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Engine Oil Change


Earlier, I mentioned an oil filter wrench.  The filter wrench is a self-adjusting wrench that is used to remove the oil filter from the side of the engine.  It is often times impossible to get the filter off with bare hands, so the wrench is used to make things much easier.  I've had the one in the above picture for right at 30 years.  They don't wear out very fast.


Here is a pic of the oil filter wrench on the oil filter.  The filter is located on the passenger side of the engine.  The filter wrench is designed in such a way that it grabs the filter body as you apply pressure to unscrew the filter.  Once the filter is loosened, you can remove the filter wrench and spin the filter off the rest of the way.  The filter has a rubber gasket that seals it against the filter mounting surface.  Make sure this gasket is still on the filter and not stuck on the mounting surface when you remove the filter.  If it gets left behind and you put the new filter on without cleaning the mounting surface, you will most likely have a bad oil leak and you'll be cleaning up a big mess. 

As you remove the oil filter, you will discover that it is filled with oil.  It will leak out as you are removing it.  Again, it is a good idea to have some newspapers on the ground under the filter.  I guarantee you that some will certainly drain out of the filter and onto the ground.


Speaking of the gasket on the filter, take some oil on your finger tip and spread it onto the gasket surface.  This will allow the gasket to seat smoothly.  When you thread the new filter into position, following the manufacturers installations instructions.  They should tell you how to properly tighten the filter into position.

By this time, the oil pan should have finished draining into the catch container.  Replace the oil drain plug and tighten it with a wrench.  Don't go crazy on it.  The drain plug only has to stop the oil from leaking out.  It is not there to hold anything else in position so you don't have to tighten it a lot.


With the drain plug and new oil filter properly installed, it is time to put the new oil into the engine.  I keep a funnel around for such things.  I let each bottle of oil drain for about 30 seconds once I am done pouring it into the funnel.

After you have put all of the oil into the engine, replace the oil filler cap.  Do a final check, one more time, of the area where you have been working.  There is no reason to have an oil filter wrench fall into the radiator fan or have some rags get wrapped around the alternator pulley just because you didn't take a few seconds and make sure everything was in proper order.

Start the engine and let it idle for about 15 seconds.  You should see your oil pressure indication go up to its normal position on the instrument cluster.  After 15 seconds, turn off the engine.  Now check underneath and make sure you have no oil leaks.  Look carefully around the oil filter to make sure it is not leaking around the filter gasket.  Likewise, the drain plug should be oil free and show no signs of leaking.  Wait a couple of minutes and check the oil level on the dip stick.  If you are doing a 4.0L engine and have added 6 quarts and a filter, the oil level on the dipstick should be at or very near the FULL mark.

If all looks good, you are finished!

Congratulations, you just did an oil and filter change and you know it is done correctly! 

More Engine Oil Change



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