How to Change Your Car Oil – An Easy Step by Step Tutorial

One of the most vital maintenance’s needed to be performed on your car is changing the engine oil. This should be done every 3000-5000 miles, and doing so can greatly affect the lifespan and performance of your automobile.

Step 1 Materials:

5 Quarts of new oil

1 New oil filer

Ratchet Set

Oil Pan

Oil Filter Wrench


1 Funnel

Paper towels

Step 2 Preparation:

Depending on where you are working, and what kind of car you are working on you might need to some prep work before you actually get started changing you oil. Before you do anything you will need to engage the emergency brake, and put a chalk or stop in front of one of the back tires. These are just safety precautions since you will be underneath the automobile, which is inherently dangerous. You want to make sure that if for some reason something happened it would not move while you are underneath it. If you are changing the oil on a truck or an SUV, you will probably not need to raise it with a jack. You can check by basically getting on the ground and seeing if you can comfortably get under the car. You will also want to make sure you have enough room to move around and work. If you are working on a car you will in all likelihood need to use a jack to raise it, so you can get underneath. There are many different types of jacks so you will want to follow the directions for your jack exactly. Also, you might want to put some newspaper down around you work area. There is a possibility of some oil spilling so you don’t want to leave any stains on your driveway, or wherever you are working.

Step 3 Remove Old Oil:

The first thing you will need to do when you get under the car is to locate the drainage bolt on you oil pan. Once you have located it, you will need to find the correct size socket it to remove it. Now before you start to loosen the drainage bolt place your oil pan underneath it so it will catch the old oil. You can now loosen the bolt. Once it gets fairly loose oil will slowly start to come out, and once you fully remove the oil should be draining pretty quickly. Let it drain for a few minutes to make sure most of the old oil is out. Once the oil stops flowing you can replace the drainage bolt and tighten it.

Step 4 Remove Old Oil Filter:

The next step is to locate and remove the old oil filter. Depending on how good the oil filter is secured you might be able to remove it with you hand by rotating it counterclockwise. If it is on too tight to remove with you have you will need to use an oil filter wrench. When removing the filter use caution because it will be full of old oil.

Step 5 Install New Oil Filter:

Before installing the new oil filter you want to pour some new oil into the filter, and make sure the gasket on top of the filter is coated with some new oil. This will help it function better. Installing the new filter is basically the opposite process for removing the old one. This time be sure to turn the filter clockwise and make sure it is properly threaded.

Step 6 Add New Oil:

One of the last but most important steps is to add the new oil to your car. To do this you will need to go under the hood. There will be a cap that is marked oil or engine oil. Remove that cap and insert your funnel. Slowly pour the new five quarts of oil into the funnel. Once all the oil is gone, remove the funnel and secure the cap.

Step 7 Clean Up:

The most important part of the clean up step is disposal of the old oil. The easiest way to do this is to take your oil pan with the old oil and pour it into the container(s) that you new oil was in. Once you have done this you will need to take it somewhere to be properly disposed of. Usually your local body shop will take it for no charge. You might also need to use some soap and water along with some elbow grease to clean yourself up.

You and your car should now be set for the next 3000-5000 miles, and you just saved yourself some money on an oil change.

Source by Jura Capress

Your Vehicle’s Sensors – How to Test Some of Them

After you retrieve the trouble codes from your vehicle’s on-board computer, you can now check the sensors. Always refer to your service manual for specifications on your make and model vehicle.

The first trouble code to check is the throttle position sensor (TPS). The TPS is located either on the side of the carburetor or the side of the fuel injected models. It is attached to the throttle body. Visually inspect the sensor for worn insulation on the wires and a loose or cracked connection. Disconnect the sensor.

With the digital volt ohm meter or DVOM in the 20K ohm position, connect the positive DVOM lead to the sensor’s center terminal. Connect the negative DVOM lead to one of the other sensors’ terminals. Slowly move the throttle lever until it is at the wide-open position. Depending upon which terminal you connected the negative DVOM lead to, the DVOM reading should either increase or decrease steadily. Release the throttle lever slowly. If the DVOM reading is not gradual and steady, but moves instead at an irregular pace, the sensor is defective and should be replaced. Re-connect the sensor. Clear the trouble codes from the ECM memory by disconnecting the negative battery cable for at least ten seconds.

Your next trouble code indicates a mass air flow (MAF). The MAF sensor is located between the air cleaner and engine throttle body. To test, start the engine. Take a screwdriver handle and tap the MAF lightly several times on the plugin side. DO NOT STRIKE THE SENSOR WITH FORCE, IT MAY CRACK. If the engine staggers, misfires, or stops running, the sensor is defective and should be replaced. Clear the trouble codes from the ECM memory by disconnecting the negative battery cable for at least ten seconds.

Start the oxygen sensor performing test by removing the sensor from the vehicle. The oxygen sensor is located either in the exhaust manifold or the exhaust pipe. Visually inspect the sensor for worn insulation on the wire and a loose connection. Start the engine and let it run for about five minutes, then turn the engine off. Disconnect the sensor. Secure the sensor connector away from the exhaust manifold; tape the connector to the fender well, if possible. Turn the digital vote ohm meter to the millivolt setting, connect the positive DVOM lead into the sensor connector terminal, and ground the negative DVOM lead to an unpainted ground. Restart the engine. Observe the DVOM reading. It should fluctuate between 100 and 1,000 mv (0.1 and 1.0 volts). If the voltage does not fluctuate in the pattern indicated above, the oxygen sensor is faulty and should be replaced. Re-connect the sensor. Clear the trouble codes from the ECM memory by disconnecting the negative battery cable for at least ten seconds. Do not set the digital volt ohm meter on the ohm meter setting to do so will damage the oxygen sensor.

The next trouble code indicates manifold air pressure (MAP) sensor. The MAP sensor is usually located on the firewall or the fender well. Visually inspect the vacuum hose and sensor connector for deterioration or loose connections then disconnect the sensor. Connect a jumper wire from terminal A on the MAP sensor to terminal A on the connector. Using a second jumper wire, connect the terminal in the same way. Turn the ignition switch on. DO NOT START THE ENGINE. With the digital volt ohm meter (DVOM) in the 20-volt DC setting, connect the positive DVOM lead to terminal B on the MAP sensor. Ground the negative DVOM lead to an unpainted ground. Observe the reading; it should be between 4.5 and 5 volts. Start the engine, let it idle. Keep the engine at idle and repeat the previous step. If it does not change from the ordinal ones, the sensor is faulty and should be replaced. Reconnect the sensor. Clear the trouble codes from the ECM memory by disconnecting the negative battery cable for at least ten seconds.

This is how to test some of the sensors on a vehicle. There are many more sensors on a car. There are other ways to test them depending on the make and model of the vehicle. When you get ready to retrieve trouble codes or test your sensors, always check the service manual for specifications and how to test your sensors.

Source by Jesse Vibbert

The Windshield Replacement Survival Guide – Consumer Auto Glass Education

Replacing Your Vehicle's Windshield? Here is Your Windshield Replacement Survival Guide.

Safety First

A vehicles windshield provides the occupants a barrier from road debris and the outside elements. But most people do not know a windshield is designed for structural safety in case of an accident, especially a rollover. A windshield is a vehicles third most important safety feature behind the seat belts, and air bags.

Windshields are like basketball backboards for air bags. So if you have a damaged windshield your air bag may not function correctly. It actually may inflate out the windshield cavity, rather than towards you. Or it will not adsorb any pressure because your windshield simply pushes out.

Most consumers are not aware that when technicians replace your windshield, there is significant scratching to the "pinchweld" where the glass bonds to the car. These scratches must be prepped using paint and rust prevention steps. They should not simply leave exposed scratches where moisture from the exterior side can cause rust to develop.

Here are some questions you should ask your auto glass company:

  • Is the new glass OEM?
  • Did they remove the brand label on the windshield?
  • Does the new glass have a shade band that matches your old glass?
  • Is the new windshield the same color glass? (Glass is actually colored, not clear)
  • Does your windshield have a rain sensor?
  • Is your windshield heated? (Companies will install non-heated and charge for heated)
  • Does the windshield have the right bracket for your rear view mirror?
  • Does the new windshield have the same third visor as your old glass? (The painted black design which you can see around the rear view mirror on most cars)
  • Are they using a universal trim molding, or the actual trim molding part for your vehicle?
  • Does the company pay to fix paint scratches, if made by the auto glass technician?

Always inspect a piece of glass for scratches and distortion before it's installed.

Types of Automotive Glass

A windshield is actually two layers of glass with a laminate material between the layers, what is called "laminated glass". Laminated glass is extremely hard to puncture or break apart. That's why a large object like a stunt man, can impact the windshield without breaking through. The strength of laminated glass combined with proper adhesion of the windshield to the body of the car provides massive strength against the roof collapsing in a rollover.

All of the other windows in your vehicle are "tempered glass", which means they break into tiny fragments to reduce injury to the occupants. (A small fraction of vehicles have laminated side and rear windows also)

Windshield Urethane

Today's vehicles use urethane as the adhesive to bond the windshield to the vehicle, like a glue. Some urethane after complete hardening which can take 2-4 weeks, can hold 500 pounds per square inch of pressure. That's one reason why you could never simply push your windshield out. Impossible! Some urethane allows you to drive away within one hour after installing the windshield, hardening just enough to withstand vehicle accidents. When your replacement has been completed, make sure to inspect the inside of your vehicle around the edge of the glass. Make sure no urethane has oozed out into view or onto your vehicles interior. This is more common then people realize and needs to be fixed immediately before the glue hardens!

The urethane is normally heated, then applied to the glass or car body at the raised temperature. Depending on where you live or the application, they can use different kinds of urethane, even a cold temperature apply that is not heated. Temperature has a huge impact on the adhesion qualities of the windshield. I would recommend never getting your windshield replaced in temperatures lower than 55 degrees, or higher than 105 for the best results if possible. This is easy if you have the glass replaced inside of a shop or in a shaded area. Direct sunlight can heat the windshield to over 125 degrees!

Urethane does have an expiration date, so make sure you ask about this before a technician begins replacing your vehicle glass. Using expired urethane means minimal bonding power and the windshield has a chance of coming out during an impact. All urethane is made with an expiration date printed on the tubes, and if they do not call someone else!

Paint Scratches, Rust, and Proper Windshield Installation

Deep vehicle scratches can turn into major problems later. Moisture will enter through a scratch and attack your vehicles body causing rust later. For people who live by the ocean, this can be disastrous for the structural integrity of your vehicle down the road near the windshield. If you are buying a used vehicle, make sure you check around the edge of the glass and under the trim molding for evidence of rust. Rust will spread under your paint, it is amazingly aggressive.

If the rust spreads to the "pinch weld" which is where the urethane is placed, the urethane will not bond and a windshield will leak or can even be pushed out. This can cause thousands of dollars in damage from water leaks or can even can cause death in an accident! If the rust moves into this area the technician must remove it before applying the urethane, or the vehicle must be sent to a body shop for repair.

Make sure the technician takes steps to prep and repair scratches to the pichweld. There is primer paints, metal rust prep chemicals, and other ways to cover scratches to reduce the appearance or spread of rust. The most important areas are where water will contact your vehicles body, especially under the exterior trim molding. That trim is not water sealed between the body and glass. The water seal comes from the urethane bead.

It is very important that you watch the installation of your vehicle glass if possible, DO NOT just walk away. If a professional technician can not perform the job while you watch, they should not be working on your vehicle and call someone else. A technician can cause significant paint scratching to your exterior paint job with improper techniques. Some even use nail polish or paint to hide the damage. Some even rub dirt into the scratch to make it look old! Ensure that the technician is using vehicle protective equipment like seat covers, floor mats, tape on the car body where it's close to the glass, and a protective mat over your hood.

Make sure the technician removes body parts like windshield wiper arms and the cowling (located beneath the wipers) are removed, if the glass edge is covered by these parts. Most technicians will simply shoot a ton of urethane under the cowling area and "stuff" the glass, sliding it into the glue and under the cowling. This is extremely unsafe! A technician does not even know if the urethane has created a proper seal, or if it is bonded safely. A proper windshield installation requires that the glass be place straight down onto the urethane bead. Also this ensures the urethane is not shot all over parts beneath the cowling like wiper assemblies and wiring.

OEM Windshields and OEM Equivalents

OEM means, original equipment manufacturer. So if your vehicle is a Honda Civic, OEM glass would be purchased from a Honda Vehicle Dealer. Auto glass installers can simply order OEM glass from the dealer. Make sure the glass has the OEM label. The windshield label which is about a square inch in size, normally is located in the lower corners of the glass. Sometimes OEM glass says the actual glass manufacturer rather than the Car Dealer name. Call your local dealer on what to look for.

A lot of auto glass companies will tell you they are installing the "OEM Equivalent" part. Because consumers do not know what to look for, most times a glass with no label or an aftermarket part is used. Do not buy a glass when the label has been etched or removed. No one knows where it came from! Always check the label.

The only scenario in which you may find an equivalent glass, is purchasing a windshield produced by the same manufacturer which produced the OEM glass. It may even be from the same production line and mold from the OEM manufacturing!

Aftermarket Automotive Windshields

Do not be fooled into thinking an aftermarket windshield is the same as an OEM glass. Aftermarket windshields are made using reverse engineering instead of the original OEM mold and production line.

Aftermarket glass tends to have more visible light distortion when viewing the glass at an angle, and the dimensions are not exactly the same as an OEM. All glass that is bent has some level distortion yes, but it is considerably worse with aftermarket manufacturing. You may even see distortion when looking straight through aftermarket glass.

Aftermarket glass is transported through different processes than OEM glass from a dealer. A lot of OEM glass is transported covered by plastic wrapping and using strict shipping techniques, and the windshield's edges are protected by foam wrapping. But Aftermarket glass is transported by much different practices. Most auto glass companies use no protection covering all surfaces of the glass for transport. And sometimes pieces of glass have been taken to customers locations and returned to the distributor or shop. So aftermarket glass has been handled many times!

Now I'm not saying aftermarket glass is unsafe or unfit to use at all. I'm simply stating the facts about the truth, for your education and insight. I feel you should be educated about this part of your vehicle which essentially protects your family on a regular basis.

Rain Sensors and Other Accessory Plugs Such as Heated Glass

If your vehicle has a rain sensor it should be located near the rear view mirror. A lot of times it looks like a circle, square or triangle. This option allows the windshield wipers to speed up or slow down depending on the amount of rain automatically. Make sure you get the same designed glass. If the rain sensor involves a gel patch, make sure the technician does not leave lots of air bubbles when installing it. Those air bubbles can cause the sensor to malfunction.

Some vehicles like a Land Rover, have plugs located under the interior a-pillar trim. On some convertibles like a newer Ford Thunderbird, a large portion of the interior may need to be diss-assembled to remove the interior a-pillar trim. On the Honda Ridgeline, the heater plug is located behind the glove box. Some new vehicles also have Lane Departure sensors located near the rear view mirror.

You can always find out what you need by calling your local dealer and giving them your VIN Identification number from your vehicle. If your car is important to you and you want to maintain the investment, always call your local dealer and ask for advice about your specific vehicle.

Windshield Shade Bands and Windshield Color

All auto glass has a shaded color. No windshields are completely clear. Typical shading colors are blue, green, bronze, and grey. Be sure sure to get the same color. You will see that all pieces of glass in your vehicle are the same color, excluding privacy glass and tinting.

A windshield may have a shade band across the top near the roof of the vehicle. This area is preferential. You should decide if you like it or not. It does tend to hide the edge of the interiors headliner when looking at the vehicle from the exterior. Shade bands do come in different colors but not all windshields

Most windshields can be ordered without a shade band at all. But you may find the part is actually more expensive because less people order it. Having a shade band does provide some shading in between your sun visors but it does little to drastically shade the sun. Take note the shade band will be darker at night.

Exterior Trim and Moldings

Your vehicle may have exterior trim or moldings cover the edge of the glass and / or covering the edge the car body. If the trim molding is just rubber, make sure you know what the technician is using to replace it. Some companies are now requiring that technicians use only a universal type aftermarket molding, rather than one that is specifically designed for your car. There should also be an OEM molding part available which is exactly the same as your original molding. Do note that cost for OEM is always more.

You may see plastic and / or metal trim moldings covering the edge of your windshield on the exterior. Normally these have some type of plastic or metal clips that attach them to the glass or vehicles body. Make sure the company replaces any broken clips or parts from removal of these parts. If your vehicle is older than 3 years, these parts become very brittle and damage easy. You may be warned about parts that always break, in which the company may request you also purchase that part ahead of time. You may find a lot of companies simply glue those parts back into place, rather than replacing the broken parts.

Vehicle Windshield Logo and VIN Window

On vehicles like a Ford Mustang and Ford F150, you may have a logo in the third visor above the rear view mirror. These windshields can be ordered with out the logo and are cheaper that way. Make sure you ask about your options.

Most windshields have a small narrow window for viewing of the VIN identification number near the lower drivers side portion of the glass. Make sure this window is in the right location on the glass. When the job is completed, make sure that glue has not covered the VIN, the VIN number plate has not been cut off, or that it has not been badly damaged. Police or the DMV will give you a hard time if the number is not legible or is completely missing from that location.

Source by Tim Lee Doyle

What Is an Auto Salvage Yard?

How do they operate? What can they offer the general public? These are just a couple of the main question people have in relation to auto salvage yards. Here in this article we will explore a bit about them.

Auto salvage yards are known by many names such as, scrap yard, junkyard, wrecking yard, wreck yard, auto recycling centre, breakers yard , to name a few of the most common names.

They operate in a fairly simple manner. When a vehicle is wrecked (light damage or beyond repair) or decommissioned from being a usable vehicle. The Junk Yard will purchase said vehicle and break the vehicle into its main component parts that are still operable. These parts are then sold on as used auto parts to the public, garages and body shops. Mostly these parts are used in repairs of other road going vehicles. The idea behind this is that the used auto parts are at a much lower cost than new parts. From the Auto Junk Yards point of view, a vehicles sum of it components are more valuable than the overall wrecked or decommissioned vehicle as a whole.

The most common and requested parts are often removed from the vehicle and stored in the salvage yards warehouse. Other more unusual parts are often left on the vehicles and removed upon request. Once a vehicle has been deemed to not have any further usable parts, the remainder is sold as scrap metal mainly to metal recycling centres. This ensures every possible part is used and all other parts are recycled. While Wrecking yards are often seen as dirty operations the overall effect is very green ensuring the most is made from waster and the remainder is sent for re-cycling.

A lot of people prefer use such an environmentally friendly system, as using used vehicle parts which are already manufactured and work to the original manufacturer’s specifications, will reduces pollution and expense.

Most Auto Wrecking Yards work on a local basis providing their goods into the local community, but some of the larger Wrecking yards will provide shipping across all the states, this is especially useful for rarer vehicle models or classic autos, where parts new or used are very hard to come by.

There are some great advantages to using used auto parts, the main one being they save you money on repairs. Give your local yard a call today.

Source by Trebor F.