Over the past decade, gasoline-refining technology has decreased combustion pollutants, helping to reduce engine oil contaminants.
The second method is to drain the oil when the engine is cool, when a good percentage of the oil has settled into the sump. Another benefit of the second method is that it is easier to detect coolant (antifreeze) leaks. Using a suitable wrench (preferably six- point), unscrew the drain plug to the end of the threads. While the sump is draining, open a container of new oil and pour oil into the center of the new filter. Slowly roll the filter around; this allows the filter media to absorb the oil and minimize oil starvation at the bearings upon initial start-up.
While the filter media is wicking up the oil and the sump is draining, remove the old filter and turn it over to drain. The angle at which the filter mounts to the engine will dictate how much oil to put in the filter. More than anything, the basic oil change is a great way to connect with your vehicle and take some control over its maintenance.
Before heading to the auto parts store to buy supplies, consult the owner's manual to confirm the type and amount of oil that's required. Check to see if the manual calls out other specific oil requirements as defined by the by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the International Lubricant Standardization Approval Committee (ILSAC.) Sometimes synthetic oil is expressly called for.
In addition to oil, you'll need an oil filter, an oil-filter removal wrench, a wrench to remove the drain plug, a funnel, a drain pan and some gloves. Band-type filter wrenches are more familiar, but they can be frustrating to use if you don't have enough space — especially if the old filter was over-tightened. In this case, the plug and filter are far apart, meaning I must reposition the drain pan after I drain the oil and before I remove the filter.
If yours is one of the growing numbers of new cars with a top-mount cartridge filter, the following oil-drain and refill steps are the same, but the filter change process is not. Go slowly as you remove the drain plug and keep your hands away from the expected path of the oil.
The drain plug is properly tightened if you use the box end of a combination wrench and tighten it as much as you can without using a hammer or slipping a pipe over the wrench for extra leverage.
Use rags to clean as much oil away as you can, paying special attention to the filter sealing surface. After you reconfirm that the oil drain bolt and filter are both in place and properly tightened, it's time to add oil. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Additives increase the ability of the engine oil to maintain adequate lubrication quality even when contaminated.
Slowly tip the plug upward and away to get a feel of where to place the drain pan to catch the oil.
Pressure from the pump pushes the oil through the media (from outside to inside), out the center to the oil galleries. In many cases, the friction provided by the disposable gloves will allow a sufficient grip to unscrew the old filter without using a filter wrench. Install the filter according to filter torque instructions; this makes it easier to remove the filter next time.
In between adding the remaining specified amount to the crankcase, do a final cleanup from underneath, put the tools away and inspect the engine compartment for leaks.
It's a simple process that requires few tools, and it's a sure way to save some money while you avoid the hassle of sitting in a dull waiting room somewhere reading outdated magazines.
The time you spend under the hood and under the car affords you an excellent opportunity to look around and see if anything else needs attention.


You may also need to raise the car to gain access, in which case you'll need a floor jack and safety stands, or a pair of purpose-made steel ramps.
Also, my drain pan has a screw-on lid and pour spout, which makes it easier to transport and recycle the old oil. Wrenches like that are available at most auto parts stores for a few dollars and they snap onto the end of any common three-eighth-inch-drive ratchet. Let the car sit so the exhaust system cools off some, but don't allow things to go stone cold. Some newer cars have these aerodynamic covers to improve fuel economy and keep things clean.
For this reason, I'm going to completely finish draining and replugging the engine before I work on the filter. It's important to place the drain pan under the drain plug — but not directly under it. You've held your thumb atop a drinking straw filled with water to keep it from running out, right?
The hex end on a typical drain plug is almost always a common size that comes in a standard tool assortment, but even the domestic carmakers tend to use metric in the 14-17mm range.
Theoretically, there is a torque specification for drain plugs, but they're almost never published in the owner's manual.
A standard-length three-eighth-inch drive ratchet will work if you choke up on it a bit, but anything longer or larger can lead you down the path of over-tightening. Generally, oil filters are tightened no more than three-quarters of a turn to a full turn beyond the point where the O-ring first contacts the sealing surface. Run the engine for 30 seconds or so to circulate the new oil, then shut it down and check your work area underneath the car for leaks. Because I short-filled it slightly, it was no surprise that I had to add a little more oil. The extra deep 8 quart capacity on his oil pan collects oil without the threat of spillover. In a gasoline engine, the oil is contaminated primarily by combustion gases seeping past the piston rings. Performing the job in a set sequence with the proper tools will not only make it easier, it will also reduce the likelihood of making a mess, or worse, a costly mistake.
By first cracking the drain plug slightly, if there is a coolant leak, water and antifreeze will be the first to run out. A filter wrench will be required if the filter is inaccessible by hand, if the filter was over-tightened or the engine was overheated.
Clean the area around the drain plug and install; wipe area again and check for drain plug weep.
I prefer to begin filling the crankcase with the open container I used for the filter; it helps keep track of the amount. After filling with the recommended amount, close the fill cap and remove the disposable gloves. Five-quart jugs are tempting because they are cheaper than smaller sizes, but I find them heavy and hard to pour steadily. If I had read the manual carelessly, though, I could easily have brought home 5W-20 instead.
There are many sizes, but it's easy to make sure you buy the right one if you match the wrench to the filter right there in the store. Oftentimes you don't need to remove tires, but I did it anyway so our photographer, Elon Schoenholz, could have a clear view of things. If these elements were closer (or if my pan were bigger) I could begin removing the filter while the last of the oil was still dribbling out. The angle of the drain plug will cause the oil to stream out at an angle, so I'm offsetting the pan to that side by several inches.


It's not quite the same here, because oil would still drain with the oil filler cap on, but it does seem to flow out more smoothly and quickly with the cap removed. A three-eighth-inch drive ratchet is perfectly fine, of course, as long as you remind yourself not to use its extra leverage to over-tighten the drain plug when you put it back later. Even if you do find the spec, it's unlikely that the half-inch drive torque wrench you bought to tighten lug nuts will go low enough for this job.
This rarely happens nowadays, but it's one of those things you check anyway because a double stack of O-rings won't seal, allowing your new oil to pump out and ruin your engine.
I'm spinning the filter on gently until the O-ring makes first contact with the sealing surface. You can go to a full turn if you can manage it by hand, but don't resort to a filter wrench just because you want to tighten it more than the recommended amount. As usual, you'll know the level is full when the oil comes up to the upper hole or hash mark. Once you've done an oil change a couple times and you are familiar with your car's idiosyncrasies, the whole job takes less than 30 minutes. Features include molded handles for easy portability and an easy pour spout to swiftly empty the pan without splatter.
Minute airborne particles that escape past the air filter also contribute to oil contamination.
As a result, perhaps oil changes will be necessary only a few times during the life of the engine. If the procedure can be performed quickly and easily, it can be an incentive to do it regularly.
One suggestion here: a copper gasket on the drain plug lasts longer than a fiber washer or nylon gasket. If nothing else, taking the cap off now serves as a reminder to put the new oil in before you start the engine. This is another reason why it's best not to change oil when the engine and its oil are piping hot. If your drain plug does need a replacement washer, make sure the old one isn't stuck to the engine's oil pan — you don't want to inadvertently stack a new washer atop the old one. In most cases you'll only need a filter wrench for tightening if access is too tight or if your hands are too oily for a solid grip. If you stockpile oil and filters in your garage, you'll save both time and money compared to going to a mechanic. As engine components wear, more gases will slip past the rings during the compression and power cycle.
Until then, timely oil changes, maintaining the engine and changing the air filter will help prolong engine life. The thought behind this is contaminates are suspended in the oil and when the sump is drained, the harmful contaminates drain with the oil. The location where the procedure is performed should be reasonably level as most sump bottoms are formed to tilt toward the drain plug. And once you get comfortable with the basic oil change, a whole slew of other maintenance tasks begin to seem within easy reach. The Explorer does, but it's held in place with four twist-release clips that don't require any tools for removal.
The spout is larger and triangular with a channel that runs at 45 degrees from the tip of the spout to 1 inch from the bottom of the pan.
The whole pan (and shelf) is one solid piece of molded plastic with a rolled over top edge, including around the spout.Hope this helps.



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