OIL LEVEL CHECK
See Figures 1 and 2
Check the engine oil level every time you fill the gas tank. Make sure the oil level is between the FULL and ADD marks. The engine and oil must be warm and the vehicle parked on level ground to get an accurate reading. Always allow a few minutes after turning the engine OFF for the oil to drain back into the pan before checking, or an inaccurate reading will result. Check the engine oil level as follows:
- Open the hood and locate the engine oil dipstick.
- If the engine is hot, you may want to wrap a rag around the dipstick handle before removing it.
- Remove the dipstick and wipe it with a clean, lint-free rag, then reinsert it into the dipstick tube. Make sure it is inserted all the way to avoid and inaccurate reading.
- Pull out the dipstick and note the oil level. It should be between the marks, as stated above.
- If the oil 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
See Figures 3, 4 and 5
The engine oil and oil filter should be changed together, at the recommended interval on the Maintenance Intervals Chart. The oil should be changed more frequently if the vehicle is being operated in very dusty areas. Before draining the oil, make sure the engine is at operating temperature. Hot oil will hold more impurities in suspension and will flow better, allowing the removal of more oil and dirt.
As noted earlier, used oil has been classified as a hazardous waste and must be disposed of properly. Before draining any oil from the engine crankcase, make sure you are aware of the proper disposal procedures for your area.
Change the oil and filter as follows:
- Run the engine until it reaches the normal operating temperature, then shut off the engine and remove the oil filler cap.
- Raise and safely support the front of the car. If possible, make sure the engine drain plug is lower than the rest of the oil pan. Position a drain pan under the plug.
- Wipe the drain plug and the surrounding area clean. Loosen the drain plug with a socket or box wrench, then remove it by hand using a rag to shield your fingers from the heat. Push in on the plug as you turn it out, so that no oil escapes until the plug is completely removed.
- Allow the oil to drain into the pan. Be careful; if the engine is at operating temperature, as the oil is hot enough to burn you.
- Clean and install the drain plug, making sure that the gasket or washer is still on the plug. Use a new drain plug gasket whenever possible, but if the gasket is damaged, a new gasket MUST be installed. Tighten the drain plug until snug, but be careful not to overtighten and strip the plug.
- The oil filter is on the rear right side of the block protruding towards the firewall. Slide the drain pan under the oil filter. Slip an oil filter wrench onto the filter and turn counterclockwise to loosen the filter. Wrap a rag around the filter and unscrew it the rest of the way by hand. Be careful of hot oil which may run down the side of the filter.
When the oil filter is removed, make sure the old filter gasket has also been removed from the engine or a proper seal will not be achieved with the new filter. More than a few people have installed the replacement filter with the old gasket still partially in place, preventing the new filter from sealing, and have wound up with a garage floor full of clean engine oil.
- Coat the rubber gasket on the replacement filter with clean engine oil. Place the filter in position on the adapter fitting, then thread it and tighten by hand, do not use a filter wrench or the replacement filter may be overtightened.
- Pull the drain pan from under the vehicle, remove the supports and lower the vehicle to the ground.
- Fill the crankcase with the proper type and quantity of engine oil right away. If the engine is started and run without oil in the crankcase, serious damage may occur almost immediately.
- Run the engine and check for leaks. Stop the engine and check the oil level.