DIY: Changing Motor Oil and Engine Coolant
For a car to last long, it has to be regularly maintained. And because cars are becoming more and more sophisticated, it?s now more expensive to keep them in good condition. But that shouldn?t always be the case. You can spend less on your car?by doing some of it on your own even if you don?t have any mechanical background. Here are some car maintenance projects you can do at home.
Changing Your Engine Coolant
The primary concern with the cooling system is the access to a drain on the engine block. While most auto service centers utilize a vacuum-powered machine to remove old coolant, you can still do so without it. Follow these steps:
- Open the lid of the coolant reservoir and place a catch pan below it.
- To empty out most of the coolant, remove the lower radiator hose from the radiator.
- Look for a threaded block plug as this will be the point of access where the remaining coolant drains. If there?s none, find a coolant hose on the side of your engine block to remove the rest of the coolant.
- After draining most of it, place the hoses back and refill the system. In some cooling systems, there is a bleeder screw that lets the air out as you refill fluid. Open the bleed screw while slowly pouring the coolant, and close it when the coolant starts to overflow.
- Run your car with the heat on high and add the coolant until the reservoir is full. Doing so would prevent the formation of air pockets by letting the coolant circulate in the heater core.
- As soon as you?ve poured the right amount of coolant, turn the engine off to allow your car to cool down for the next few hours.
- Recheck the level of your coolant to ensure that it?s the right amount.
Doing an Oil Change
Oil and filter changes are probably the most common car maintenance projects that you can do at home. First off, head out for a quick drive to get your engine?s temperature up; this allows the engine oil to flow more freely when drained. If your car has low suspension, you can raise the front part using jack stands. And then follow these easy steps:
- Open the oil filler cap which allows the oil to flow freely from the engine.
- Place a catch pan underneath the drain plug and carefully open it. Once the plug is detached, the oil will quickly flow out. So remove your hand out of the way fast.
- When most of the oil is drained, it?s time to change the oil filter. Depending on your car engine?s configuration, look for the filter at the top of the engine or elsewhere.
- Carefully remove the filter and replace it with a new OEM unit.
- Reinstall the drain plug as soon as all of the oil has been emptied out. While some filters have new drain plug washers, you may want to buy a new one separately. Take note that, reusing old washer is not recommended as it causes an oil leak.
- Pour the right amount of engine oil depending on your vehicle. Use a gauge stick to correctly measure the level.
Other Parts of the Car?
Have a mechanic maintain other parts of your vehicle as they are more complicated than those mentioned above. Never do anything with your car that you?re not familiar with to avoid a costly or dangerous situation. Sometimes it saves more money in the long run to work with a professional than to do things on your own.
One of the countless benefits of a well-maintained car is that you?ll get to save on car insurance premiums. Here at Velox Insurance, we are committed to protecting you financially by providing you only the most reliable insurance coverage. For more information about our car insurance policies and discounts, feel free to call us at 1-855-468-3569, click here to find a location near you or get an auto insurance quote online.