OIL LEVEL CHECK
The engine oil level should be checked frequently. For instance, check it at each refueling stop. Be sure that the vehicle is parked on a level surface with the engine off. Also, allow a few minutes after turning off the engine for the oil to drain into the pan or an inaccurate reading will result.
- Open the hood and remove the engine oil dipstick.
- Wipe the dipstick with a clean, lint-free rag and reinsert it. Be sure to insert it all the way.
- Pull out the dipstick and note the oil level. It should be above the add line but not above the hatched area.
- If the level is below the lower mark, replace the dipstick and add fresh oil to bring the level within the proper range. Do not overfill.
- Recheck the oil level and close the hood.
OIL AND FILTER CHANGE
Change the engine oil and oil filter at the same time, at the recommended intervals on the maintenance schedule chart. If your vehicle is being driven under dusty, polluted, or off-road conditions, cut the mileage intervals in half. The same thing goes for cars driven in stop-and-go traffic or for only short distances.
General Motors recommends changing both the oil and filter during the first oil change and the filter every other oil change thereafter. For the small price of an oil filter, it's cheap insurance to replace the filter at every oil change. One of the larger filter manufacturers points out in its advertisements that not changing the filter leaves a quantity of dirty oil in the engine, which could be as much as a quart on some models. This claim is true and should be kept in mind when changing your oil.
Always drain the oil after the engine has been running long enough to bring it to operating temperature. Hot oil will flow easier and more contaminants will be removed along with the oil than if it were drained cold. You will need a large capacity drain pan (2 gallons), which you can purchase at any auto store. Another necessity is containers for used oil. You will find that plastic bottles such as those used for soda pop, detergents, bleaches etc., make excellent storage jugs.
Always properly dispose of used engine oil. You can take it to most service stations that recycle. Give a hoot. Don't pollute!
Change your oil as follows:
- Run the engine to normal operating temperature.
- After the engine has reached operating temperature, shut it off, firmly apply the parking brake, and block the wheels.
- Raise and support the front end on jackstands.
- Place a drain pan beneath the oil pan, and remove the drain plug.
- Allow the engine oil to drain thoroughly.
- While the oil is draining, replace the filter as described below.
- When the oil has completely drained, clean the threads of the plug and coat them with non-hardening sealer or Teflon tape and install the plug. Tighten it snugly.
- Fill the crankcase with the proper amount of oil shown in the Capacities Chart in this Section.
- Start the engine and check for leaks.
REPLACING THE OIL FILTER
- Place the drip pan beneath the oil filter, located on the lower right side of the engine.
- Using an oil filter wrench, turn the filter counterclockwise to remove it. Keep in mind that it's holding dirty, hot oil.
- Wipe the contact surface of the new filter clean and coat the rubber gasket with clean engine oil.
- Clean the mating surface of the adapter on the block.
- Screw the new filter into position on the block using hand pressure only. Do not use a strap wrench to install the filter! Then hand-turn the filter an additional turn. Do not overtighten or you may squash the gasket and cause it to leak.
- Refill the engine with the correct amount of fresh oil.
- Check the oil 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 a few minutes. Do not run the engine above idle speed until it has built up oil pressure, indicated when the oil light goes out.
- Shut off the engine, allow the oil to drain for a minute, and check the oil level. Check around the filter and drain plug for any leaks, and correct as necessary.