You’re nearly done changing the engine oil and cleaning up after yourself, but did you change the filters? CLICK HERE if you missed the beginning of this article covering more basic maintenance of your vehicle.
Basic maintenance with motor oil tip No. 4: Clean the pan plug
This is for those of you who change your vehicle’s oil yourself. The oil pan drain plug and washer become very dirty over time. Some plugs are also magnetized, which means that loose metal particles will become attached. Wipe all of this off each time you change your oil.
Basic maintenance with motor oil tip No. 5: Don’t get all heavy on me
What motor oil viscosity grade should you use? That depends upon the climate in which you live and the type of driving you do, for the most part. But you should still consult the owners manual. Lighter grades of motor oil (lower viscosity) like SAE 5W-30 make starts easier and hold up better to cold weather. Heavier grades like 10W-40 aren’t good in the cold.
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Basic maintenance with filters and valves tip No. 1: Change those filters
Your vehicle has several important filters, from oil and fuel to transmission and air. Each is important in maintaining function of your car’s engine, and should be changed over a time frame dictated by the manufacturer. With the oil filter, change with every other oil change, if not every change. If you’re changing the engine oil yourself, wipe the filter threads with anti-seize lubricant from your local auto shop With the air filter, check every two months, or when you take the car in for a tune-up. If they aren’t too dirty, blow it clean with compressed air. Otherwise, swap it out. With the fuel filter, change it once per year, even if someone has told you it never needs changing. If the filter becomes clogged, the engine will hiccup and become more difficult to start, a sure sign of gas tank corrosion. With the transmission filter, change after the first 5,000 miles of driving, then every 25,000 miles or two years thereafter, as you would with the fluid. If you have a manual transmission, up the latter number to 50,000
Basic maintenance with filters and valves tip No. 2: Take care with your PCV valve
What does your car’s PCV valve do? The positive crankcase ventilation valve helps control emissions on older vehicles by recirculating partially burned gases from the crankcase to the combustion chamber, ultimately cutting down on buildup that can cause corrosion. If your car has one (check the manual), you’ll want to change it every 30,000 miles or so. Be very careful to use the exact kind of PCV valve recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer, or you can hurt the engine.
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