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Stupid Oil Change Questions.


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#1 richardc316

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:41 PM

I'm planning on doing my first solo oil change on my old mark 2 mondeo at the weekend and I've got a couple of stupid questions.

I'm using ramps to give me better access to the underside of the vehicle, firstly, should you remove the oil filler cap before you start draining the old oil? Does it make any difference?

Second question, once i've drained the oil and changed my filter, I'm going to want to reverse the car off the ramps before filling up with fresh oil. Is is ok to start the car and reverse it off the ramps when the car doesn't have any oil in it? or will such a short move not cause a problem?

Thannks in adavance, any other tips would be welcome.

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#2 stef123

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 06:04 PM

I'm planning on doing my first solo oil change on my old mark 2 mondeo at the weekend and I've got a couple of stupid questions.

I'm using ramps to give me better access to the underside of the vehicle, firstly, should you remove the oil filler cap before you start draining the old oil? Does it make any difference?

Second question, once i've drained the oil and changed my filter, I'm going to want to reverse the car off the ramps before filling up with fresh oil. Is is ok to start the car and reverse it off the ramps when the car doesn't have any oil in it? or will such a short move not cause a problem?

Thannks in adavance, any other tips would be welcome.

removing the oil cap doesn't really have much effect but i tend to remove it first if i remember

 

don't start the engine up without any oil in it, you risk causing unnecessary damage



#3 btmaldon

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:03 PM

Make sure you change the oil filter and I would also change the sump nut washer as well.

#4 BigD

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 09:51 PM

removing the oil cap doesn't really have much effect but i tend to remove it first if i remember

That isn't strictly true.

 

If you remove the filler cap, air will enter the system from the top as the oil drains out of the bottom.  If you don't do that, the air will try to get in the via the drain hole as the oil is flowing out, causing a 'glugging' effect like when you hold a bottle of water upside down.  It can be a messy enough job as it is, without adding the extra risk of more oil splashing everywhere.

 

Oh, about the ramps - find out how much your car needs, and put in that amount minus about half a litre.  That way you can start the car, reverse it off the ramps, then top it up correctly.  Don't let the car run for longer than necessary though, otherwise you won't get an accurate reading off the dipstick and could end up over-filling.



#5 stef123

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 09:54 PM

That isn't strictly true.
 
If you remove the filler cap, air will enter the system from the top as the oil drains out of the bottom.  If you don't do that, the air will try to get in the via the drain hole as the oil is flowing out, causing a 'glugging' effect like when you hold a bottle of water upside down.  It can be a messy enough job as it is, without adding the extra risk of more oil splashing everywhere.


Maybe so on some cars but any car I have changed the oil on and left the cap on I have never had any glugging issues.

#6 jeebowhite

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:15 AM

I would personally undo the cap and let the air in through the top, just as best practice really, Stef hasnt had any problems, but it would be my personal preference...

 

As for the reversing, I would say best not. Unless you are just going to handbrake off, roll the car in neutral and then top up with fresh juice on the tarmac?



#7 stef123

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:27 AM

I would personally undo the cap and let the air in through the top, just as best practice really, Stef hasnt had any problems, but it would be my personal preference...
 
As for the reversing, I would say best not. Unless you are just going to handbrake off, roll the car in neutral and then top up with fresh juice on the tarmac?


As you say, but I do occasionally forget and by the time im under the car I'm not getting back out to remove the cap lol. Air will be able to get in through breathers anyway which is probably why I have never had any glugging issues.

#8 FOCA

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:48 PM

Hi,   The engine has crankcase breather/s so when the oil comes out the bottom, it is replaced by air and a vaccum is not created, a mechanic/ fast fit "tech" may remove the filler cap so the oil drains quicker, depending on the design it may not make a difference to the speed the oil comes out or "glugging" etc, it may come out at the same speed with/ without "glugging" either way.  

 

Here is what i woul do-   Warm the car up so the oil is thinner, (you can also get additives to add to oil to clean it out before an oil change- not essential)  drive the car forwards onto the ramps for easiar access, turn the engine off (and on no account start it untill it is refilled with oil) - find a nice flat area with plenty of space at the front to work, make sure it is not in an exposed/ dangerous place, especially the front when you are under the car. now you have the front up get the back up untill it is level, borrow jacks/ axle stands if nessesary, i favor heavy-duty trolly jacks rather than smaller ones/ or bottle jacks/ or the flimsy one you get with the car, (which can be dangerous IMO) but at least its jacking the (realatively light) back, not the front (with the engine)  

 

The car has to be level(ish) to get an accurate reading of the dipstick and for the oil to drain right     With the car up don't let kids near it or anyone inside the car, have someone else stand guard or block the car you are working on with another car if nessesary.   You can get special oil drain cans, that are designed for draining/ changing oil, have it ready before loosening the sump nut, often "modern" cars have massive sumps/ oil capaciities, more than a "drain can", have a second container ready, just in case,   It is easy to drop/ spill oil removing it or refilling, spillmarks on tarmac or concrete can be visible for years,(wife/ etc won't be impressed) oil can kill grass/ plants and poison topsoil, best to put a plastic sheet/ DPM (builders' damp proof membrane)/ tarpaulin down, even some large black plastic bin liners are better than nothing, just in case, and old rags disposable paper towels to clean up any spillage, best to dress in old rags too, including old shoes, and if you live in a house with white/ new carpets, leave them at the door, oil is hard to come off,  

 

The drain plug is usually magnetic and it can collect swarf, you should clean any off, if there is a lot, the engine may be exessively worn, often the drain plug has a copper or soft metal gasket, or a rubber o-ring, refer to your manual as to whether this needs to be changed   The oil filter can be of various different types, the traditional can - type one can be hard to come off, you can get a special tool to remove it, old skool mechanics would sometimes just hammer a skrewdriver in it to use as a lever, sometimes the wrong filter is supplied/ delivered, thats bad then - as the old one could not be re-used, a dodgy trich was to clean the old filter to look !Removed! it was new.

 

Some cheap pattern filters can restrict oil flow/ cause low oil pressure - best with a genuine Ford or quality brand   You should turn the drain plug by hand so you dont cross the threads, then ideally use a torque wrench to tighten it to the correct torque, if you dont have one, use your jugement, too tight and you strip the thrads, to loose it may leak/ loosen off.  

 

Once you have the new filter and drain plug back on,  you can fill it with the new oil, >>>The secret of not spilling is to take your time pouring it/ and holding the can on its side<<< if you spill any wipe it straight away as it can contaminate belts/ drip on the ground, find out the capacity before hand and make sure you have enough, oil can come in 4- litre cans and you may neet 2 - try and judge how much you pot in vs capacity, put in a little less than you thing you need and  take your time pouring it, keep an eye on the dipstick/ level, be careful as there can be a delay between pouring/ the level going up -  old oil is black and easy to read, new/ freshly poured oil can be hard to see/ read on the dipstick, try and get it into the middle of the dipstick - when you start the engine the oil level can drop as the oil is pumped into the "galleries" etc,(so the level can go up/ down) if the car is left overnight for the level to settle the oil level should not go above the high level on the dipstick -  the level shoud never go above the high level (can cause blown seals etc) or below the lowest level (can cause exessive engine wear),

 

  Please dispose of your old oil responsibly, (its toxic to plants etc) stick it into a suitable container (not your oil "drain" can, youll need that for next time) and take it to a recycling centre etc, and not pour it down the drain etc  

 

Things can go wrong - bolts/ filters can sieze, the wrong filter could be ordered, it could take much longer than expected, best to do it when you have time to spare and not an our before work/ that important meeting etc   i think ive covered just about everything

 

Took a while to write and never saw other posts eg "breathers" etc - i concur with the air going through the breathers etc       



#9 stef123

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:46 PM

Very informative post, can't argue with that.

Nice one FOCA.

#10 jeebowhite

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:51 PM

Good writeup there FOCA.

 

I think its a fair idea to use a LARGE funnel as you start to pour the oil in, its gluggling and spreading could be caught by the funnels wider shape and may help to stop the risk of contamination.



#11 richardc316

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 04:25 PM

Thanks for all the responses guys, and especially to FOCA for that epic answer! they've been very helpful.  

I will take the cap off and I think i'll fill up with most of the oil while still on the ramp then reverse off and top up as neccessary as BigD suggested. I tried to buy a new washer, but I had to buy the bolt as well as they don't sell them seperate! Cost 7 quid! :-O but I got it anyway, better to be safe than sorry I suppose.



#12 FOCA

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 05:05 AM

Very informative post, can't argue with that.

Nice one FOCA.

 

Jeebowhite :- "good writeup there FOCA."

 

 

 

FOCA :-

Thanks for that,  it turned out to be a bit longer than expected!  



#13 BigD

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:19 PM

Thanks for all the responses guys, and especially to FOCA for that epic answer! they've been very helpful.  

I will take the cap off and I think i'll fill up with most of the oil while still on the ramp then reverse off and top up as neccessary as BigD suggested. I tried to buy a new washer, but I had to buy the bolt as well as they don't sell them seperate! Cost 7 quid! :-O but I got it anyway, better to be safe than sorry I suppose.

Before you do the oil change, take the new sump plug to your local motor factors and ask them for one the same - that's what I did.  Bought one from Fraud which cost a ruddy fortune for what it was, then went to motor spares shop and got two more of the exact same thing for less than £1.50 each.



#14 DanGersFord

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:09 PM

Also make sure you use oil to the correct ford specification. Ford normally recommends 5W 30 A1. Check your owners manual for the right specification for your car. Some oils even though they say 5W 30 aren't suitable for Ford cars

#15 richardc316

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 01:50 PM

Thanks for all your help guys, I did it on saturday and everything went well. I actually work for a ford main dealer (in the office, don't know much about cars) so I got all the parts inc oil from here so they certainly should be the correct stuff.



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