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Know Your Car
Highly recommend Reading First

Under The Hood
Air filter
Brake fluid
Engine oil
Power steering fluid
Transmission fluid
Washer fluid

Other Websites
made by
Jon Anderson
(Web Master of this site)

FUNdamentals of Fishing
FUNdamentals of Camping
FUNdamentals of  Little League Baseball
(learn how to hit, pitch, field, etc. How to Coach, Parent info, Official Rules)







My Oil Light Comes On     How to Check Your Oil      How To Add Oil     What color is the oil?
How to Troubleshoot Leaking Oil
When to Change Oil     How To Change Your Oil
Change The Oil Filter     Why Change Your Oil Filter?      How To remove A Stubborn Oil Filter
Oil Change Procedure for The Non Do It Yourselfer
It's easier to just have Jiffy Lube or some other "quicky oil change shop" do it  
Quick-Lube(and dealer) Problems to Watch Out For     Engine Flushes The Latest Scam
Oil Recycling    Disposing Used Motor Oil     A  Few Facts About Used Motor Oil
Other related topics while serving your Engine Oil
Technical Stuff About Engine Motor Oil Lubricating System

Checking your car's oil regularly is one of the most important ways to preserve the life of the engine.
can save you alot of money in expensive repairs down the road. 

Driving with the oil level too low can damage the engine. 
An engine cannot run without oil, not even for a minute, without serious engine damage occurring.

Checking the oil in your car's engine
is the most basic AND SIMPLE under the hood check
and one of the most important.

Except for a few luxury cars with electronic oil level sensors, 
checking the oil in your car's engine is done as it has been for generations:
 by removing a dipstick from the engine and inspecting the oil level on the end of the stick
(not to be confused with transmission - which also has a dipstick)

Check the engine oil on the dipstick periodically, especially if you own a late model used vehicle. Driving even 20 - 30 miles with extremely low oil level may result in expensive engine repair.

My Oil Light Comes On

The oil light will go on for one of two reasons:
 either the oil is low or the oil pump has stopped pumping.
 In both cases, the consequences are expensive if you keep driving.  

1. If the oil light goes on, pull over as quickly and safely as you can.
2. Turn off the engine.
3. Put on your hazard lights and open the hood.
4. Check the oil
If the oil is not low, call a tow truck.
 with the oil light on!
5. Add oil if it is low.
Add oil as specified in your owners manual,
 or look for a tag under the hood of your car as to type of oil to use.
Oil is an important item that should be kept in your vehicle at all times - See More
6. Restart the engine and check the light.
7. It is OK to drive if the light is now off.
8. Check the oil again in a few hours and over the next few days. 
If it is consistently low, there is a leak. See your mechanic!

If the engine is leaking oil, try new gaskets or seals to fix the leak.
If the engine is burning oil, the valve guides and seals are most likely worn out, but the rings and cylinders could require replacement, too.


Not replacing your head gasket when it is noted as leaking is likely to cause severe engine damage.  This is one of the many instances where sub sequential damage may add up to being more than the cost of the original repair.  Have your vehicle inspected for fluid leaks every 3 months / 3,000 miles or 5,000 km when it is in for it's regular oil change to ensure your safety as well as avoid any further cost.

How will I know when it's time for replacement?


·    A head gasket that is leaking will quite often cause an over heating condition in your vehicle.  You will likely find that it over heats and then cools off and over heats again.

·    You may notice white smoke from your exhaust system if the leak is internal as the vehicle is burning coolant.  If it is an external leak then you may notice a sweet burning smell from under the hood as the coolant is burned off on the engine block.

Your vehicle should be inspected for fluid leaks in general at each regular service interval when it is in for an oil change.  Have your vehicle inspected for fluid leaks every 3 months / 3,000 miles

How to Check Your Oil 
11 Steps



1. Check the oil when the engine is warm. Oil expands when it's hot and contracts when it's cold; different temperatures will give you different readings.

Before checking the oil level, the engine has to be turned off

The oil must be given a few minutes to run off engine parts and collect back into the oil pan. If you check the oil level just after shutdown, you could get an inaccurate oil level reading.

A good time to check the oil is before you start the car for the day. At that time, you can be sure that the oil has fully drained into the engine oil pan.
Remember, though, that the car must be level for an accurate check.

2.  Park the car on a level surface. 

3.  Turn off the engine. 

4. Find the dipstick (under the hood), a long piece of metal sticking out of the engine usually with a loop at one end and is usually mounted on the side of the engine.

Many manufacturers have the handle of the dipstick painted a bright color (usually YELLOW) so it can be easily found.
 Others may have a "T" handle, or are incorporated into the fill cap.

If your car has an automatic transmission, a transmission fluid dipstick is probably under the hood also. The transmission dipstick is sometimes marked TRANS or ATF for automatic transmission fluid.
If both the engine dipstick and the transmission dipstick are unmarked, you can identify them by looking to see where the dipstick tubes go.


The engine oil dipstick is usually nearer the center of the engine compartment, and you can often see the dipstick tube going into the bottom of the engine.
The transmission dipstick tube is toward the rear of the engine compartment or off to one side. This dipstick tube goes around or behind the engine.

 If you are still unsure which dipstick is which, remove them and look at the fluids.
Transmission fluid is usually light red or gold,
and motor oil is darker amber or brown.


CAUTION: Always make sure the hood prop rod (if applicable) is properly seated before you go under the hood. If the prop rod should slip out, the hood could fall and cause injury.

5. Pull on the loop and draw the dipstick all the way out. 

CAUTION: The oil and dipstick from an engine that has just been shut off will be hot and can cause burns. Avoid dripping oil from the dipstick on hot engine parts because oil can be flammable.

6. Wipe the oil off the dipstick with a paper towel or shop rag.  

7. Replace the clean dipstick, making sure to push it all the way in, then pull it back out and hold it horizontally in front of you. 

8. Look at the pointy end of the dipstick. Inspect the marks on the dipstick.


There is no standardized marking system. Some have two lines, one marked "operating range" and another "add." Many just have lines with no markings. Typically the "add" line means the system requires one quart of oil.
You can find out what the marks mean by looking in your owner's manual. 

What color is the oil?

Is it better to maintain my engine's oil level at the full mark or wait until it reaches the "add" mark to add oil?

Most vehicle manufacturers say it's okay to wait until the level reaches the add mark to add oil. But considering that the crankcase capacity on most passenger cars today is only four quarts, running the engine 25% low on oil (one quart) may not be wise.

The best advice, therefore, is to add oil whenever the dipstick reads low. Don't wait until it is down a full quart. If it needs half a quart, add half a quart to bring it back up to the full mark.

Always replace your oil with the same type and brand!

Your owner's manual will tell you what type of motor oil your engine requires.
If you do not have The Owners Manual:
To determine what kind of oil to use, sometimes you can read the dipstick or look at the oil filler cap. You should see something like 5/30, 5W30, 10/30, 10W30.
You can also contact your nearest auto parts store or qualified mechanic.

Oil is an important item that should be kept in your vehicle at all times - See More

CAUTION: Do not overfill the engine.

You should not add oil unless the level is below the "ADD" or "LOW" mark
NEVER add oil to bring the level above the "FULL" mark since too much oil may do damage.
Adding too much oil can overfill the crankcase. As the crankshaft spins around, it can whip the oil into foam if the level is too high. This, in turn, can cause a drop in oil pressure and loss of lubrication to critical engine parts. Also, too much oil may cause leaks as the extra oil is forced past seals and gaskets.

The oil lubricating system is a closed system:
 The oil does not get used up or go anywhere.
 If it's consistently low, there may be an oil leak. Leaks can only get worse, and losing all the engine oil will require expensive repairs and/or replacing the engine.

By checking your oil on a regular basis, you will become familiar with the rate of oil consumption by your car and you'll know when the consumption is rapidly increasing.

9. Add the oil by unscrewing the oil filler cap, should be a knob that says "oil.",which is about 3 inches in diameter and located on the very top of the engine usually found on one of the valve covers.



Unscrew it and pour in the amount and type of oil recommended for your car. Look in your manual for the location of the knob if it's not obvious and for what type of oil to use.

Add oil as specified in your owners manual, or look for a tag under the hood of your car as to type of oil to use.

Motor oil is rated by a thickness rating (viscosity) over a specified temperature range. Most cars will call out oil with ratings such as 10W-30.

Inappropriate Oil
could void warranty   

  Many new cars have certain grades of oil. Check your owner's manual for the proper grade. If you use the wrong grade of oil, it will void your warranty! For example, if you use 10W30 and your car requires 5W20, it will void the warranty if any problems arise with your engine.

10. Check the oil level with the dipstick after adding oil. Add more if necessary. It's easier to add more oil but fairly difficult to remove oil if you add too much. 

11. Put the oil filler cap back on and secure it tightly. 


What color is the oil? 

The oil condition is very important and the color signifies potential problems.
The oil should appear clean and translucent.

 If the engine oil on the dipstick is white (or the color of coffee- with- milk) or foamy, it means the engine coolant mixes with the engine oil, which is evidence of an internal engine defect (such as a blown head gasket or cracked block). Such defect is common for some V6 and V8 engines.
Also, the oil should never have a gasoline smell.

If the oil is white or has white specks in it, this means the engine coolant is mixing with the engine oil because of an internal engine problem.
Have your car inspected.

There is evidence that more than 70% of all problems with hydraulic systems can be traced directly to the condition of the oil.

Water in the oil 

Is there is water in the oil, the oil must be replaced, as this not only damages the ball and roller bearings but also causes corrosion of all steel surfaces. This especially applies to those surfaces touched by the oil, for in addition to water, oxygen is present and this promotes rust. A further danger is the reduction of the operative area of filters and the consequent increase in the abrasiveness of the oil.

  If the oil is slightly-brown, it's O.K.

 If it's dark-brown, but still transparent, it's admissible but it would be better to change it.

If it is very thick and black, 
you need to change it, 
along with the filter.

If you wish to experiment a little,

You can 
go here and test for contamination in your motor oil 

The whole debate about exactly when to change your oil is somewhat of a grey area. Manufacturers tell you every 7,500 miles under normal conditions. "What the heck are normal conditions?" Your mechanic tells you every 3,000 miles. Old man Billy Bob with the bad breath and false teeth, who drives a 1962 Chevy pick up tells you he's never once changed the oil in his truck and she runs great!

Consider this:
Are You a Severe Driver? 

You may be surprised to learn that the vast majority of people are.

So, what exactly are severe driving conditions? 
According to most vehicle manufacturers, severe conditions consist of the following:


·         Driving short trips of 10 miles or less. 

  • Stop-and-go driving such as rush hour commuting. 
  • Pulling a trailer or driving with a top carrier or camper on the vehicle.
  • Driving under hot or dusty conditions. 
  • Experiencing three or more cold starts per day, in which the vehicle has been sitting for at least an hour or more between startups.


If one or more of these conditions apply to your driving habits, then you are a severe driver and should maintain your vehicle according to the severe maintenance schedule outlined in your ownerís manual.
This means more frequent oil changes, usually at least every 3,000 miles.

When you checked your oil,
was it Dirty?
If it's dirty then you should probably change your oil!

In All Reality . . .
You can never change your engine oil too frequently.
 The more you do it, the longer the engine will last!

Despite advances in motor oil technology, no oil will perform indefinitely.
 Motor oil becomes contaminated with combustion by-products, dirt and water vapor,causing its chemical additives to wear out.


Inappropriate Oil
could void warranty   

  Many new cars have certain grades of oil. Check your owner's manual for the proper grade. If you use the wrong grade of oil, it will void your warranty! For example, if you use 10W30 and your car requires 5W20, it will void the warranty if any problems arise with your engine. 

How to Troubleshoot Leaking Oil 

Contrary to popular belief, cars do not use up engine oil. If your car is consistently low on oil, you either have an oil leak or an engine that's burning oil.
 You can detect the latter condition by blue smoke coming out of the tailpipe.
Cars that burn a lot of oil are candidates for engine rebuilding. Although you may not be able to fix an oil leak, you can help diagnose it, saving your mechanic's time and you some money.


1. Open the hood and look for obvious signs of wetness. Oil leaks usually come from a gasket: a piece of material, usually rubber, cork or silicone, that creates a seal between two metal parts.
Look for places where different parts of the engine are bolted together. 

2. Inspect underneath the car with a flashlight for signs of wetness. Oil here could be from a leak under the engine, or it could be collecting from a leak higher up. Wipe the suspect areas clean with a rag so you can inspect them closely and pinpoint the leak's source.

 3. Consider getting the engine professionally steam-cleaned at an auto-repair shop if oil has leaked everywhere. This will make it easier for you or your mechanic to locate the leak.

4. Place a large piece of cardboard on the ground under the engine. Make marks on the cardboard to indicate its location in relation to the tires and the car's front and rear. Leave it in place overnight. Use rocks to hold it down if you park outside.
(Some oil leaks occur only when the engine is running, but the cardboard method described here will still help locate these kind of leaks, because the oil will drip down.)

5. Check the cardboard in the morning to determine the amount of leakage and where it's dripping from.

 6. You may find other types of leaks. Motor oil out of the bottle is the color of honey. Oil that has been in the engine for a little while is dark brown or even black.
Coolant is green and smells sweet.
 Brake fluid is very light brown (almost clear) and very slippery. Automatic-transmission fluid and power-steering fluid are usually red.

 Repair leaks as they occur. It is more difficult to diagnose a leak when everything is wet and seeping than on an otherwise dry and clean engine.

If you have a leak, be extra vigilant about checking all fluids regularly. 

It's easier to just have
Jiffy Lube or some other "quick oil change shop" do it

Sure you can!
 Let's look at a few of these factors first by doing it yourself:


You can save time and money.
You don't have to wait in line at the service garage or quick oil change shop.
For ten bucks you can get the best oil and a brand new oil filter.
Can you trust one of these places?
And, it's so easy to do that you could train a monkey to do it.

Don't get me wrong! 
If you fill comfortable with who you have change your oil, by all means do so, however, I do suggest you read further . . .


How To Change Your Oil


TIME: About twenty minutes




An oil filter wrench
A small to medium adjustable wrench
NOT Vice Grips or Channel Locks
Two empty plastic milk cartons, or other empty container (e.g. empty oil bottle)
A funnel
A pair of metal car ramps or Jack Stands
A rag
Enough new oil
(see your owner's manual for recommended type and amount)
A new oil filter
(see owner's manual for recommended type)
A shallow plastic or metal pan that will hold more oil than your car holds
Wheel blocks
(Cinder Blocks, a 2X4 piece of wood, etc or you can buy the real deal at your local Auto Store)
Safety or prescription glasses


A socket wrench
Rubber gloves

Before work begins, coat your hands with a thick layer of liquid dishwashing detergent and rub into your skin. When the job is over, you will be amazed at how clean your hands will wash
Acquire a supply of thin latex rubber gloves to wear while you work around the oil/grease on the vehicle. 

1. Choose your oil - Add oil as specified in your owners manual, or look for a tag under the hood of your car as to type of oil to use.

 oil additives!

2. Position the car - make sure that you're on level ground.

To do the job correctly, the car must be level. This means you'll have to lift the front and rear with car jack stands.

If you can't afford or simply do not wish to purchase a set, you can rent them from several Auto Stores or other Tool Rental Dealers.
You can also make your own

Set your emergency brake. If you have a manual transmission, put the car in first gear. If you have an automatic, set it to Park. Place the wheel blocks under the rear wheels to prevent any chance of the car rolling back.

3. Drain the old oil - watch out for hot oil! It's not a bad idea to wear safety glasses or even prescription glasses.

Empty your oil, not your crank case

  If you empty 4 to 5 quarts of "oil," and it smells funky, you might have emptied your crank case fluid. Check with your owners manual to be sure you are unscrewing the right drain plug.

Oil should be changed hot, which means as soon as possible after the car has been driven at operating temperature. If the car is parked for a long period before oil is changed, it allows the oil to cool and gives particles of dirt and water time to stick to parts of the engine. When the oil is drained, the dirt and water stay in the engine.

 Take off the oil cover that is on the top of the engine, usually found on one of the valve covers -
then unscrew the oil plug for a faster oil flow.

Take your wrench and shallow pan and crawl under the car. Find the oil plug under the engine block that unscrews on the underside of the oil pan.

CAUTION: Do not mix up the transmission drain plug, which is located in the bottom of the transmission, with the oil drain plug.
You may want to check the owner's or shop service manual.

oil plugs

Place oil pan (to hold at least 6 quarts of liquid) under and a bit forward of the oil drain plug to compensate for the forward motion of the oil.

Now unscrew the plug
[Righty-Tighty - Lefty-Loosey]
with the wrench.
(If the wrench slips and starts to round off the bolt head, try a socket wrench instead.)

The oil will stream out rapidly, so be careful. Chances are, the plug will fall into the pan along with the oil. Don't worry when it happens.

When all the oil has drained into the pan, fish out the plug (here's where rubber gloves come in handy)

Now screw it back in.
Tighten it firmly, but not so hard that you strip the threads. 

The drain plug should be cleaned and inspected for wear in the thread area.
Replacement drain plugs are available that are slightly oversize with self-taping threads. If you find a drain plug that has cross threads or will not tighten properly, you will have to install an oversize drain plug. These come with a gasket to help them seal any leaks.

Original equipment drain plugs have a sealing washer that fits on the drain plug. The sealing washer is made of soft metal, such as aluminum, and may even have a sealant applied to its surface. The purpose of the washer is to prevent leaks around the drain plug.
Always install a new sealing washer.

Do not under any circumstances pour the oil down a drain, or in the street, or put it anywhere but in a proper recycling area.
Poorly placed oil can be a serious environmental hazard!

To find out where to recycle Used Oil in your city,
click here

4. Change the filter - Always change the filter whenever you change the oil.

Why Change Your Oil Filter? 

Even though most engines hold only 4 to 5 quarts of oil, constant re-circulation of that oil means that approximately 15,750 gallons will pass through your car's oil filter in 3,000 miles. This is why it is so important to have a clean oil filter it extends the life of your engine.

Oil helps to equalize temperatures in your engine by traveling from hot areas to cooler areas. Gradually, engine heat evaporates lighter components of the oil, causing it to oxidize and thicken. In addition, oil picks up contamination: soot from the piston rings, metal filings, dirt and grit that get past the air filter and othercontaminants from normal operation of your engine.

Fortunately, your oil filter acts as a second-line defense for fighting these contaminants. It prevents dirt and other contaminants from damaging internal engine parts by constantly cleaning the oil as it flows through your engine.

An oil filter is a low cost way to keep your engine healthy. 
Consult your owner's manual for more information.

You'll be able to access the old filter from either above or below the car.

My vehicle doesn't have one!
Click Here

Place the oil filter wrench around the filter's body. It will tighten itself up when you turn the wrench counter-clockwise to remove the oil filter.

Oil Filter Wrench

The old filter may stick initially, but will then unscrew easily. Unscrew it completely and carefully put it aside. It will be full of oil so place your drain pan underneath.


If you  ever changed your car's motor oil, you may have experienced  how difficult it can be at times to remove the filter. It's oily and slippery and the wrench doesn't get a good grip, so try this: Place a strip of sandpaper (grit side against filter) between the wrench and the filter to stop it from slipping. You'll be amazed at how much easier and quicker the job goes.

IF you are still having problems removing the oil filter, try this,
 not to slip and cut yourself or do harm to the engine
 1. Using a hammer, push in a large screwdriver into half of the filter
2. Employ the screwdriver as a lever and turn the filter counterclockwise.
3. Take off the screwdriver and spin the filter off with your hands.

Older model cars may have a cartridge-style filter, contained within a metal canister. The canister is held onto the mount by means of a bolt through its centre. Remove the filter by loosening the bolt. Dump the old cartridge into your drain pan and clean the can thoroughly with solvent and a brush. Install the new filter element in the can and lube the gasket with engine oil. Make sure that the old gasket has been removed, and reinstall the filter can


Dip your fingertip in the old oil (convenient) or take a few drops from a new quart of oil (cleaner). Use it to lubricate the circular edge of the new filter, where it will contact the metal engine surface.

If the filter mounting allows, fill the filter with the correct type of engine oil before installing it on the engine. This will reduce the period of time required to fill the filter and get oil to the engine on start up. This can prevent engine wear. Filling the filter is especially important on cars with turbochargers. The turbocharger bearings are subject to oil starvation problems if the oil does not get to them quickly.

With your hand, install the new oil filter. If it seems even slightly hard to turn, back it out! You are crossing the threads. Most filters have instructions printed on them to give the filter one more turn after the gasket has made contact.

 use a filter wrench to put one on

5. Add New Oil -

On top of the engine you'll find a knob that says "oil.", usually found on one of the valve covers. See Above

Unscrew it and pour in the amount and type of oil recommended for your car. Look in your manual for the location of the knob if it's not obvious and for what type of oil to use.
Save the bottles for the disposal of the old oil.


If you don't know the oil capacity of the engine, add four quarts, then check the oil level, if it's a quart low add another quart.

Avoid overfilling and burst seals 

To refill, subtract one quart from what the manual specifies because you can never get it all out. Run the engine 10 minutes and check level with dipstick.
Add more in pint increments to raise level, it takes about 1 quart to raise the level from E to F.

Screw the knob back on and wipe the area clean with the rag. Close the hood and start the engine.

With the engine running, carefully check around the filter for any leaks. A leak will appear as some seepage at the oil filter connection or on the filter. If there is a leak, tighten up the oil filter a little more. If no leaks are found, back the car off of the ramps.

Pour the oil out of the pan, and using the funnel, transfer it to the empty oil bottles or milk containers. Take the used oil to the motor oil recycler that you found . . .
"You did find one, right?"

Filters need to be recycled right along with your motor oil.

To find out where to recycle
Used Oil in your city,
click here


To find out where to recycle
Used Oil Filters in your city,
click here

If used motor oil has been contaminated with other fluids such as anti-freeze, solvents, gasoline, or water it cannot be recycled.

So please, do not mix your used oil with anything.
If your used oil accidentally gets contaminated, take it to your Community Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

Oil Change Procedure
The Non Do It Yourselfer

Do-it-yourself versus paying someone to do it

Oil changes are pretty inexpensive when done at a reputable repair shop or dealer. Most dealers offer oil change specials that cost less than the quick-change oil places, and the dealers do a better job and use better filters. Alot of dealers have very long service department hours including on Saturday (some on Sunday). The dealers also offer a time guarantee, generally that they'll get you in and out in less than 30 minutes or the next oil change is on them. Another advantage of having it done at a repair shop or dealer is that you have solid legal proof of the date and mileage when the oil change took place.



1. Call mechanic to make appointment.
2. Drive to mechanic.
3. Chat with owner while employee changes oil.
4. Pay for oil change.
5. Check the drain pug to know if it is plugged properly.
6. Drive home.


(and dealer)
Problems to Watch Out For

1. SAE30 oil. Some quick-lube places have been known to offer advertised specials that use SAE 30 oil, as opposed to 5W30 or 10W30. Pay the extra for the proper oil, or better yet avoid merchants that try to pull this kind of thing because it's an indicator that they are less than honest.

2. Trying to use the wrong oil because it's what they have in bulk. Insist on the oil that is specified on your filler cap and in your manual.

4. Selling unneeded and overpriced services such as engine flushes.

5. Selling overpriced, and often low quality, parts such as wiper blades and washer fluid, PCV valves, thermostats, etc. Never let a quick-lube place do any mechanical work on your vehicle.

6. Using poor quality filters. You really want to bring your own filter, from the dealer, with you when you go to a quick-lube place. They may take $1 or $2 off the price if you do this but don't count on it.

7. If you have a vehicle that actually still has Zerk fittings to lubricate then be sure that they actually lubricate these fitting. Most cars no longer require lubrication but some trucks still do.

8. Do not let a quick-lube place change or add any fluids other than oil. No transmission fluid, no brake fluid, no power steering fluid, no antifreeze, no oil additives, no fuel additives. It is just too easy for them to use the wrong fluid and cause permanent damage to your vehicle.

 Click Here
You will be amazed/horrified

  I think I'll pass on them! 

Engine Flushes
The Latest Scam

Engine flushes pump heated solvent through your engine, supposedly to wash away sludge. But regular oil changes with detergent oil already take care of the sludge problem. And if you actually have an engine that is full of sludge the last thing you want to do is do an engine flush because the sludge can clog the oil passages and destroy the engine completely. These flushes are completely unnecessary. All they do is wash the money out of your wallet. As Click and Clack state: "This is what's known in the business as a "profit center." Something the garage can use to beef up the amount each person spends per visit. So unless you've got a very old car, and are trying to solve a specific, sludge- or carbon-related-problem, I'd skip the R-2000." These engine flushes usually sell for about $130. The victims are people that think that they are doing something nice for their vehicle by cleaning the engine. In fact a dealer or repair shop that tries to sell you an engine flush should be avoided for all service because they are untrustworthy.


Use only recommended engine oil. It should be in the owners manual and if you are unsure call up the manufacturer or the dealer.

Make a note of your last oil change.

Always buy from recognized dealers and outlets. 

Change oil filter at the time of an oil change. 

Never drive your vehicle if the engine oil level is low or it does not have engine oil.
Most cars have an indicator for engine oil on the dashboard instrumentation plaster. If it indicates low oil do not drive the car till you refresh the engine oil.


Did you know . . .

If you recycle just two gallons of used oil it can generate enough electricity to run the average household for almost 24 hours.

The catastrophic EXXON Valdez spill was small compared to the amount of oil dumped into backyards, ditches and farm fields by do-it-yourself oil changers.

Each month more than 16 million gallons of used oil is disposed improperly.
It is estimated that less than 15% of Do-it-yourself oil changers properly recycle their oil. The remaining 85% of the people dump the oil into sewers, on the ground, and into the trash.



1. NEVER dispose used motor oil: on the ground; in a ditch, creek, river, or lake; in a storm sewer; or in the garbage.

2. DO NOT mix used motor oil with anything else, such as gasoline, solvents, antifreeze, pesticides, etc.

3. Transfer your used motor oil to a clean leak-proof plastic container with a screw-on top (milk jug, empty oil container, etc.) and put the top on firmly to prevent leaking or spilling.

4. Contact a local gas station, garage, or oil change station in your city to ask if they will take your used oil. Most companies that work with used motor fluids will accept the used oil. But, always check with them first. Don't keep the used oil around longer than necessary as you risk puncturing the container the longer you store it.

Most of the places you'll find will  take 2 to 10 gallons at no charge. You must bring the used motor oil in closed containers, during business hours, and take the empty containers away with you.

5. Prior to discarding your used oil filter, punch an air hole in the dome end of the filter. You may use a screwdriver, but be careful not to puncture your hand. Also, puncture the anti-drain back valve (if present) located at the flat end of the filter. Allow oil to drain from the filter for several hours. Combine this oil with the rest of your used motor oil for recycling. When you find a station to dispose your oil, ask if they will take your used oil filter as well.



It takes 42 gallons of crude oil to produce 2.5 quarts of motor oil, but only one gallon of used motor oil to be re-refined into the same amount of reusable motor oil.
Two gallons of used oil can provide electricity to run the average household for approximately 24 hours.

It only takes one cup of used motor oil to put an oil sheen on a one acre pond.

The United States produces 1.3 billion gallons of waste oil each year, of which 800 million gallons are recycled.

If all the waste oil in the United States where recycled in a single year, we would save half the output of the Alaska Pipeline for the same period.

Four quarts of improperly disposed oil can ruin a million gallons of freshwater  - a year's supply for 50 people

Oil is harmful to aquatic life.
For example, oil kills organisms in the water that fish rely on as a food source.

Used oil is not removed from the sewage treated at wastewater treatment plants, In fact, some plants use processes that can create additional pollutants from the chemicals present in used oil.
Pouring oil into a sewer is the same thing as pouring it directly into a stream or river.

When oil is poured onto the ground, it can contaminate drinking water supplies.
Tossing oil into the trash is the same thing as pouring it on the ground. It will be dumped in a landfill, where it will eventually seep into the ground and contaminate drinking water.

Not only is recycling of oil a smart financial step in our economy,
it also lessens our dependence on foreign sources of oil

 and prevents contaminants from getting into the environment. 

Used Oil Filters:

Do NOT dispose of an undrained oil filter in the trash

Unfortunately, most used oil filters are not recycled, so the oil they contain is released into the environment. Ninety percent of do-it-yourselfers throw their filters in the trash, sending about 10 million gallons of used oil to landfills every year.

Puncture domed part of the oil filter with a sharp tool. Drain filters on a rack while they are "hot" for 12 hours.

Recycling oil filters saves resources and energy

Americans change over 400 million oil filters a year! These filters have a high steel content and additional motor oil, both easily recycled. If all of the oil filters manufactured in 1994 had been recycled, an estimated 161,500 tons of steel could have been recovered and 17.8 million gallons of used oil would have been kept out of our fields and waterways.

To find out where to recycle
Used Oil in your city,
click here


To find out where to recycle
Used Oil Filters in your city,
click here

Other related topics while serving your Engine Oil

Change the breather filter, check it often.
 Replace it every 10,000 to 15,000 miles.

Change the pcv filter, check it often;
 replace it every 10,000 to 15,000 miles.

Change the egr valve solenoid filter, every 15,000 miles, or every tune up.

OTHER CHECKS you should perform . . .

Change a fuel filter, every 10,000 to 15,000 miles.


Change the automatic transmission filter, at least once a year.

Change the charcoal canister filter, every tune-up.

While under the hood and under the vehicle, take a look around at stuff, grab things and shake them and see if their loose. Look around for leaks. Check the fluid level of the radiator, brakes, windshield washer, and power steering. Check your belts and hoses for cracks or rotting. You will also need to check your air filter while changing the oil. Rotate tires and grease all steering parts every other oil change.

You should check the anti-freeze, or summer coolant-depending on what time of the year it is, in the radiator or reservoir.

Personally, I'd go ahead and check the windshield washer reservoir, the power steering reservoir, the brake master cylinder . . .if it is fluid, I'd check it.

Lubricate The Chassis

Proper lubrication of your car's chassis insures its performance, and should be done in conjunction with regular oil changes.

Your car's chassis provides a smooth ride, supports the weight of your car and enables it to turn corners. In order to keep it working smoothly, however, the chassis must be properly lubricated.

To prevent wear and binding of suspension parts, heavy grease is injected between the moving joints and into grease fittings or "zerks". All car models have different numbers of zerks in different locations.

Some models have a sealed chassis, which has no zerks. A sealed chassis requires less maintenance; the joints are Teflon-coated and do not require grease.


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The objective of this Web Page is to familiarize you with basic auto maintenance
-  in some common emergencies -
not to make you an expert in auto mechanics

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  I am in no way, shape, or form telling you to do this yourself. Your results may vary. If something goes wrong, it is not my fault!
These are just guidelines.

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