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Oil Changes Made Easy
The best reason to regularly change the engine oil and filter is to prolong engine life. Contaminants in engine oil come from a variety of sources. In a gasoline engine, the oil is contaminated primarily by combustion gases seeping past the piston rings. Minute airborne particles that escape past the air filter also contribute to oil contamination. As engine components wear, more gases will slip past the rings during the compression and power cycle.
Over the past decade, gasoline-refining technology has decreased combustion pollutants, helping to reduce engine oil contaminants. Additives increase the ability of the engine oil to maintain adequate lubrication quality even when contaminated. As technology advances, the time between oil changes is lengthened. As a result, perhaps oil changes will be necessary only a few times during the life of the engine. Until then, timely oil changes, maintaining the engine and changing the air filter will help prolong engine life.
Changing the oil and filter sounds easy. However, several tricks can simplify the task. Performing the job in a set sequence with the proper tools will not only make it easier, it will also reduce the likelihood of making a mess, or worse, a costly mistake. If the procedure can be performed quickly and easily, it can be an incentive to do it regularly. There are a few supplies needed for the procedure:
- disposable gloves and paper towels
- filter wrench
- correct size socket or wrench
- seal-tight oil drain pan