About the easiest maintenance you can perform on your car is changing the oil. Frequent oil changes can extend the life of your engine considerably. How frequently? Usually about every three thousand miles or three months, whichever comes first. Here are the basic steps. Before starting, run the engine a short time. This is to make sure the oil is thin and sludge is loosened so it can all drain. If extra clearance is needed, use approved jackstands or ramps. Place an oil pan under the drainplug and unscrew the plug. Allow the oil to drain for five minutes before replacing the plug. Move the oil pan under the oil filter and unscrew it using an oil filter wrench. Coat the gasket of the new filter with clean oil and then screw the new filter on. After it makes contact, turn it a quarter of a turn beyond that. At the top of the engine, locate the oil filler cap. Remove it and fill with oil. Your owner's manual tells you how much to put in. Finally, start the engine and check the dipstick to ensure proper level. Don't forget to check for leaks from the drainplug and filter.
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