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HomeLEARN SKILLSChange your car’s oil like a boss

Change your car’s oil like a boss

A simple oil change could be all you need to get your motor purring.

1. Flush It

“Buy an engine flush from any retailer that specialises in vehicle parts. Start your car and get your oil running to optimal temperature, around 85-90ºC. Introduce the engine flush, as you would if you were putting oil in under the oil filler cap, close it back up and leave it running for 15 minutes. Turn the engine off. Let it cool down for 25-30 minutes to bring the oil temperature down to about 35-40ºC.”

2. Drain It

“Jack the car up and go underneath with a catch tray to collect all the fluid – a normal engine has 5L of oil, as well as half a litre of engine flush. Remove the drain plug from the oil pump – it’s the lowest point of the engine and normally either 17 or 19mm. Most European cars have a hex bit head or an Allen key. Allow the oil to fully drain.”

3. Filter It

“Once you’ve drained, take your oil filter off, which sometimes can be quite hidden, you might need to speak to a qualified mechanic to find out where it is. Remove the old filter, put the new filter in, place it back onto the vehicle and secure it with the seal that comes with the kit.”

4. Settle It

“Put your drain plug back in. Go to the top of the vehicle and put in half a litre shy of the oil it says to add. Leave it for 20-25 minutes to let it settle. Fresh oil is quite sticky. Then check your dipstick, ensuring you’re between the minimum and maximum, if you’re low, you can add the remainder and come up to the level that is safe.”

5. Check It

“Once it’s at its optimum level, run the engine and check for leaks, ensuring everything’s tight. Then take out your dipstick again, clean it off and put it back in – you shouldn’t visually be able to see an oil level. The viscosity of the oil thins out the hotter it gets. Then you’re good to go.”

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by LANCE CORPORAL Robert ‘Chuck’ NORRIS

As a Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer, Lance Corporal Norris “keeps the punch in the Army’s fist” by maintaining its range of hi-tech kit.