If you own an import car, you may already know that regular maintenance needs to be performed on your vehicle in order to retain its exceptional gas mileage and excellent reliability. However, the differences between domestic and imported cars, while subtle, need to be taken into account in order to get the job done right. Below is a simple task that is performed on both domestic and import cars, but included are all the facts that you need to know to maintain your import car. Keep in mind that maintenance is key to keeping your car running well and to avoid import car repairs that could have been prevented.
How To Prepare For An Oil Change
Without an ample amount of clean motor oil in your car's engine, your gas mileage will decrease and your horsepower will drop. Dirty oil does not lubricate your engine's internal parts as well as fresh oil, and this lack of proper lubrication can cause the engine to overheat from the added friction. While domestic cars can sometimes put up with the abuse of infrequent oil changes, import cars typically require more attention to this periodic service in order to run optimally.
An oil change requires the following supplies and tools:
- A socket wrench set
- On domestic cars, you would normally use a socket set that uses Imperial measurements. However, for your import car, you will need to use a socket set that uses Metric measurements. The nuts and bolts that hold import cars together vary slightly in diameter than their domestic counterparts.
- 5 quarts of motor oil
- Import cars sometimes require motor oils of different weights and viscosities than domestic cars. You may also need to use synthetic oil in the place of conventional oil.
- A replacement oil filter
- A pair of car ramps
- A funnel
- A drain pan
If you are lacking any of these parts, they can be found at any auto parts store in your area.
To change your oil:
- Drive your front two wheels up onto the car ramps.
- This will allow you to easily access the underside of the vehicle.
- This can be difficult if you have never used car ramps before, so make sure to look up a guide if you have any doubts.
- Locate the oil pan and remove the drain plug.
- The oil pan is always located behind the engine, in the middle of the vehicle.
- The drain plug is a single bolt at the rear of the drain pan; remove it with your socket wrench. On import cars, this bolt is typically between 13mm and 16mm in diameter.
- Removing the drain plug will cause the dirty oil to flow out of the oil pan. Place your drain pan to catch this dirty oil.
- Once the oil has completely drained, replace the drain plug.
- Remove the oil filter.
- The oil filter on an import car is always very easy to find, as foreign car engineers strive to make maintenance-related parts easily accessible and visible.
- The old oil filter simply will screw counter-clockwise off of its mount. When installing the new filter, simply screw it into place with your hand.
- Pour in the new oil.
- Open the hood and remove the "Engine Oil" cap on the top of the engine block.
- Using a funnel, pour in the new oil. Take caution not to spill any oil on the exterior of the engine block.
Jobs Well Done
As you can see, changing your oil is a simple task that requires minimal tools. The hardest part of an oil change is typically finding and removing oil filter – a step that is made very easy by owning an import car. Make sure to keep up on this task in the future to maximize the life and reliability of your vehicle.