An oil change is one of the most routine kinds of maintenance you can perform on your car. And unless you've learned to change your own oil, you most likely bring your vehicle into a mechanic or car dealership to have this service performed by a professional. Have you ever thought about what your car's oil change actually entails, though? Be a better-informed car owner by learning more about the four basic steps that go into a standard oil change.
Checking Fluid Levels
The first thing a mechanic will likely want to do is make note of the current mileage on your car and check the current fluid. By noting your car's mileage, the mechanic will be able to generate an estimated mileage or date for your next scheduled service appointment. When checking fluids, the mechanic will pull out the dipstick that sits in your car's oil. From there, a small sample of the liquid will be transferred to a clean cloth to check its color and other qualities. This can tell the mechanic a lot about how long it's been since your car's oil was changed and the type of oil used.
Draining the Existing Oil
Next, your car's old oil will be drained out from underneath your car. This is typically done by parking your car in a service bay, where mechanics can have easy access to the oil pan from a pit underneath your vehicle. In some shops, your car may instead be raised using a hydraulic platform to complete this task.
Replacing the Oil Filter
Another important aspect of an oil change is swapping out your car's old oil filter with a fresh one. This is important because the oil filter plays an important role in removing debris and other impurities from the oil before it makes its way to the engine itself. A fresh filter with each oil change can help your car run more smoothly and protect your engine.
Adding New Oil
Last but not least, your car will be topped off with fresh motor oil. The specific type will vary based on your car manufacturer's exact recommendations as well as your own preferences. Once your oil is changed, your mechanic will also reset your vehicle's on-board oil-life indicator (if your car is equipped with one), and you'll be good to go.
Now that you have a better idea of what goes into your routine oil change service, you can also have a better appreciation for the mechanics who keep your car's engine running smoothly.