Category Archives: Consumer Auto Parts

Changing Your Own Oil – Pennzoil – Consumer Auto Parts

Step-by-Step Oil Change Instructions

oil change

1. Park vehicle on level surface, engage parking brake and turn off engine. If necessary, raise front of vehicle by driving it onto a ramp or by jacking it up and supporting it with jack stands.

CAUTION: NEVER GET UNDER A VEHICLE SUPPORTED ONLY BY A JACK! WE ALSO RECOMMEND WHEEL CHOCKS TO HELP PREVENT WHEELS ON THE GROUND FROM ROLLING.

2. Open the hood.

3. Locate the engine oil dipstick and remove (helps the oil flow when draining).

oil change

4. Once the vehicle is safely and securely supported, put on safety glasses, crawl under the vehicle and locate the engine’s oil pan. (See owner’s manual for reference.)

5. Locate the oil drain plug, which is a long bolt head at the bottom of the pan. The drain plug allows the oil to drain out of the pan. (Note: Some vehicles have two drain plugs.)

6. Position a container, such as an approved oil catch pan, under the drain plug. Make sure the catch pan is large enough to hold the volume of oil expected to drain out of the engine. Check your owner’s manual for the volume of oil that you car requires.

oil change

7. Loosen the drain plug using a box-end wrench or 6-pt. socket. Carefully remove the plug by hand, making sure the catch pan is underneath the plug hole. Oil will flow rapidly from the hole, but allow several minutes for all old oil to drain out. (See vehicle owner’s manual for additional information.) CAUTION: OIL MAY BE HOT!

oil change

8. Wipe the oil pan threads and oil drain plug with a rag, and visually inspect the condition of the oil pan and oil drain plug threads and gasket. Buy a replacement drain plug if you have any concerns about the condition of the plug. Replace the drain plug gasket if needed (some OEMs recommend this). Once the oil is finished draining, reinstall the oil drain plug and tighten with the correct box-end wrench or 6-pt. socket to the manufacturer-specified torque. (See owner’s manual.)

oil change

9. Locate the oil filter. If the old and new oil filters are not the same, double-check the application to be sure you have the correct filter. (See vehicle’s owner’s manual for additional information.)

10. Position an oil catch pan under oil filter to catch any residual oil remaining inside filter.

oil change

11. Loosen the oil filter or oil filter cap with oil filter wrench, and allow the oil to drain from the oil filter.

12. Remove the oil filter. Check to make sure the filter gasket has come off with the filter. If it’s still clinging to the engine mounting plate, remove it and any remaining residue.

oil change

13. Place a light coating of new oil on the gasket of the new oil filter so it will install smoothly onto the engine. (Note: Do not use grease!) By hand, install the new oil filter onto the engine by turning in a clockwise direction. Once the oil filter gasket first contacts the mounting plate gasket surface, tighten the filter according to the directions for your application (usually found on the new oil filter or oil filter box), preferably by hand. Generally, this is three-quarters to one full turn after the filter gasket contacts the engine. (NOTE: Cartridge oil filter replacement procedures may differ. See owner’s or service manual for instructions.)

oil change

14. Under the hood, remove the oil fill cap and pour in the correct amount of Pennzoil® motor oil of the correct viscosity with a funnel. (See vehicle’s owner’s manual for recommended grade, specification and amount.)

15. Replace the oil fill cap.

oil change

16. Start the engine and run at idle for minimum of 30 seconds. Carefully inspect under the vehicle for oil leaks (especially by oil drain plug and oil filter). If leaks are visible, shut off the engine immediately and have the leaks repaired.

 

oil change

17. Shut off the engine and allow 30 seconds for oil to settle in the engine. Carefully inspect the area beneath the vehicle for oil leaks.

18. Safely lower the vehicle to level ground.

oil change

19. Install and remove oil dipstick and check for proper oil level, adding more oil if necessary. (See the vehicle’s owner’s manual for oil capacity and recommended oil level on dipstick.)

20. Repeat oil change with Pennzoil® motor oil as directed by manufacturer’s guidelines.

These instructions are intended as general guidelines. Please consult your owner’s or service manual for specific instructions on changing the oil and filter on your vehicle. Use extreme caution when lifting or jacking any vehicle.

WHAT KIND OF DAMAGE DOES A POTHOLE CAUSE TO YOUR CAR?

WHAT KIND OF DAMAGE DOES A POTHOLE CAUSE TO YOUR CAR?

Don’t look now, but you’re probably about to hit another pothole.

Drivers know immediately when they hit a pothole, but what they don’t know is if their vehicle has been damaged in the process. While tires and wheels can be visually checked, potholes can also cause considerable damage to the steering, suspension and alignment systems that you just can’t see.

Motorists will spend nearly $5 billion on car repairs from damage caused by potholes, according to a recent report by WJLA-TV in Washington D.C. The U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) estimate that poor road conditions cost the average motorist around $335 a year.

If you hit a pothole while driving, the Car Care Council recommends that you watch for the following warning signs and have your vehicle inspected by a professional technician without delay.

  • Loss of control, swaying when making routine turns, bottoming out on city streets or bouncing excessively on rough roads. These are indicators that the steering and suspension may have been damaged. The steering and suspension are key safety-related systems. Together, they largely determine your car’s ride and handling. Key components are shocks and/or struts, the steering knuckle, ball joints, the steering rack/box, bearings, seals and hub units and tie rod ends.
  • Pulling in one direction, instead of maintaining a straight path, and uneven tire wear. These symptoms mean there’s an alignment problem. Proper wheel alignment is important for the lifespan of tires and helps ensure safe handling.
  • Low tire pressure, bulges or blisters on the sidewalls, or dents in the rim. These problems will be visible and should be checked out as soon as possible as tires are the critical connection between your car and the road in all sorts of driving conditions.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.

Consumer Auto Parts

Consumer Auto Parts

Fall car care checklist

By Tom Morr, automedia.com

Just as you should check your smoke detectors’ batteries every time autumn comes around, preventive car maintenance procedures can keep automotive disaster from striking. Depending on where you live, the weather can change overnight – for instance, Colorado often gets snow as early as Labor Day. So applying the Boy Scout motto to colder-weather motoring can make the difference between getting there and back – or not.

Car traveling down a road in fall with changing leaves

Fall car care checklist

Fall car maintenance

Year-round routine car maintenance is the best way to make your vehicle perform stronger and last longer. The regimen should include car tune-ups and inspection/replacement of worn belts and hoses. As the weather cools, consider changing to synthetic lubricants, which work across a wider temperature range than conventional oils. These high-tech oils cost more, so an alternative is to use lighter-weight oils in colder weather.

Cooling system

Consult your owner’s manual for proper coolant mix, which is often about a 60/40 antifreeze-to-water ratio. Another trick is to install a higher-temperature thermostat. This will improve heater performance and help the engine warm up faster. However, some computer-controlled vehicles might not be compatible with non-factory temperature thermostats.

Heater

Since the car heater and defroster work off the cooling system, check heater hoses while inspecting the radiator hoses. Coolant on the floorboard is one common sign of a leaky heater core. Also, vacuum/blow all leaves and debris out of the ducts.

Battery

If your battery has removable caps, make sure that all cells are filled with distilled water. Keep all battery terminals and cable ends clean. When jump-starting, never connect the jumper cables’ ground clamp to the dead battery’s negative post. Instead, use an engine-mounted bracket as the grounding location. In colder weather, this can keep a frozen battery from exploding.

Fuel system

Keep the gas tank as full as possible. Aside from the obvious, this limits condensation in the gas tank to minimize water – which can freeze – in the fuel line. “Antigel” additives are available, particularly for diesel-powered vehicles. On non-fuel-injected cars, keep the choke/carburetor butterfly lubricated so it won’t stick.

Windshield

Check the wiper blades for deterioration and consider upgrading to winter/snow blades. Park the blades before turning off the vehicle or lift them off the glass so they won’t freeze overnight. Fill the washer fluid reservoir with winter fluid, and never put hot water on a cold windshield.

Body

Waxing, particularly with a carnauba-based product, will help the paint withstand road salt and other foul-weather grime. Lubricate door hinges with silicone spray so they won’t squeak when the weather changes. Spraying the locks and weatherstripping will help keep doors and trunks from freezing shut.

Tires

Air condenses in cooler weather, and we’re all well-educated now on the hazards of underinflated tires. Keep tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendation on the sticker found in the glove box or on the doorjamb. Check the condition/inflation of the spare. Store snow tires horizontally during the off-season to prevent flat-spotting. Practice fitting snow chains before the start of winter.

Auto care products

Lastly, the automotive aftermarket unveils an array of cold-weather solutions every autumn. These products are designed to heat almost every aspect of your vehicle: from its coolant to its oil, from its battery to it locks and even its occupants. Always plan ahead to minimize the stress of cold-weather driving.