Changing one's own oil can save a lot of money over years of extensive
Only basic tools are required, such as:
Jack and Jack stands
Wrenches or sockets (the size of the drain plug)
An oil filter wrench ( can either be a strap with a handle, a metal band
that closes around the filter or a shallow cup that goes over the end
of the filter.
And of course new oil (most Mustangs require 5 quarts with filter., some
are more due to bigger oil pans or oil coolers with accumulators.)
Now for the fun part... To get the oil to flow a little better, the engine
should be warm. If you are running a motor flush, pour in the oil fill
tube and run the car for 5 minutes as per instructions.. do not drive
the car, just let it idle. Then shut off the vehicle. Jack up the vehicle
and putting a pair of jackstands under a sturdy part of the car (control
arms, frame, crossmembers) they all work.. just dont want the car to crush
you. Crawl under the car and locate the oil pan. Bolted directly to the
bottom of the engine, the oil pan contains the majority of the oil during
operation as a surplus to run through the motor. I know for a fact that
94-95 Mustangs had 2 drain plugs due to the U-shaped pan. Most have one...
Find the correct size wrench or socket and turn the drain plug counter-clockwise
(left) it will probably be snug so apply smooth even pressure, try not
to jerk it because the car could slide off the jack. once the drain plug
is broke free, slide the drain pan under the plug and take the plug out
the rest of the way.. just before the last thread, make sure you have
a good grip on the drain plug otherwise it will fall into a pool of oil
and you have to go fish. Take caution not to have your face too near,
be cause the oil will be heated. allow that to drain until it stops consistant
Before putting the drain plug back in, inspect the gasket (neoprene,copper,rubber
or paper) and make sure its still intact for future reference. These can
be gotten at any auto parts store. wipe the pan and the drain plug to
remove any dirt so you get a good seal. Tighten the drain plug until it
stops spinning with out force... after this you will only want to turn
the wrench/ratchet another 1/8-1/4 turn. you want it snug but not so much
that you strip it or that its impossible to get off next time.
Locate the oil filter. On most of the Ford's I've seen, they are on the
driver's side. it will be higher up on the engine. The K&N oil filter
already has a nut on it for easy removal, but for the rest, use the oil
filter wrench and once again rotate counter-clockwise until it breaks
free. After this you can spin off with your hand. The filter can be heavy
if you've had your arm up and all the blood ran out of it, but it really
only weighs about a pound. You will want the drain pan under this as well.
the filter will be full of oil so do not turn upside down until it is
over the oil pan. This will not drain as long. On the new oil filter you
won't use the wrench to tighten it, because that can cause leaks. you
just spin it on and get it as snug as you can with your hands so you want
to wipe off excess oil off your hands...before putting the filter up,
fill it about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way with new oil to prevent dry starts.
also take a little bit and rub on the rubber seal that meets up with the
engine. this helps with sealing... Tighten up the filter. Don't over-do
You are half done now. Slide the pan and jackstands out from under the
car, and lower the car. Open the hood and locate the oil fill tube. Most
times it will have oil written on it, or the infamous 710 joke, meaning
it's upside down. If you need a funnel use one, you don't need oil on
the engine when it gets hot.. it will smell and cause a lot of smoke..
but wont really harm anything if in small amounts. Pour in the correct
amount of oil for the engine (your owners manual or parts stores can tell
you the engine capacity if you need to know. For engines over 75,000 miles
I recommend switching the oil to 20W50. This is thicker oil and will help
protect the engine better. Now would be an optimal time to add your favorite
additive. My last change I used a can of Engine Restore and a bottle of
Z-max. My engine holds 7 qts. so i know it will be fine.. but for normal
cars, just one of either will be fine since they break down in molecule
form. Once you get all the oil in, replace the oil fill tube cap and locate
the oil dipstick. Usually a yellow handle, pull it out and wipe it off
with a rag or paper towel. Replace the dipstick in the tube, all the way
down and pull it back out. Look at the markings on the end and make sure
the oil is in the proper zone. Put the dipstick back and start the car...
let the car run for about 10 minutes you can drive it at this time but
don't drive hard. This allows the oil to circulate through the heads and
the entire engine and lubricate the moving parts.. another reason why
stop and start is tough on an engine, it doesnt have time to lube itself.
Congratulations on your first oil change!
Article by: Vortex Profile