OT changing the oil

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Except for the drivers-side-rear spark plug if the car had power brakes!
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The best thing that happened to cars is unleaded gas and good long lasting plugs. Used to be we cleaned them at 5000 miles and replaced them at 10,000. That is a nearly impossible task on so many engines today, especially the rear plugs. Instead of four times a year, it is four years between changes.
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Years ago, I looked under the hood of a friend's Toyota. The spark plugs were exactly at the top of the motor. Amazingly easy to change. Now, that is good design.
I got a five spark plug change on my last truck. One time I took it to the dealership. They told me the plug was "in there kind of tight and they didn't want to break it". The next tune up, I did myself. Jack up the front, take the drivers front wheel off. Reach in with two long extension sticks. Sure enough, the spark plug was loose, and also badly worn.
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Just run it a few minutes , or let it cool so its not so hot. I think it will all drain unless its sludge and the oil has been run for 15000.
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Fascinated by this thread! I don't change oil any more either. Partly because the current thinking seems to be that newer cars really don't need the orthodox 3000-mile change. I am driving a '99 Nissan Maxima GLE.
I never heard of the "change while hot" idea! What is the "physics" behind that?
Also: Do the commercial "jiffy-lube" (avoid them!!!) type places change hot or cold?
TIA
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The theory is that changing the oil immediately after a drive, the particles of crud are still suspended in the oil. If you change it "cold" the particles have settled out. And then stay in the engine.
Drive through oil change places don't spend the time to let the oil cool. They want the most number of oil changes per working shift. They also want to sell you the air filter, oil filter, differential fluid change, transmission flush, etc.
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wrote:

The idea is that thick oils will be thinner and drain faster and more complete, also any sludge and/or impurities that can settle out while standing, will be mixed with the oil and drain out as well. It is not necessary to be really hot but to run the engine for a few minutes to warm the oil and mix it up.
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On 10/13/2010 10:24 AM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Well if you drive your car into a "jiffy lube" JOINT I'd suspect the engine to be hot.
Oil should always be drained hot. AND it should be changed every 3000 miles. Regardless of technology and quailty of oil, engines are still made of cast iron and aluminum, and oil STILL gets dirty in 3000 miles. Period.
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Steve Barker
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Your opinion. I change at 7500 miles (factory recommendation) and get 200,000 miles from engines and never an oil problem. Nothing anyone says can convince me to spend twice as much money to care for a car that does not break down under present circumstances. Severe driving conditions may modify that interval for some people
The dealer says I should get fuel injector service ($129.00) once a year also. I'd have spent thousands of dollars over the years and again, never had a fuel injector related problem either.
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In general, I'm with you Ed. It also makes a big difference if you're using conventional oil or synthetic. Porsche, for example, which specs synthetic only, recommends 15,000 mile using Mobil 1. IMO, you'd just be wasting oil and money to change it at 3,000. And I kind of doubt Porsche wants to piss off customers by having their cars fail early due to the cost of a mere oil change. Most of those oil changes are probably at the dealer anyway, so they even have an incentive to keep their dealers happy by telling people to change the oil more frequently.
It also has some relation to how long you intend to keep a car and what the usual failures are that finally send it to the scrap heap. In my personal cars and those of friends I'm familiar with, etc, I've never seen an engine failure attributable to lubrication being the final straw. A recent example, a friend just gave away his Honda CRV SUV. It had 200K+ miles on it and still ran fine. But it had a shot AC compressor and a check engine light indicating a problem with the fuel evaporation system. He decided it wasn't worth fixing and bought a new one. He just followed the normal oil change interval.
That is more the typical scenario that I see. Several things that add up to send it to the scrapper. Or maybe a transmission failure, but in my experience, it's never been a failure in the lubricated parts of the engine.
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On Thu, 14 Oct 2010 12:34:37 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Not as many these last 10 years or so - the oil quality as well as the engine design have both improved significantly. I have seen many camshaft problems that were definitely lubrication related, as well as timing chain problems and balance shaft problems (think Chrysler/Mitsbishi 2600) that were DEFINITELY lubrication related - agravated by a dicey design. Same with hundreds and hundreds of 2700cc Chrysler V6 engines. The "coking" problem with them is lubrication related, and NONE have failed with 3000 mile oil change intervals. (or synthetic oil with less than 6000 mile change intervals) The only slant six Mopar bottom end failures I've ever seen have been on engines that didn't get adequate oil changes - and they were tough to kill even then. 3.0 Mitsu/Chrysler V6 engines, with the exception of early valve guide dropping, were bulletproof if the oil was changed often enough. 400,000km and more bulletproof. I've seen them totally trashed at under 200,000 km with 10,000 mile(15,000km) oil change intervals. Toyota M engines (supra/cressida etc) only failed timing chains and camshafts on engines that ran extended oil changes or too light an oil (5W20 or 5W30 didn't quite do it at 6000km change intervals - 10W40 was.t much better.
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That's the way my 2001 LeSabre is headed. Engine is great. Everything else is going to crap though. Ac no longer works, Climate control is hot on one side, cold on the other, heated seat died at 39,000 miles (out of warranty in miles, but only 2 years) Transmission at 100,000 miles, brakes lines, both rear windows are held up with wood sticks in the door, and a few more things I don't recall at the moment. I keep it as a spare now, but I've not driven it myself in over 3 years. I'm contemplating giving it away.
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Two reasons... 1) it'll drain faster, and therefore theoretically more completely (assuming the tech removes the drain plug 1st, then removes the filter, then installs the new filter and finally the drain plug, not waiting between steps) 2) a hot liquid can dissolve more (whatevers) and also if the engine has been running recently if there's any loose gunk in there it will be more likely to be still in suspension rather than settled to the bottom of the pan.
So basically, the oil drains faster/more completely, and brings more crap with it when it does drain.

They'll change it however the car is when it is pulled into the bay.
nate
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On Wed, 13 Oct 2010 08:24:03 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

minutes later you drive out. It's hot - count on it.
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I'd think to change the oil when you get back from a trip some whre. Store, pick up the kids, etc. Lift the hood, wait about ten minutes. Use those ten minutes to jack up the vehicle, put the jackstands under. The exhaust is fairly thin metal, and will rapidly cool down. You can also use a spray bottle and put a little water on the exhaust.
I've heard that change the oil hot is the way to go.
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Christopher A. Young
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Smitty Two wrote:

I have two Toyotas, a 4-cylinder Camry and a 6-cylinder Sienna. I also have a 4-cylinder Escort. The two Toyotas have the oil filter mounted above the engine where it makes it easy to remove it without spilling oil all over the place. The Escort's oil filter is mounted underneath/side and has no room to get it out without tipping it sideways which makes oil spill all over the place. At least the Toyota's design allows some of the oil to drain back out. Just make sure you stuff some rags at the base of the filter to catch what little oil does drip out so you won't have to stick your hands deep inside to wipe it off.
I suspect you have the 6-cylinder Toyota and I also cursed the engineer who put the filter underneath the heat shield of the headers. The solution is to just remove the heat shield for good or during the time you are changing the oil. There are only 3 bolts I believe. Mine has been sitting in the garage for years now.
Another good idea is to get the type of oil wrench that is a cap that fits over the top of the oil filter and you can then use a socket extension to undo the filter. Your hands needn't ever get near the headers. If you want to change your oil hot or cold it won't matter anymore, you have plenty of access.
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Smitty Two wrote:

This is what I have. First one on page. https://www.matcotools.com/Catalog/toolcatalog.jsp?cattype=T&cat !25&page=4&#30291
I have never needed another oil filter wrench despite how many cars I've owned.
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It'd been about 14 years since I last changed my own oil on a vehicle, but I bought this truck as a "toy" mostly for hauling a camper around, and I decided to do it myself.
It's got the 8.1L big block in it, and that baby gets HOT.
Knowing full well that I was going to burn the *living fuck* out of my hands if I let it run and get hot, I started it up and let it run for only two minutes. Just to stir up the oil and get it circulating.
The oil was nice and cool, and it ran out of the engine fine. It's only 5W30, and it runs like water even cold.
On the other hand, the exhaust manifold was hot already, and I STILL burned the shit out of my hand, and dumped the filter full of oil on the ground trying to juggle it out of the nest of exhaust pipes.
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<stuff snipped>
<The oil was nice and cool, and it ran out of the engine fine. It's only 5W30, and it runs like water even cold.
On the other hand, the exhaust manifold was hot already, and I STILL burned the shit out of my hand, and dumped the filter full of oil on the ground trying to juggle it out of the nest of exhaust pipes.>
I have a 12" oscillating fan mounted on an old photographic light stand that I use to keep cool when working on cars (well, when I *used* to!). I used that, aimed at the heat shield on my Honda and after five minutes of directed ventilation it cooled enough to avoid BTSOOYH. You can probably just position a desk fan in the compartment to do the same.
Whenever I skipped that crucial step, even in winter, I was almost certain to burn myself, spill oil on the hot piping or both. Most of the time it was both. That shield gets red hot very, very quickly but fortunately cools down quickly as well. Now I'd use an IR beam thermometer to make sure it had cooled down enough.
The problem with manifold burns is that your hand jerks away reflexively from the first burn site only to hit another hot pipe and maybe even a third before you get your hand out clean. BT,DT. I call it a "pinball" burn.
If I were still doing my own brakes, oil etc. I would now spring for one of those portable, personal A/Cs they use to cool down movie stars. But alas, arthritis has beaten me down and twisting wrenches is a little too much. Unfortunately, it's sometimes just as painful, mentally, to watch some moron at Gippy Lube cross threads on a drain plug, use the wrong filter, forget the aluminum washer, etc. but there's not much choice. I've seriously thought of rigging a small video cam in the hood lid like 20-20 does when they are out to catch Turnpike Repair Ripoffs.
I did, however, just buy a diagnostic code reader on Ebay for $25. Although I won't do any of the work myself I think it's a great idea to know why the MIL (multipurpose indicator lamp) is lit before I take it in for service. (Actually, I think it's the locking gas cap I put on that's triggering the Check Engine light . . .)
Unfortunately, for power train warranty purposes, a lot of dealers/manufacturers word their warranties so that you almost always have to take it to a dealer at some point to avoid having a warranty fight if there's a serious problem.
It's a catch-22. If you know nothing about cars, you always have a nagging suspicion that you're often getting sub-par and unnecessary work at over-inflated rates. After you've done your own repairs for 40 years (starting as "tool fetcher and lamp holder" for my Dad) then you KNOW you're getting ripped off!
My two favorites? The black female mechanic at Sears who stripped the lug bolts off my car's front wheels by "tightening" them until they broke. She and the service manager had the audacity to come over and say "all your lug bolts are stripped out in the front" and tried to charge me for them. The bolts were still almost too hot to hold and the wrench was still set to tighten and I got a 15% discount on the tires I was buying for pointing that out to the manager. I should have pushed them for a bigger cut, in retrospect because when I got home I began to wonder how many replacement bolts they sold in an average day. They HAD to know, or at least the service manager did. I doubt their mechanic even knew what day it was.
The second auto repair incident was a small shop that normally was great but called me up to insist it would cost $100 to remover the bumper on my '90 Prelude to change the fog lamp bulb. The worst part was how HARD they argued with me that they were right. I faxed them the page from the shop manual that showed how to do it (it wasn't hard, I had done it before myself) and never went back there. I might expect having to pull a bumper to replace a Triumph or Jaguar fog lamp, but by the '90s the Japanese had pretty much eliminated that sort of idiot maintenance BS.
I didn't mind them making a mistake as much as I minded them telling me *repeatedly* I was wrong with incredible determination. And not just the mechanic, but the service manager, too. It obviously meant I couldn't trust their estimating and problem analysis skills anymore so I moved on.
I like smaller shops, but they are sometimes have very limited access to good, detailed technical information for each car. Worse, still, nowadays they big car maker designs are "locking out" the small shops that can't possibly afford all the diagnostic and special tools required to service modern autos.
The one thing good about dealers is that they know all the damn tricks about how to remove something (especially interior trim pieces) without breaking off the tiny plastic tabs that hold so much stuff in place on modern cars.
Even when a dealer knows the magic buttons, sometimes failures are just bad design or poor material choices. I replaced three A/C control knobs on my old '80 Prelude before I realized they were all made at about the same time and the plastic holding the knob together had become very brittle on all of them. Finally replaced it with a far less attractive but much more functional salvaged Radio Shack stereo knob that happened to fit and didn't rely on two tiny pieces of brittle plastic to hold it on the shaft. Looked funky but did the job and didn't cost anything (compared to the outrageous prices Honda charged for their "pre-failed" knobs).
-- Bobby G.
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