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Old 05-26-2005, 14:33   #1
ATI_RAGE_
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Oil Changes

OK guys do you do your own oil changes, and how often?

Personally I take it to the shop and let them do it, but last time I was their well they forgot the put back in the drain plug. I change it every 3,000 miles.

So wondering how pita job is it to do on your own. I have probably average mechanical abilities.

Since I have a higher milage car do you think that going synthetic would be better?
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Old 05-26-2005, 14:43   #2
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It's easy. All you do is drain the oil, change the filter, fill the oil.

I'm going to guess and say you probably don't need synthetic oil but you're certainly welcome to use it.
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Old 05-26-2005, 14:55   #3
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Its a very simple job. If you're doing it your first time, make a list of the process, and slowly follow it, and double check everything before you finish. Like everything working on cars, the first time usually takes about 5 times longer than subsequent times.


I do it religiously at 3k miles, and IMHO, its worth spending a few extra bucks, doing it myself, and having peace of mind. I have heard too many horror stories about jiffy lube type places and the monkeys that work their. I use the cheapest oil I can find, with quality filters. IMHO, unless your car comes with it (new porsche, vette, etc), synthetic is a sham. If you're good about keeping up with changes, it offers no benefits in my mind. I have motor builder buddies who back me up as well.
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Old 05-26-2005, 15:07   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rob1035
Its a very simple job. If you're doing it your first time, make a list of the process, and slowly follow it, and double check everything before you finish. Like everything working on cars, the first time usually takes about 5 times longer than subsequent times.


I do it religiously at 3k miles, and IMHO, its worth spending a few extra bucks, doing it myself, and having peace of mind. I have heard too many horror stories about jiffy lube type places and the monkeys that work their. I use the cheapest oil I can find, with quality filters. IMHO, unless your car comes with it (new porsche, vette, etc), synthetic is a sham. If you're good about keeping up with changes, it offers no benefits in my mind. I have motor builder buddies who back me up as well.
Synthetics are good, but most of us don't need it. I do know at least for motorcycles, so I imagine it holds true for cars, that when breaking in an engine, use only a high quality regular oil (no synthetics). There are minerals and such in the oil that bonds to the rings and cylinder walls that hepls make everything seal right.

There are really good non-synthetic oils that do a great job, but if you plan on really punishing (read: rev the crap out of it and drive like you stole it) a car, a good synthetic may not be a bad idea.

Basically, I agree.

A good oil filter is a good thing to have. Also, if in doubt, change the oil. It can't hurt it.
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Old 05-26-2005, 15:33   #5
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I'll give it a shot if the goon platoon at Jiffy Lube can do it, I know I can .

Got the Chiltons handy aswell as a buddy close by just incase.

First time I do one.
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Old 05-26-2005, 15:39   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by ATI_RAGE_
I'll give it a shot if the goon platoon at Jiffy Lube can do it, I know I can .

Got the Chiltons handy aswell as a buddy close by just incase.

First time I do one.
Good luck. I hope you have a car where the oil filter is easy to ge to. Some cars are a pain in rear to even get ahold of the filter, much less change it.

Always remeber to not put you face directly under the drain plug when you go to take it out.;f
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Old 05-26-2005, 16:25   #7
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Done. Didn't get oil in my eyes, but all over my arm. Filter came out easy enough. Think I gotta calm down I dented the sucker unscrewing it, so I took it easy on the new one. Gave it about 1.5 turns with the filter wrench.

Dumped the oil at autozone.

As I left I noticed a HUGE puddle of oil about maybe 1/4 quart so I took I swung by my buddy everything looked good. Let it sit for a bit to make sure , nothing.

Checked the oil dipstick, it was normal just like when I filled it up. Weird. I'll keep an eye on it but I checked the old filter gasket.
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Old 05-26-2005, 16:28   #8
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Some cars have filters that are a PITA to get at. When I owned cars like that, I paid to get it done. Otherwise I do it myself.

-Lonnie
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Old 05-26-2005, 16:31   #9
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Oil change procedure in itself is easy. You open up the drain plug and let the oil out, then take off the filter, slap on the new filter (lube the gasket with some oil), screw the plug back on, fill up, done.

The tricky part is if your vehicle is high off the ground enough for you to crawl under or you gotta jack up your vehicle, or having some sort of ramp and hopefully the damn thing doesn't come crashing down and crush your chest. Or the filter is in some godawful place that you'd have to be Mr. Fantastic with rubber arm to reach it.
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Old 05-26-2005, 16:37   #10
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I used a couple of jackstands to hold it up. Oil filter was acutally easy to get to, it was "hot" though so I had to use a towel to grab to unscrew the last little bit.
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Old 05-26-2005, 16:55   #11
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I had an 86 Nissan 300zx. You actually had to put your arm on the headers to get to the oil filter. It was more like a pain in the arm! Covering your arm with some rags and the crappy little heat shield over the headers (how nice of them ;Q ) helps, but it still sucks.

I wish car companies would just use those remote oil fitler things the make for race bikes and cars and place the friggin filter somehwere easy to get to. Or at least not put a bunch of junk infornt of the filter. I swear I think some of these engineers don't understand vehicle maintenence. They design 'em like the oil never needs changing.
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Old 05-26-2005, 17:23   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by epsylum
I had an 86 Nissan 300zx. You actually had to put your arm on the headers to get to the oil filter. It was more like a pain in the arm! Covering your arm with some rags and the crappy little heat shield over the headers (how nice of them ;Q ) helps, but it still sucks.

I wish car companies would just use those remote oil fitler things the make for race bikes and cars and place the friggin filter somehwere easy to get to. Or at least not put a bunch of junk infornt of the filter. I swear I think some of these engineers don't understand vehicle maintenence. They design 'em like the oil never needs changing.
Geez that must have been damn hot. Working on a hot car is not fun. A few years back I had a belt go in the middle of the cool AZ summer. I was very very lucky that day.
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Old 05-26-2005, 17:56   #13
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That's a good point about the location. FWIW, I always try to change the oil at the very least warm, if not hot.

When I had my Integra Type R, the filter is horizontal and on the back of the engine towards the firewall. Huge pain in the ass, and you are guaranteed to drip oil on the exhaust, I hated it.

My E30 has a different type of filter, not the screw on type, but the drop in type, much much easier, no spilled oil necessary
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Old 05-26-2005, 18:21   #14
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My truck is a piece of cake to change the oil and filter in, but my wife's car is a real pain. The filter is stuck up right next to the firewall surrounded by all kinds of stuff.

I had pretty much decided to change the oil in my truck but let Jiffy Lube do the wifes car until they screwed up once too often and ended up with a huge leak when they cross-threaded the filter. So now I do her car too even if it is a PITA. I had to take off some of the rubber under-covering to get to it, but I don't think it will be missed ;a

Only problem with doing it myself is I have a tendency to slack on the mileage because I don't get the nice little reminders in the mail to bring it in for service. So I've started to remind myself with an Outlook task.
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Old 05-26-2005, 21:27   #15
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I change my own oil between 3000-5000 miles using Mobile 1 and a quality filter (stay far, far away from Fram). I don't know why, but it seems to take me awhile to change it...
Step 1: Get out tools and remove drain plug
Step 2: Drink a beer while oil drains
Step 3: Replace drain plug and remove filter
Step 4: Drink another beer while removing oil from hands
Step 5: Replace filter
Step 6: Drink a beer
Step 7: Refill engine with oil while drinking another beer
Step 8: Run engine, and look for leaks, then shut off
Step 9: Wait for oil to drain back to the pan while drinking a beer
Step 10: Check dipstick.
Step 11: Drink a beer while patting yourself on the back for a job well done
Step 12: Clean up tools and drain pan
Step 13: Take a nap

;f ;f
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Old 05-26-2005, 23:20   #16
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^^^ lol

Step 8 I seem to be stuck at. I've noticed two drops of oil everywhere I park I get about 2 maybe 4 drops of oil. It's comming from the filter. How tight does this SOB have to be?
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Old 05-26-2005, 23:45   #17
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I'm using Mobil one extended use stuff, they say 15,000 miles between changes. I don't really follow the mileage but I do check the oil level regularly and observe the oil color, when it starts getting a little dark I change it out.
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Old 05-27-2005, 00:34   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by ATI_RAGE_
^^^ lol

Step 8 I seem to be stuck at. I've noticed two drops of oil everywhere I park I get about 2 maybe 4 drops of oil. It's comming from the filter. How tight does this SOB have to be?
It doesn't need to be super tight, but did you remember to coat the rubber seal of the new filter with some oil?
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Old 05-27-2005, 01:33   #19
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Yup I did coat it. Couple drops isn't something to fret about it's just I don't like to 1/2 ass anything.
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Old 05-27-2005, 08:24   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by ATI_RAGE_
Done. Didn't get oil in my eyes, but all over my arm. Filter came out easy enough. Think I gotta calm down I dented the sucker unscrewing it, so I took it easy on the new one. Gave it about 1.5 turns with the filter wrench.
Rule of thumb, never use a filter wrench to install a filter, hand tighten only. If you are worried about it coming off, only give it half a turn with the filter wrench. 1.5 turns after getting it nice and tight by hand is way too much.
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Old 05-27-2005, 09:15   #21
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I talked to a buddy lastnight about my problem he was thinking it could be a bad gasket. He said the same thing as 45acpme.


If I swap out the current filter, do I need to re do the whole job over again or can I re-use that oil? It's been in their for 1 day only. Could I just take off the filter without doing the drain plug?
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Old 05-27-2005, 09:40   #22
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Yeah, you can just remove the filter without draining the pan again. Just check the oil level after you put the new one on and top off as needed. ^c
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Old 05-27-2005, 11:25   #23
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Re: Oil Changes

Quote:
Originally posted by ATI_RAGE_
OK guys do you do your own oil changes, and how often?

Personally I take it to the shop and let them do it, but last time I was their well they forgot the put back in the drain plug. I change it every 3,000 miles.

So wondering how pita job is it to do on your own. I have probably average mechanical abilities.

Since I have a higher milage car do you think that going synthetic would be better?

ATI_RAGE_,

Don't be so hard on them. They do this all day and it wears on a person! It can happen to anyone. You'd be surprised what happens in our office. I'd say continue to let them do the change for you. If it happens again. They pay for the oil. It's simple. I think synthetic is a good move for you. I use it all the time in my two cars. In the long run it'll last longer.

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Old 05-27-2005, 16:12   #24
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I didn't mean to sound that harsh, sometimes I find myself goofing on people.

I picked up a new filter and lifted the car checked the old filter their was a nice ring of oil around the outisde of it.

I let the car run for about 15 minutes checked level and checked for leaks none were found.

I drove it for about 10 min then parked it infront of the house checked for any oil spots before I parked and after I parked by about 30 min. So looking good. I'll check also after work.

Oh yeah 1/4 turn if the filter wrench this time, no she man ...errr he man strength this time. ;f
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Old 05-27-2005, 18:20   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by epsylum
I do know at least for motorcycles, so I imagine it holds true for cars, that when breaking in an engine, use only a high quality regular oil (no synthetics).
According to Mobil and Amsoil you can use their synthetic oils for break-in. Mobil says the only reason not to is economic. Why put in expensive oil you're not going to keep in there but a few hundred miles?

FWIW I put Mobil 1 in a freshly rebuilt Jeep engine right from day one. It seems to have broken in just fine and now has over 30k miles on it.

The same with my motorcycle. I left the original fill in for the recommended period and went to Mobil 1 at the first oil change ~600-800 miles. It immediately shifted better and also seems to have broken in just fine. It now has 10k miles on it.

Harley Davidson ships their CVO bikes with synthetic oil from the factory. So does Ford, Mercedes, Porsche, GM.....Did I miss one? Their engines break in fine as well.

Please show me something other than anecdotal evidence where you should not use synthetics to break in an engine.

Oh yes, the original question. I was in the car service business for over 20 years. I take my cars and bikes to the dealer. I have changed it myself but I don't like to get .........dirty!

;b
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