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Servicing your car

Servicing your car shouldn't be taken lightly, there are many grades of oils available and choosing the wrong oil can be very costly, even leading to engine seizure.

First up - Safety, ensure the car is parked on level ground, jacked up with two stands positioned each side of the chassis, do not place a stand on the body, chock the rear wheels ensure the parkbrake is on and the ignition key off, don't listen to your radio when working on the car as it usually means you need to turn the key, this makes the wires inside the firewall live, if you must have music, then turn yours on in your man cave, this serves another purpose as you don't have to listen to the misses and kids and the next door whipper snipper and lawn mower!

Second - Check the oil level, if it's down there is a reason, have a look for leaks, if it's blowing smoke this could be a reason, a warning sign things are not wearing too well, check turbo intake lines as well as they can trap oil inside the vent tubes, this is a major cause of oil loss in diesels, look at the oil and if possible run a flush through it. the way i do mine is i run a flush, nulon engine flush is good, then drain overnight, i drian it when it's hot as oil thins as it gets hotter and gets all of the waste oil out.

You won't want to wait overnight, but if not give it a good hour to drip dry as you don't want used engine flush in their either. 

Next - Replace the drain washer on the bung, never re-use the bung washer/gasket or oring always replace with new. Now when you go to tighten, don't be a hero and swing off that spanner, overtightened bungs can be costly to repair, all you need is around 20nm of torque.

Next - Find where the genius mechanical engineer put the oil filter, at times i wonder if these overpaid keyboard mechanics are on drugs or their computer screens are unside down as some of these access points to get to the oil filter are a joke, why don't they get mechanics to design engines? It's always why? why? why? If you get frustrated, go have a beer. I don't though, i'm writing this for the backyarder!

Next - Choosing the correct oil. On some cars the grade of oil are written on the oil cap, if not refer to your manual, if no manual then google it. the correct grade and viscosity of oil are the most important factor of the health of your engine. When oil is pumped out of the ground, before it's refined, it goes through tests to determine it's lubrication properties or what type of lubrication principles it has, then it's refined to specs of viscosity, which basically means how fast the oil will flow. Oil galleries and bearings in the newer cars of today are very narrow, so a thin hi temp oil will be needed, other engines have musch larger galleries, so a thicker oil is needed to maximise flow. Do not think that putting a thicker oil in a high KM engine will bring it back to life, it won't, if it has poor compression it has poor compression, you can use lucas oil treatment which i feel is the best and this will only increase oil pressure for a while, 5000 km. Put the whole bottle in fellas and it will not like it, it will turn to sludge and smother the engine, it's stuff it, stick to the book and don't be scared to use a high quality oil such as Penrite, $15 more? Big deal! Use a cheap and nasty brand of oil and you shouldn't be on this website, you should be at

Jack the car up, remove the stands and let it down, gently.

top up about 5mm over the full mark on the dipstick, but before that screw the new oil filter up to when it stops, then 3/4 a turn, lube the oring first! Don't swing off that oil filter wrench too much there hero, it has to come off one day!

Next - Start the engine, let it run for a bit, look at the oil light on the dash and wait for it to go out, stop the engine and check the oil level. top up as required........... Your done.

Now you can go tell the misses the beast is serviced, also make sure you look really buggered and want to sit down in front of the footy game.........opps i mean national geographic channel and sip on a beer..........Anything has to be better than mowing the lawn hey?

It's not over yet, one more tip about reading your sump oil.

When you drain your oil, don't throw it out straight away, it's got it's own signs to tell you how your engine is performing Get a strong flashlight and shine it on the sump oil, if there is fine metal in the oil it will show up like glitter, if so you know there is something happening in the engine, some kind of premature wear. Inspect the colour of the oil as well, if it's burnt and very black (excluding diesels) this could mean blockages might be present, or been many km's over the schedule. No oil is better than 10 000 K.M. 

Hope you like my tips for this week........................... Good oil - Great Service!

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