Friday, June 3, 2011

How to properly service your car

Changing the oil of your car is not enough to keep it going. You have to service it which includes much more than that. Here is a step by step on how to service your car. This is how a professional would do it, so you can either do it yourself, or you can supervise that your mechanic is doing the right thing.
  1. Lift the car. Wether you have the luxury of a ramp, or a jack and jack stands. To jack up your car, look up the liftpoints in your owners manual. Once one point is lifted, place the jack stands and lift another point. You only really need to jack up the front.
  2. With a creeper, go below the car and remove any covers that might be in the way of the drain plug. Look for the oil filter and close to it you should see the oil pan, and the drain plug in the oil pan. 
  3. Remove the drain plug carefully, if the car was on the oil will be hot, which is better for better draining. Allow the oil to fall into a container.
  4. While the oil is draining from the drain plug remove the oil filter with the oil filter wrench. Again, the oil mught be hot.
  5. When the oil is done draining clean the surfaces where the oil filter and the plug seals touch the engine and screw the new filter in place, tight by hand then with the wrench about 3/4 of a turn. Then screw the plug and retighten. 
  6. Unscrew the oil cap and pour the right amount of the right oil. To know the right amount and the right oil consult your owners manual. 
  7. Once you poured the oil tighten the oil cap back on and check the following fluids:
    • Coolant (unscrew slowly it might want to boil over if it is too hot)
    • Power steering fluid
    • Windshield washer fluid
    • Brake fluid
  8. Once the above are topped up then start the engine and let run for about a minute.
  9. While the engine is running take a look at the oil filter and the plug to make sure nothing is leaking.
  10. Place any covers you took off back in place.
  11. Lower the car down.
  12. Shut the car off.
  13. Wait about 5 minutes and check the oil dipstick to make sure the oil is at the correct level. If it is a little low add about half a quart and recheck until the dipstick reads max.
  14. Turn your car back on and check that the lights are working properly. If you don't know your car, these are the basic lights any car should have:
    • Headlights
    • Brake lights (three)
    • Parking lights (four)
    • High Beams
    • Turn signals (four)
    • Reverse lights (I would say two but some newer cars like the new Jaguar XK have only one powerfull LED)
  15. Check your tire pressures, rule of thumb is 35 psi but you can check your owners manual for exact pressures.


  1. I have never read about oil changing tips to be so detailed. I am pretty amazed by what you posted here. Thanks.

  2. Oh! After reading your post, I have just known that I had some mistakes in my car service especially changing oil, Daxter Bels!

  3. 2004 Jaguar Xtype awd Why are my front brakes locking up after changing brake/rotor