OIL LEVEL CHECK
See Figures 1 and 2
As often as you stop for fuel check the engine oil as follows:
- Park the vehicle on a level surface (if the vehicle is not level, the reading will not be completely accurate).
- If the vehicle has been running, stop the engine and allow it to sit for a full ten minutes. If the engine is cold, check the oil before starting it. It does not matter whether the oil is hot or cold, as long as it has had time to drain out of the engine itself and into the oil pan.
- Open the hood and locate the dipstick (it is located on the radiator side of the engine). It consists of a T-handle running into a tube which is connected to the engine. Pull the dipstick out and wipe all the oil off the bottom with a clean rag. If this is not done, you will not get an accurate reading of the oil level.
Re-insert the dipstick and make sure it goes all the way into the tube. Then, pull it out and read it on the side with the oil level scale (two lines, two dots, etc.).
- If the oil level is above the lower line, although the oil level is high enough, you should still add enough oil to bring the level up to the upper mark. Usually the amount of oil needed to bring the level from the lower mark to the upper mark is one quart, however you should fill the oil slowly and check often. It is important not to overfill the engine.
- If it is right near or at the lower line, add oil slowly ( 1 / 3 or 1 / 2 quart) and check the level often. Fill the oil up to the upper mark, but do not overfill.
- If the oil is below the lower line, add oil, 1 / 3 or 1 / 2 quart at a time, until the level is at the upper mark. A beginning level below the lower line indicates that either you are not checking the oil level frequently enough or that the engine is using too much oil.
Running the engine with the oil below the lower line may contribute to excessive heat and dirt in the oil, and will leave you with insufficient reserve to allow for normal oil consumption-you could run out on the road. However, you should not add oil to the point where the level is significantly above the upper line. Under these conditions, the rotating crankshaft will cause the oil to foam, which can be damaging to the engine and will sometimes cause valve train noise.
- To add oil, unscrew the cap on the valve cover on top of the engine and pour the oil into the engine. Be sure to use only approved oil. Avoid letting any dirt get into the engine, and make sure to reinstall the cap before starting the engine.
Do not overfill the crankcase. This will cause oil aeration and loss of oil pressure.
OIL AND FILTER CHANGE
See Figures 3, 4 and 5
The manufacturer recommends that the oil filter be changed at every other oil change, after the initial change, which can be effective maintenance. Recommendations include changing the filter with every oil change to ensure longer engine life by lowering the chance of filter clogging and the increased engine wear this would cause. Further, replacing the filter removes a substantial amount of dirty oil whose additives are depleted-an amount that otherwise remains in the system.
Always drain the oil after the engine has been running long enough to bring it to operating temperature. It's best to actually drive the vehicle until the temperature gauge reaches normal operating temperature to help ensure the oil will be as warm as possible. Hot oil will flow out of the oil pan more easily and will keep contaminants in suspension so that they will be removed with the oil instead of staying in the pan. You will need a large capacity oil pan-usually about 6 qt. (6.4 l) capacity is best. Just make sure the capacity of the pan is greater than the oil pan and filter as shown in the Capacities chart. You will also need a strap wrench to loosen the filter, and an ordinary set of open-end wrenches. You can purchase tools and supplies at any store which sells automotive parts. It is also necessary for you to have some clean rags available to clean up inevitable spills.
You should also make plans to dispose properly of the used oil. Sometimes a local service station or garage will sell its used oil to a reprocessor. You may be able to add your used oil to his oil drain tank.
- Warm the engine as described above.
- Turn the engine OFF and remove the oil filler cap.
- Support the vehicle securely on jackstands or ramps. If you can work under the vehicle at its normal height, this is okay provided the wheels are chocked.
- Place the drain pan under the oil pan. It should be located where the stream of oil running out of the drain hole will run into the pan-not just directly below the drain hole.
- Loosen the drain plug using a box wrench or a ratchet, short extension and socket. Turn the plug out slowly by hand, using a rag to shield your fingers from the hot oil. By keeping inward pressure on the plug with your fingers as you unscrew it, oil won't escape past the threads and you can remove it without being burned by hot oil.
- Quickly withdraw the drain plug and move your hands out of the way, but make sure you keep hold of the plug so that it does not drop into the pan. Wipe the plug with a clean rag. Put it in a safe place-one where it won't get kicked or bumped out of sight. As the oil drains, the stream may shift as the level in the pan changes. Keep your eye on the stream and shift the pan as needed.
- Allow the oil to drain completely in the pan, then install and carefully tighten the drain plug. Use a new drain plug washer if necessary. Be careful not to overtighten the drain plug, otherwise you will be buying a new pan or a trick replacement plug for stripped threads.
See Figure 6
- Move the pan under the oil filter. Use a strap-type or cap-type wrench to loosen the oil filter. Cover your hand with a rag and spin the filter off by hand; turn it slowly. Keep in mind that it's holding about one quart of dirty, hot oil. Empty the filter into the drain pan.
If the oil filter cannot be loosened by conventional methods, punch a hole through both sides at the mounting base of the filter, insert a punch and use it to break the oil filter loose. After the oil filter is loosened, remove the oil filter from the engine with a oil filter wrench or by hand.
- With a clean rag, wipe off the filter adapter on the engine block. Make sure that no lint from the rag remains on the adapter as it could clog an oil passage. Also make sure the rubber gasket from the old filter did not remain on the adapter.
- Using your finger, apply a film of new oil to the rubber gasket on the top of the new oil filter. Read the directions on the side of the filter, or on the box it came in, to ascertain how tightly it should be installed. Carefully screw the new filter onto the oil filter mounting pad. If the filter becomes immediately difficult to turn, it is probably crossthreaded. Remove the filter and continue to install it until the filter goes on and turns easily. Once the threads do start, turn the filter gently until it just touches the engine block; it will suddenly get harder to turn at this point.
- You may want to mark the filter at this point so you"ll know just how far you turn it. By hand, turn it an additional 1 / 2 - 3 / 4 turn, or as specified by the filter manufacturer. If the filter is turned past this point, the rubber gasket may leak.
- Wipe the drain plug area on the oil pan and carefully reinstall the drain plug. Just as with the filter, be careful not to crossthread the plug. It will easily turn well past the point where the threads have started if it's not crossthreaded.
- Lower the vehicle back down to the ground.
- Pour in oil to the full capacity of the oil pan and filter, as specified in the Capacities chart. Reinstall the filler cap. Just as a precaution, remove the dipstick and check the oil level. If the oil level is slightly over the upper mark on the dipstick, this is all right because the new filter has not yet been filled with oil. After the engine has been run, however, the oil level should have dropped to below the upper mark.
- Once the engine has enough oil, start the engine, preferably without touching the throttle, as there will be no oil pressure for 10 seconds or more while the oil pump fills the filter and engine oil passages. Allow the engine to idle at the lowest possible speed until the oil light goes out or the gauge shows that oil pressure has been established. If you do not get oil pressure within 15 to 30 seconds, stop the engine and investigate. Once oil pressure is established, leave the engine running and inspect the filter and oil plug for leaks. If there is slight leakage around the filter, you might want to try to tighten it just a bit more to stop the leaks. Usually, if you've tightened it properly, the only cause of leakage is a defective filter or gasket, which would have to be replaced before you drive the truck.
- Turn the engine OFF , allow the oil to drain into the pan, recheck the level, and add oil as needed.