc etc etc.
So I trade them another car for it ( dif story ) and I get the Taurus over to the house.
Clean it up to put it on CL.
Yup..." jerking " = low...and I mean LOW transmission fluid.
They never checked it. Neither did mechanic apparently.
Go figure. Top it off...all is well.
Side bar from the OP maybe.
At least the guy in the OP is doing something and passing some info along.
Yeah,
more complicated.....maybe...but maybe not so much, its oil...and there is not an APP for it.
LOL
 

Silver

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#5
I have an oil evacuation pump, makes everything a breeze on my MB, the oil filter is up top.
I just started changing the oil in the wife's MB (out of warranty) and bought an oil extractor from Harbor Freight, thinking I would do it all from the top. I couldn't get a good suction from the extractor and ended up under the car - 20 bolts to get the plastic cover off!

8 quarts of Mobil One European Formula 0-40, oil filter, air filter, and cabin filter. Took me at least 2 hours and a $100+. Would have been around $600 at the dealer.

Oil Extractor:
https://www.harborfreight.com/6-1-4-quarter-gallon-oil-extractor-46149.html
 

Professur

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#6
but maybe not so much, its oil...and there is not an APP for it.

Actually, on most new cars, there IS. And if you don't reset it you'll get a nice fat Check Engine light for your troubles.
 

Hystckndle

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#7
No...I am saying " APP "
As in the its done " magically " button on the phone. Tongue in cheek.
But,
Yes, there is a reset oil button in many systems.
Heh, check engine light, I can make those go off with a piece of black electrical tape on the gauge cover plastic.
:)
 

Hystckndle

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#8
Note: While I am here....
Same kid ( 30 )
Gets his 1st lawn mower a few years ago. Right at 2 years ago now I guess.
He says to me ...." So...do I need to walk it around the block or something to cool it off or something ? "
( I am looking at him and one eye of mine starts doing the squint thing )
I said " whaddaya mean by that ? "...eyebrows furrow up also in a quizzical mode...
He says " well...you see some people walking their mowers down the street in the summer and I was just wondering ? "
I stared at him and said --calmly and trying hard here---
" nahhh...its all good mano...those are just kids going over to do someone elses lawn or way back from doing a neighbors yard
and you do not have to do that "
True story.
Now...THAT being said....2 years, hmmm... I think I will ask him about an OIL change in that unit , not to mention a blade sharpening ,
here in the next week.
Thanks to the OP for reminding me about that.
Regards to all,
 

Professur

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#9
If you tell him there's a blade under there, he might be too afraid to ever use it again.
 

TAEZZAR

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#10
I have no problem changing oil & filter I HAVE PROBLEM RESETTING THE COMPUTER !!!!!
Subaru over pit (Large).JPG
 

TAEZZAR

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#11
Thanks to the OP for reminding me about that.
Thanks Hystckndle for that story, it reminded me of this, I swear the following true !!!

It was mt first time to "buddy boat" with this guy. We launch & go about 25 miles to fish. While we are fishing, he gets on the radio & says "I am 2 qts low on oil". I lightly scold him for not checking his oil before going out to sea. He says "I don't need a scolding, I need 2 qts of oil". I gave him 2 qts that I had on board. When we got back, he checked his oil & it was 2 qts OVER FULL. I asked how that could be? Are you ready for this !!!!! He said "I opened that lid where you put oil in & I saw those little things going up & down & there was no oil on them, I looked at the cover & figured it held 2 qts of oil". That was the last time I ever went anywhere that fool !!
 

gringott

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#13
I just started changing the oil in the wife's MB (out of warranty) and bought an oil extractor from Harbor Freight, thinking I would do it all from the top. I couldn't get a good suction from the extractor and ended up under the car - 20 bolts to get the plastic cover off!

8 quarts of Mobil One European Formula 0-40, oil filter, air filter, and cabin filter. Took me at least 2 hours and a $100+. Would have been around $600 at the dealer.

Oil Extractor:
https://www.harborfreight.com/6-1-4-quarter-gallon-oil-extractor-46149.html
Brother, I bought a mityvac years ago and don't look back. I also have their product for bleeding and flushing brakes. I have the adapters for each of my four vehicles.

http://www.mityvac.com/pages/products_fee.asp

Mine is the second one down. Has never failed me.
 

Silver

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#14
Note: While I am here....
Same kid ( 30 )
Gets his 1st lawn mower a few years ago. Right at 2 years ago now I guess.
He says to me ...." So...do I need to walk it around the block or something to cool it off or something ? "
( I am looking at him and one eye of mine starts doing the squint thing )
I said " whaddaya mean by that ? "...eyebrows furrow up also in a quizzical mode...
He says " well...you see some people walking their mowers down the street in the summer and I was just wondering ? "
I stared at him and said --calmly and trying hard here---
" nahhh...its all good mano...those are just kids going over to do someone elses lawn or way back from doing a neighbors yard
and you do not have to do that "
True story.
Now...THAT being said....2 years, hmmm... I think I will ask him about an OIL change in that unit , not to mention a blade sharpening ,
here in the next week.
Thanks to the OP for reminding me about that.
Regards to all,
Jeez - you have a project son in law, that's as lame as it gets :)
 

Silver

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#16
Brother, I bought a mityvac years ago and don't look back. I also have their product for bleeding and flushing brakes. I have the adapters for each of my four vehicles.

http://www.mityvac.com/pages/products_fee.asp

Mine is the second one down. Has never failed me.
I've got to figure out how to make the one I bought work - too late to return it. It works on the same principle as the Mityvac (venturi), using compressed air. It holds a vacuum, but when I started drawing oil it sounded like it was sucking mostly air. Might have to get different tubing or something.
 

Goldhedge

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#17
Gave a Taurus to my stepdaughter.
She is 26, married to a now 30 millennial.
You're taking care of them... robbing them of the lessons learned from the school of hard knocks... How else do you 'spect them to learn anything?? Best teacher in the world!
 

nickndfl

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#18
I drive my 2016 Mazda CX-5 1k miles per week and change every 6k-7k miles. Takes me about 15 mins in the swale. I put a piece of cardboard down in case of spillage. It takes almost 5 quarts of 0-20W full synthetic. Needed are 8mm socket, Phillips screwdriver & a flat screwdriver to pop out the fasteners that hold the underbody plastic.
 

Uglytruth

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#19
Ex brotherinlaw had a commercial walk behind mower. Bunton Hydro at the time. He had it for years. I kept on him about changing oil, filters etc...... When I went for a visit they always have a list of chores for me to do. First he had some angled grinding wheel you put in a drill & had been "sharpening" the blade with it for years........ then I noticed the filter oil filter was the stock filter. He never changed it because he didn't know what it was.......
 

viking

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#20
I just started changing the oil in the wife's MB (out of warranty) and bought an oil extractor from Harbor Freight, thinking I would do it all from the top. I couldn't get a good suction from the extractor and ended up under the car - 20 bolts to get the plastic cover off!

8 quarts of Mobil One European Formula 0-40, oil filter, air filter, and cabin filter. Took me at least 2 hours and a $100+. Would have been around $600 at the dealer.

Oil Extractor:
https://www.harborfreight.com/6-1-4-quarter-gallon-oil-extractor-46149.html

I bought one of those on a recommendation of a friend that uses it.

But something in the dipstick tube prevents it from going all the way down to reach the oil.
 

Hystckndle

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#21
You're taking care of them... robbing them of the lessons learned from the school of hard knocks... How else do you 'spect them to learn anything?? Best teacher in the world!
Sigh....robbing my kids ???....no school of hard knocks...?? LOL ! Yer killing me !!!!
Got kids ? Guess we never talked about that...anyways...
Interesting post yours is.
Taurus I had as a daily driver, work car, 1999-150K miles already , and I upgraded a bit, Haystack style, and worked a deal with them.
Taurus I traded them for $ and the Kia I had given them for a wedding present that I had 1000 or so in ( traded some labor for it--but least I could do she paid ALL of her wedding expenses herself from working....al lof them...because she wanted it that way )
and it was a hunk of junk ( KIA-comes from the factory as junk ) that they themselves spent 5000 or more in getting repaired weekly
until they learned some get what you pay for stuff from it.
Drove the absolute dog snot out of it, prob 50 thousand miles or so working all kinds of jobs they did.
Learned a lot of that along the way. I personally could not believe it survived all of that.
Got the KIA back and sold it ( KIA ) for 400 to some illegal looking types.

Stepdaughter turned 26 in March, real dad left her and mom to fend for themselves when she was 1 or 2 and that was in the previous USSR.
My wife supported them with multiple jobs and lived with grandma until grandma passed .
( mom , now reconnected with wasn't around , dif story that one too)
Income there was about 150 a month. Thats dollars. And one hundred fifty.
Kid came here at 6. With mom. Left everything that would not fit in 2 suitcases. On faith.
Totally bored in school here.
Probably 2 years ahead just in math at 6.
She started working at 14. Worked 2 or 3 jobs at a time from age 16 up to a few years ago.
Woulda been the youngest manager of a national franchise retail store but their " standards" would not
allow a manager under 25 so she left.
Now she is a project manager for a fab company. ABB is her main client.
Got her citizenship May is 2 years ago. Cried during the ceremony...and that would be all 3 of us. Mom, me and her.
Helped her at 1st by giving her a crusty KIA and then working " trades" with her on other stuff.
No new cars. KIA is NEWEST one she has owned.
Taurus was one of those. And the car after that....which has 225,000 on it right now.
They have no debt whatsoever and probably near 20 grand saved up. No idea on the total. Maybe 25 for all I know.
She has taken the ideas learned AT HOME and applied them to her life UNlike most of her friends.
In fact, she has hardly any friends her own age. Easy to figure that out.
NOT much in common.
Thats the stepdaughter. Yeah...a " fluffy" ( sarc ) life she has had.
I was an ASShole ( capitals ) until age 22 or so and she said
" dad...everything you told me about stuff, money and people and more....its all true ...thanks"

BIL...dif story. Millennial we talk about through and through.
And it doesn't matter a bit about what I would say or do for that unit really.

Gotta go to the dentist.
Apologize to the OP for the drift.
Regards to all,
Haystack
 

Goldhedge

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#22
Sigh....robbing my kids ???....no school of hard knocks...?? LOL ! Yer killing me !!!!
Got kids ? Guess we never talked about that...anyways...
Nope. No chilluns - at least none that I know about....

However, that is how my pop raised me... "Don't let the door hit you on your way out!" and "You made your bed, now go sleep in it!"
 

Silver

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#23
I'm not so sure the school of hard knocks is the way to go, you can end up pretty beat up. It's kinda like being self taught about everything - you are taught by a fool (until you finally get it).

I believe in self education, but using knowledge, skill, and know-how from people that have already mastered the subject. Even then, you have a lot to learn on your own.
 
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nickndfl

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#24
I drive my 2016 Mazda CX-5 1k miles per week and change every 6k-7k miles. Takes me about 15 mins in the swale. I put a piece of cardboard down in case of spillage. It takes almost 5 quarts of 0-20W full synthetic. Needed are 8mm socket, Phillips screwdriver & a flat screwdriver to pop out the fasteners that hold the underbody plastic.

BTW, I tried to pay a quick change place to do it. Called ahead and they quoted me $60. When I got there they raised it to $80 for a friggen oil change. I flipped them off and did it myself.
 

Hystckndle

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#25
Nope. No chilluns - at least none that I know about....

However, that is how my pop raised me... "Don't let the door hit you on your way out!" and "You made your bed, now go sleep in it!"
Musta missed where that part tied into oil change stories.
Fair enough then,
you haven't been there,
Kid or kids, and that responsibility....the choice...to be a role model, a mentor, or to only be an asshat or only 1/2 of one, or anything at all to someone who sees and soaks up everything.
The satisfaction, pride, angst, disappointment, despair, to be there in their accomplishments and failures.
Its a choice one makes. To be or not to be. Just like anything is.
Our future they are.
And
Ya have no clue rest of the whole story.
Wouldn t be here right now typing iffen it weren t for that kid.
A lot of my current existance lives 21 houses down.
I am one priviledged dude.
F A C T
Ahh....never mind
doesn t matter...the internet is only for small snippets anymores.
I'll just keep doing the trading and swapping and lessoning in real life.
All good.
Regards to all....
Haystackneedle.
 

Goldhedge

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#26
I think you missed a golden opportunity when he asked about cooling off the lawnmower....
 

TAEZZAR

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#27
Nope. No chilluns - at least none that I know about....

However, that is how my pop raised me... "Don't let the door hit you on your way out!" and "You made your bed, now go sleep in it!"
My ears are still ringing from my dad saying the very same ting !!! :gracious:
 

TAEZZAR

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#28
Brother, I bought a mityvac years ago and don't look back. I also have their product for bleeding and flushing brakes. I have the adapters for each of my four vehicles.

http://www.mityvac.com/pages/products_fee.asp

Mine is the second one down. Has never failed me.
The second one down is one that I borrowed from a friend at the coast. I had forgotten my 12 vdc suction pump. It worked surprisingly nice on my 200 hp Yamaha outboards.

I've got to figure out how to make the one I bought work - too late to return it. It works on the same principle as the Mityvac (venturi), using compressed air. It holds a vacuum, but when I started drawing oil it sounded like it was sucking mostly air. Might have to get different tubing or something.
It sounds to me like an air leak in the system, or the tube is not all the way down into the oil.
Sometimes there is a bend in the dipstick tube that could be stopping you too. Just a thought !
 

Joe King

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#29
Speakin' of oil changes, this popped up on my "suggested vids" a couple days ago. Thought I'd post it and see what those who change their own oil thought about it.