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Learning how to change the used oil in your car is a key process that anybody who owns a car should know. This knowledge or skill is highly essential because it would help you reduce the costs associated with maintaining your car. Being able to change used oil in your car implies that you will not be visiting a garage to seek assistance from the mechanic every time the oil in your car needs to be changed. Collins also asserts that there are a variety of car maintenance activities that a car owner may not necessarily need the help of a mechanic (41). You also do not need to incur any costs for them. Changing the oil in your car is definitely one of these maintenance activities. According to Sheffield, changing the oil in your car is something you should do regularly (17). Michael and Linda also affirm that regularly changing the oil in your cars engine and filter is one of the most important things you should do not only to ensure that the car is running well but also to ensure high performance and to minimize the rate of tear and wear of the engine (50). Regularly changing the oil in your car helps in improving the performance of the car by preventing break down of the engine and clogging of the filter with contaminants. According to Palmer, the oil in your car can be changed as regular as after every three months (163). However, it depends with ones driving habits and the type of vehicle.

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The process of changing the oil in your car consists of ten steps that can be categorized into four major parts. It should take about twenty to thirty minutes to replace the oil. You should replace the oil within your home garage or in an open and spacious place.

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The main materials that would be needed to successfully execute this process include: Empty can Plastic bag Old newspapers Lubricator Socket or crescent wrench New filter Car jacks or ramps New or unused oil Rag or mechanics glove Spout

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! Step 1: Place the vehicle on a flat surface and engage the parking brakes. Warning: Ensure that you refer to the owners manual to ensure that you identify the most appropriate to place the car jack because improper jack-placement can damage you car severely. You should also brace the car after jacking it because working under a car placed on a jack is extremely dangerous.

! Step 2: Lift your car using either car jacks or ramps. ! Step 3: Heat up the car for about 2 to 3 minutes to warm the engine so that the gook gets churned up and can flow out of the engine easily. Danger: Do not overheat the engine because it would become too hot and may burn you. When the engine becomes warm, switch it off and then follow the following steps to change your oil. ! Step 4: Remove the oil cap by opening the hood and locating where it is located on top of the engine. Warning: Remember that the new oil will be added through the oil cap after draining the used oil. ! Step 5: Locate the oil pan, usually a flat metal pan placed next to the engine. The oil pan has a bolt towards the bottom. Oil will be drained through the oil pan. ! Step 6: Place your empty can and some old newspapers directly below the oil pan. The can and the newspapers will be used to catch the drained oil. ! Step 7: Loosen the oil plug using a socket or crescent wrench to remove it. ! Step 8: Start draining the used oil into the empty can (see figure 1 below). Patiently wait for all the oil to drain out of the car. It may take several minutes. ! Step 9: When the oil has stopped running out of the crankcase replace the plug with a new one. Tighten the plug by screwing it back. You also use the wrench.

Figure 1: Draining the used oil

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! Step 10: Find the location of the filter. According to Judge, oil filters are not placed in a standard position and can be found on the front, back or side of the engine depending on the model of the engine and type of vehicle (94). Most filters are four or six-inch long and three-inch wide cylinders that resemble a soup can. ! Step 11: Unscrew the oil filter by twisting it slowly and steadily in an anticlockwise direction. According to Nixon, the plastic coating and grease in the engine usually makes the filter quite slippery (115). ! Step 12: Use a rag or a mechanics glove to gain a good grip of the filter. Wrap it with a plastic bag to catch any oil that would escape from the filter as you remove it. ! Step 13: Turn the filter upside down after removing it to drain all the oil in it completely. ! Step 14: Lubricate the new filter using the lubricator to provide a good seal. ! Step 15: Carefully screw on the new filter after lubricating it to the oil plug (see figure 2 below). This process requires carefulness to avoid crossing the threads of the filter which would inhibit its screwing or fitting.

Figure 2: New filter

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! Step 16: Add the new oil by pouring it slowly into the engine through the fill hole (see figure 3 below). The amount of needed is usually indicated in the cars manual under capacities. ! Step 17: Check the manual if you not sure about the recommended amount of oil to add. The bottle with new oil should be held using a spout on top and oil poured smoothly into the engine without bubbling.

Figure 3: Adding new oil ! Step 18: Replace the fill cap after adding the new oil. ! Step 19: Make sure that you tighten all the parts of the engine that were opened to ensure that are kept tight and safe. ! Step 20: Wipe all oil spills that may be left on the engine. This process is important because it prevents the spilled oil from catching smoke when the engine heats up.

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! Step 21: Close the hood and restart the engine. ! Step 22: Check for any leaks or drips from the engine when it is on. It there no leaks or drips, switch of the engine and remove the care brace and jacks.

! Step 23: Reset the oil change light. This also depends on the make and model of your vehicle. You may check on the owners manual to find out how to reset the oil change light. ! Step 24: Dispose the drained oil to an appropriate place and wash all the materials used during the process. ! Step 25: Make sure that you wash hands with a lot of water and soap to remove the oil. ! Step 26: You can sell the used oil and filter at a nearby collection center or dealer. You can also give the car a test drive if you wish. You are good to go!

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Although many people assume that changing oil in the car is a complex process that requires assistance from the mechanic, it is a simple and inexpensive process that you can do on your own by following the above steps carefully. It is also important to remember that the sooner you change the oil your car, the better its performance becomes.

Works Cited Collins, Carl. Simple Fixes for Your Car: How to Do Small Jobs for Yourself and Save Money. Dorchester: Veloce, 2012. Print. Judge, Arthur W. Car Maintenance and Repair. Cambridge, Mass: R. Bentley, 2007. Print. Michael, Gray, & Linda, Gray E. Auto Upkeep: Basic Car Care, Maintenance, and Repair (homeschool Paperback Text Curriculum Kit). Utah: Rolling Hills Publishing, 2012. Print. Nixon, James. Car Mechanic. London: Franklin Watts, 2012. Print. Palmer, Kris E. Fix It!: How to Repair Automotive Dents, Scratches, Tears and Stains. Minneapolis: Motorbooks, 2011. Print. Sheffield, Jim. Basic Car Maintenance. Ashmore, Qld: Wet Paper, 2010. Print.