AMC Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1975-1988 Repair Information

Engine Oil

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OIL LEVEL CHECK




CAUTION
The EPA warns that prolonged contact with used engine oil may cause a number of skin disorders, including cancer! You should make every effort to minimize your exposure to used engine oil. Protective gloves should be worn when changing the oil. Wash your hands and any other exposed skin areas as soon as possible after exposure to used engine oil. Soap and water, or waterless hand cleaner should be used.

The engine oil should be checked on a regular basis, at least at every gas stop, or more often under severe usage. If the check is made at a gas stop, wait until the tank has been filled. If the level is checked immediately after stopping, a false low reading will result. The proper level is between the FULL and ADD marks on the dipstick, preferable at FULL.

  1. Pull out the dipstick on the side of the engine. Do not take a reading yet, unless the engine has been off all night.
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  3. Wipe off the dipstick with a clean rag.
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  5. Replace the dipstick, count slowly to ten or do whatever you like for ten seconds, and remove it. Check the level on the dipstick.
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  7. If the level is at the ADD mark, adding one full quart at the filler (usually marked OIL) will bring it to the FULL mark. Never add a full quart if the level is not down to the ADD mark, because this overfilling will result in possible damage to engine seals or rapid oil consumption. See `Oil and Fuel Recommendations' later in this section for the proper oils.
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If you need to add oil when the level is down less than a full quart, you will have a problem storing partly full quart oil cans. The plastic covers that come with coffee cans are ideal for covering these cans.

  1. Replace the dipstick, seating it firmly.
  2.  

See Figures 1 and 2

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Fig. Fig. 1: To drain the engine oil, remove the pan drain plug with a wrench or socket ...



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Fig. Fig. 2: ... then turn the plug out by hand and drain the oil into a suitable container

OIL & FILTER CHANGE



See Figures 3 through 16

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Fig. Fig. 3: A crescent wrench may be used to loosen the oil pan drain plug but, a socket is preferred



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Fig. Fig. 4: Turn the plug out by hand keeping inward pressure on it to prevent being burned with hot oil



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Fig. Fig. 5: Use a filter wrench to loosen the oil filter



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Fig. Fig. 6: After the filter has been loosened, twist the filter off by hand. Be careful of the hot oil!



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Fig. Fig. 7: When removing the oil filter make sure that the gasket also comes off with it from the mounting base



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Fig. Fig. 8: Before installing a new oil filter, lightly coat the rubber gasket with clean oil



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Fig. Fig. 9: Install the new filter and hand-tighten it only. Do not use a strap wrench to tighten the filter



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Fig. Fig. 10: Install a new filter on the mounting base until it is snug then, tighten it another 1/2-1 turn



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Fig. Fig. 11: Clean the dirt and debris from the area around the oil pan drain hole ...



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Fig. Fig. 12: ... then install the oil pan drain plug using a wrench



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Fig. Fig. 13: To add oil to the crankcase, remove the oil filler cap ...



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Fig. Fig. 14: ... then add the correct amount and grade of engine oil



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Fig. Fig. 15: After adding the oil remove the oil dipstick and check that the level is correct



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Fig. Fig. 16: Exploded view of a typical oil filter and related components

The oil should always be changed while hot, so the dirt and particles will still be suspended in the oil when it drains out of the engine. Hot oil also flows better providing for a more complete removal of old oil. To change the oil and filter:

  1. Run the engine until it reaches normal operating temperature.
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  3. Jack up the front of the car and support it on safety stands.
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  5. Slide a drain pan of at least 6 quarts capacity under the oil pan.
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  7. Loosen the drain plug. Put on a pair of gloves and turn the drain plug out by hand. By keeping an inward pressure on the plug as you unscrew it, oil won't escape past the threads and you can remove it without being burned by hot oil.
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CAUTION
When you are ready to release the plug, pull it away from the drain hole quickly, to avoid being burned by the hot oil.

  1. Allow the oil to drain completely and then install the drain plug. Don't overtighten the plug, or you'll be buying a new pan or a trick replacement plug for stripped threads.
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  3. Using a strap wrench, remove the oil filter. Keep in mind that it's holding about one quart of dirty, hot oil.
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  5. Empty the old filter into the drain pan and dispose of the filter.
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  7. Using a clean rag, wipe off the filter adapter on the engine block. Be sure that the rag doesn't leave any lint which could clog an oil passage.
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  9. Coat the rubber gasket on the filter with fresh oil. Spin it onto the engine by hand; when the gasket touches the adapter surface, give it another 1 / 2 - 3 / 4 turn. No more, or you'll squash the gasket and it may leak.
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  11. Recheck that the drain plug and oil filter are properly tightened. Remove the oil pan and lower the vehicle.
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  13. Locate and remove the oil filler cap and place a funnel in the filler opening.
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  15. Refer to the capacities chart in this section for your vehicle's specified amount of engine oil.
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  17. Refill the engine with the correct amount and viscosity of fresh oil.
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  19. As you add oil, check the level on the dipstick. It is normal for the level to be a bit above the full mark. Start the engine and allow it to idle for a few minutes.
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CAUTION
Do not run the engine above idle speed until it has built up oil pressure, indicated when the oil light goes out.

  1. Shut off the engine, allow the oil to drain back into the crankcase, and check the oil level. Check around the filter and drain plug for any leaks, and correct as necessary.
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Assuming that the recommended oils are used, the oil and filter should be changed at the intervals shown in the `Service Intervals' chart. This interval should be halved under severe usage such as dusty conditions, trailer towing, prolonged high speeds, or repeated short trips in freezing temperatures.


CAUTION
The EPA warns that prolonged contact with used engine oil may cause a number of skin disorders, including cancer! You should make every effort to minimize your exposure to used engine oil. Protective gloves should be worn when changing the oil. Wash your hands and any other exposed skin areas as soon as possible after exposure to used engine oil. Soap and water, or waterless hand cleaner should be used.

 
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