DIY Oil Change

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  #1  
Old 05-09-06, 10:12 AM
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DIY Oil Change

How many of you guys do your own oil changes? I'm really starting to think that I should be doing it myself for both of my cars.

At the very least I want to do my wife's car cuz her engine takes synthetic oil. I just have this crazy feeling that the oil monkeys don't really care what they put in her car. Plus I just checked the level and last oil change they filled it way high.

My car luckily doesn't use expensive stuff, and for $20 an oil change, it's probably just as good to get the shop to do the work. Only downside is that I have to deal with them bugging me to change the air filter, spark plugs, serpentine belt EVERY TIME I GO.

But it is nice to get the engine really hot and have someone else do the maintenance.

What do you all say?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-09-06, 10:18 AM
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I used to but I stopped. Its very simple but is a bit of a dirty job. The biggest issue is disposing of the used oil afterwards. The hassle makes it not worth it for me. I take it to Shell Rapid Lube.
 
  #3  
Old 05-09-06, 10:32 AM
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I do mine on my van, it is too simple to not do it. I have a pair of ramps that I drive on, plus I have a container to catch the old oil in, so I take it to Wally world and they drain it for me.
I also do my wife's 2001 Ford Taurus, but it is a bugger to get to the oil filter without getting burned. But I do it anyway, I know it's done right. Bill
 
  #4  
Old 05-09-06, 12:44 PM
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I always change the oil myself that way I know it's done right and if any corners were cut I am well aware of them.

Many many years ago I let a corner gas station change my oil - $2 special and hey there was 1' of snow on the ground. They cross threaded the drain plug - had to add 6 qts until I could get back to them the next AM, they then used a self tapping plug that my limitted tool collection had no wrench to fit. They also wouldn't reimburse me for the oil I had to add to get home from work and then again to their shop.

Needless to say I have always done it myself since. I save a few bucks, no drive to the shop or wait once I'm there.
 
  #5  
Old 05-09-06, 01:12 PM
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We have a 2005 silverado and a 2000 suburban, I do the oil changes on the suburban because I don't trust them to grease all zerk fitting right, both trucks are 4x4 so there's more fittings than 4x2 trucks have, the '05 I take it to Ted Weins because that way I don't risk losing the warranty on it, by the way we use fully synthetic on both trucks along with high perf. oil filter ( K&N or Mobil 1 ), so I have to provide the filter at the shop , all they have is generic stuff, they do take it off the invoice so I guess is not so bad, they also refill the washer fluid and rotate tires so it's worth it I think, the only bummer is about the fittings they don't always get them all, I do at home with my own grease gun .
 
  #6  
Old 05-09-06, 01:28 PM
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I used to do mine myself (probably cuz my dad forced me to-which was a good thing, cuz I learned) but nowadays...I'd rather pay. It's worth my money. I know my mechanics (friend of the familys) so I trust them. I say find some new "oil changer" to do your oil change if you decide to have someone else do it. I hate when they say, "oh, you need to do this, that, this and that...especially every time?
 
  #7  
Old 05-09-06, 05:15 PM
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Lightbulb

i do all of my stuff by myself, ive learned that some machanics are stupid and that i can do a better job myself, i once took my truck to a machanic and told him just to give it a tune up (change spark plugs and wires, change oil and filter, change air filter, and do a diagnostics test) well before i took it up there the only thing wrong was that id skiped a little bit and i noticed that when i went to take off it didnt want to go, well when i got it back it still wasent fixed and now the a/c didnt work so now i try to do most of the stuff (unless its major and i dont know how) by myself and it runs like new. there aint nothing to changing the oil and stuff anyway, id rather save money for these killer gas prices too, lol. wouldnt you?
 
  #8  
Old 05-09-06, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by digraph
How many of you guys do your own oil changes?
All my and my family's vehicles
 
  #9  
Old 05-10-06, 06:42 AM
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I use to do mine when i was younger for the reason of knowing it was done right and i saved some money. Now i have my longtime trusted local gas station do one of my vehicles,and the dealer do my new pkup. gas station is reasonable,and to my surprise the dealer is cheaper than those "quick" oil change places. The "quick" oil change places generaly employ people with absoultely no auto service savvy. They won't learn on my vehicles. I advise to stay away.
 
  #10  
Old 05-10-06, 09:06 AM
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I do sometimes

I have 3 cars all low to the ground if I can get to the Navy base were there is a lift or pit in the auto hobby shop I do it myself.
When I had a 3/4 ton truck were it was easy to get under I always did it myself.
However I am getting lazy in my old age and really do not want the hassle of laying under my car with the Texas heat and humidity beating down on me.
I have a newer car still under warranty so they gave me a bunch of discount coupons from the dealer.
Thet have a free cookout lunch on Saturdays so I pig out while I am there .
 
  #11  
Old 05-10-06, 09:16 AM
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As long as you are willing to crawl under the car, get a little dirty, and are not dissuaded by any little problems that may come up, you should change the oil yourself. Once it becomes routine, you'll save some time and money, and save a lot of grief that often comes with these quicky places.
 
  #12  
Old 05-10-06, 09:21 AM
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when I win

When I win the lottery I am going to have a nice place to work on my cars at home with a lift and a brand new top of the line Snap-On tool box as big as a bus full of tools.( nice dream dont you think).
 
  #13  
Old 05-10-06, 10:21 AM
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DIY Oil Change

I have been half and half. I do my little camry and have my wife's SUV done. However, Last time they over filled it by a quart. This combined with:
1. There is no way all the sluge can drain as fast as they do it.
2. Cost twice as much as DIY.
3. They could very well be using cheap crap and charging you for synthetic.
4. And now they can't even do it right.
I'm going back to changing my own. "If you want it done right, do it yourself" !
 
  #14  
Old 05-10-06, 10:42 AM
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Add to the list drain plugs and filters that don't get properly tightened.

I do all my own; the tow truck gets a change about once a month, but it has plenty of clearance so it's a quick operation. Wife's Camry is pretty easy except for the filter position that makes a mess when you unscrew it. Daughter's Escort filter location is a pain; fortunately she doesn't put the miles on very quickly (yet!).
 
  #15  
Old 05-10-06, 11:07 AM
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I do mine myself. Sometimes do my parents and if i dont i check it afterwords to make sure it was actually done. I checked it one time after my mom got it changed at the place she likes because "they are so nice to women there" and they did not change the filter.
 
  #16  
Old 05-14-06, 05:58 AM
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I do both vechiles myself. Can usually do both within 45 minutes. I know they are done right. You can buy a case of oil for $17 on sale and filters are $4.00. A little messy but..... done correctly.
 
  #17  
Old 05-14-06, 10:19 AM
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what is a stupid machanic anyway?did you mean mechanic?

Originally Posted by derreksilvasnc
i do all of my stuff by myself, ive learned that some machanics are stupid and that i can do a better job myself, i once took my truck to a machanic and told him just to give it a tune up (change spark plugs and wires, change oil and filter, change air filter, and do a diagnostics test) well before i took it up there the only thing wrong was that id skiped a little bit and i noticed that when i went to take off it didnt want to go, well when i got it back it still wasent fixed and now the a/c didnt work so now i try to do most of the stuff (unless its major and i dont know how) by myself and it runs like new. there aint nothing to changing the oil and stuff anyway, id rather save money for these killer gas prices too, lol. wouldnt you?
just another demb machanic!
 
  #18  
Old 06-18-06, 07:12 PM
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Can I do an oil change myself?

I would like to change the oil in my Honda Civic myself but does anyone have any suggestions for raising the car up other than the car's jack (which I don't really think is stable enough)?

And what is everyone talking about when they say "overfill" the oil? Is that possible? Don't you just have to undo the bolt, drain the oil into a pan, re-do the bolt and add new oil?

How hard can that be? (I always say that, and it's ALWAYS more difficult than I think!!)

If anyone feels like replying, please do!!

Thanks.

Suessy
 
  #19  
Old 06-18-06, 08:43 PM
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Get a case of oil..... havoline is a great oil to find, and its cheaper..... if you want to use synthetic.... theres mobil 1 or pennzoil platinum (castrol syntec is good, overpriced for a hydrocracked petroleum oil)

Look in you owners manual, should say how many quarts to put in, when they overfill it, its when they add too much oil back in, in extreme cases, it can blow seals and froth up real back, but just a tad won't hurt.

Get a good oil filter (walmart supertech is good on the cheap) stay away from fram..... cheaply made and overpriced.
wix (napa gold) or purolator is great filters to use.

Get the name brand oil of your choice, if the cars hard to get under, get some ramps to drive it up on.... (be sure to have a oil drain pan, around 8 bucks for a blitz one at wally world) and pop the drain plug and let it drain in the pan (make sure the plug and vent is open on the drain pan) and let it drain till it drains no more. (taking the dipstick out some will help it go faster (or the filler cap) INSTALL THE PLUG BACK IN!! take the filter off (get a filter wrench) and drain the filter in the pan. IF you can, prefill the oil filter. Lightly oil the oil filter gasket (make sure the gasket is on it good, and the old gasket from the old oil filter is on the old filter) and screw it back on hand tight... about another turn after it seats.... too much and it will be that much harder to take back off. Now, fill the engine with the amount in the manual (if you have no manual, fill it some then check the dipstick, and fill and check till its to the full mark and record how much it took) now start the engine and check for leaks. Now, don't forget after around 30 or 60 thousand miles? I beleive it is, change the transmission fluid and filter.
 
  #20  
Old 06-19-06, 02:52 AM
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Synthetic changes

If you are going to do your own regular oil, it may not be worth it. Around here, the cost for oil and filter (for me) comes to about 15.00, I can get the change done for 20-25. On the other hand, if you use synthetic, do it yourself. I have found most places charge you 3 to 4X the cost of a regular (55-60) when they are only paying extra for the oil and charging extra labor.
 
  #21  
Old 06-19-06, 03:07 AM
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Not to mention some of the shops have the guy pump the dino juice in to all of their barrels, no matter what the label. "ahem"
 
  #22  
Old 06-19-06, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Suessy
...does anyone have any suggestions for raising the car up other than the car's jack?....
I made myself a mini-ramp by screwing a couple of 2 x 12 pieces of lumber together to drive on. It safely gives you a little more room for doing things like oil changes with no fear of instability.
 
  #23  
Old 06-19-06, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by spencer4higher3
just another demb machanic!

A STUPID mAchanic is one that jips you for your money, and dont do the job right like you would probably do.
 
  #24  
Old 06-20-06, 07:43 AM
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Thank you soooooooo much!!

Thank you guys so much - you answered all my questions - especially thanks to v8driver - and I will make the ramps as Kestas suggests.

The trouble with having it done here in Montreal, Canada is that it costs $40. If it turns out that all the oil, filter, etc that I need is too costly (which I doubt), I'll spend the money to have it done but I will check at Walmart today for supplies.

I was telling a friend of mine about this site and how you get instant and complete responses to your questions and you guys really proved it - I am a happy "do-it-yourselfer"!!

Suessy
 
  #25  
Old 06-21-06, 08:16 AM
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Thumbs down No Lube Joints!

When I was a teenager I got a job working for minimum wage at JiffyLube. By the end of my first week I was averaging 80-100 oil changes a day as the guy under the car (between 100 and 140 a day on weekends).

I won't get into all the services they claim to provide that I was told to never do unless the customer asked to see the results (ex. the white card with drops of fluid from several places on the car to show the customer their condition (diff., Trans., etc.)) and topping them off before closing them up...

But I will say this...and I will use the words of a guy I was recently talking to who also worked at JL about 20 years ago...

"There is a 'Parts Bin' behind every JL store containing all the things that have been removed from customers vehicles."

For example...The "technicians" aren't given a screwdriver to remove and replace any type of cover or plastic guards...they are handed a sharp putty knife and are told to cut off and throw away anything that is in their way when trying to access the oil filter.
I guess they figure the people who use them...aren't the type of people who will ever look under their cars.

On a side note...about a week before I started working there...JL had to put a new motor in a customers Caddy...the underneath guy forgot to put the drain plug back in and they sent the guy out with no oil in his car. I think he got about 3 miles before the engine seized.

I got more "Training" when I worked at McDonalds than I did when I went to work for JiffyLube.
 
  #26  
Old 06-21-06, 08:36 AM
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More Thanks!!

Woah!! Good to know. Thanks Handy-J.

Suessy
 
  #27  
Old 06-21-06, 08:36 AM
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Ya I managed a 10min for a few years never burned any engines. Everything always got double checked. I didn't put up with nothing from employees and I had a system of double checking all caps, filters and plugs to make sure they were installed and tight. I must have gone threw 40 employees a month because people just don't care. Any how a month after I left the new manager burned 3 motors because he didn't have people double check other peoples work before the car left. It takes about 30seconds extra to do per car and if employees keep neglecting it you get rid of them.

But for the most part I would more be worried that the SOB strips out your oil pan and does not say anything; rather than worry about them forgetting to put the drain plug back in. Atleast when they forget to put the drain plug in you win a brand spanking new motor. I will take that any day over stripped out oil pan that people will say we didn't do it must have been you or the other guy.

As for the cutting shields under peoples cars that never happened at my shop but I saw a lot of cars that came in all hacked up on the bottom or with shields missing. It seems to be a trait of jiffy lube cars.

I have gotten to the point on my parents cars that when the oil pan gets stripped I change it and don't even bother with the hassle of going to the lube shop. Its pretty hard to argue a motor that burns up 3 blocks away vs who stripped the oil pan 3000 miles ago.

I also use full synthetic because the stuff never produces any sludge if you change every 3k-5k miles.

I would also recommend that you use semisynthetic instead of regular oil. The semisynthetic is still great stuff and worth the extra 50-75 cents a bottle
 
  #28  
Old 06-21-06, 12:07 PM
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scalar, whats this about the hacked up shields, I haven't heard about that before? What shields? the heat shields? all the other plastic they cover everything with?
 
  #29  
Old 06-21-06, 12:12 PM
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Ok

I will go with the semi-synthetic then as you suggest because it must actually be cheaper in the long run to maintain if you don't pay attention (or have the money) to do regular oil changes.

Thanks you guys for the heads-up on what to look for in a good garage!!

Suessy
 
  #30  
Old 06-21-06, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by zzzz1486
scalar, whats this about the hacked up shields, I haven't heard about that before? What shields? the heat shields? all the other plastic they cover everything with?
Some cars like the 2000ish grand ams, Some SUVs, the last style of the cougar, VW,mercedes, toyota suvs and some others I don't recall off the top of my head. have plastic shields to deflect wind or prevent debris from the road flying up where it doesn't belong. If these shields block access to the oil filter some 10min oil changes will take them off and leave them off. Or they cut holes in them to get to the filter so they don't have to take it off next time.

It really doesn't matter if this is done to the cars but its not nice to do with talking to the customer first after all its not their car to be modifying


I have had some customers say just leave them off and give them to me, because taking the shields down and putting them up can sometimes add a lot of time to their wait these are mainly the people who watch it done step by step, and if they know why it takes 15-30min longer every oil cahnge they just say leave them off. I am not off roading or anything.
 
  #31  
Old 06-21-06, 01:33 PM
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As an automotive engineer, I find this practise of third parties taking shields off and leaving them off scandalous. Automotive engineers designed and manufactured cars with shields for a reason. They didn't just willy-nilly add another part to a car because they wanted to make the car more expensive or purposely inconvenience the oil changers.
 
  #32  
Old 06-21-06, 02:50 PM
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automotive engineer lol Thats not even a major in college. I used to be an engineer in indy car, champ car, and F1. Took me a bit to figure out the whole industry is whacked and made up of thieves who price gouge everything and have no care for the consumer(must be why the american car companies are doing so bad if only people have seen first hand the testing that goes into jap stuff (way to much completely over kill they even test the smallest things) and then you walk through american automotive places its pretty funny there is almost no testing or if there is testing its not very good). Also if the part was so important then they would do a better job securing them to the vehicle than with pop pins. Most of the shields end up on the sides of roads you see them all time. Also the aerodynamics are not that big of a deal when your going 60-75mph your not going to increase drag that much because of a small shield.

Some of the shields direct little air through the engine compartment after the radiator (usually they are there to prevent debris). Just like how some cars come with spoilers and other versions of the car won't. Must be because the spoiler isn't so important for directing air. So ya engineers do design things for cars for the hell of it.

I know the engineers don't think about changing the oil. But some manufacturers do and there will be trap doors like on the blazer to get the filter or there will be rubber flaps like on other cars to access the oil filter.

Don't forget that if you have missing hub caps your also affecting the aerodynamics of the vehicle. But it has been proven on the street no cares to always have hub caps. Same diff with the shields.

Also with trucks the off road package ones will have the shields but the non-off road models won't so they can't be that important either there. So if your not off roading I wouldn't worry about having no shield. Its kinda like those shields in the front of the car that almost every one rips off on those rectangular cement parking blocks in parking lots. Ya those are supposed to direct air flow under the vehicle, they have been proven on the street to also be pointless.
 

Last edited by scalar; 06-21-06 at 03:16 PM.
  #33  
Old 06-22-06, 06:20 AM
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My, aren't you a little smug.
 
  #34  
Old 06-22-06, 07:35 AM
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I get like that when people say well the engineers wouldn't have done it for the heck of it. I did and do a lot of things for the heck of it.

In this case I would be like oh there is a big open spot I know I will just put a cover there.

and if you think my attitude is bad you would get eaten up and spit out in less than a day in the professional race industry, if your attitude was anything less. Its not all the fun and games it appears to be on TV, there is a lot of covert cheating, money handling under tables from companies to become spec'ed parts etc etc. The inspection the car goes through before races would catch the most obviuos cheats, but the cheats that matter the most happened a year and or more before the race.
 
  #35  
Old 06-22-06, 07:44 AM
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Car Maintenance

It sounds as though you guys are both on the same page about the treatment of the customer!! Kudos.

Suessy
 
  #36  
Old 06-22-06, 08:34 AM
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I'm well aware of what happens in the race industry. I was a contract metallurgist for Roush racing, now our company has contract with Richard Childress Racing. It's a totally different world than high-volume production. I've also seen the egos that go with the racing industry.

Still, no auto manufacturer would waste their money to put a shield on a car just for the fun of it, even if you don't agree with them. They count every penny of product they put in a car. You can always take yours off the shield in your car if you want to. There's a reason for every part on a car. But a third party shouldn't make that decision for the unsuspecting car owner.
 
  #37  
Old 06-22-06, 05:20 PM
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Check the fluids also,the transfer case,front and rear end if if necassary.Most oil change places do not do that and I have seen what happens if the fluids are not checked.I have seen burned up one burned up manual transmission in a Ford fullsize pick up with a Mazda 5 speed in it so far.The newer engines,put in what is recomended or the lifters will rattle like crazy.My neighbor's wife went through that,she put synthetic in her 1998 or 1999 Chevy s10 4x4 pick and the lifters rattled.She did drian the synthetic out and put in what is recomended.The lifters quieted down and the lifter rattle was gone.This is a true story.It says on the oil cap what is recomended or read in the owners manual.Carquest filters are very good also,they are made by Wix also
 
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