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THE MECHANICS OF CHANGING OIL| WITH KALASH TULADHAR

Mr. Kalash Ratna Tuladhar is a graduate from the Minnesota State University in Automotive Engineering Technology. He formerly worked for MV Agusta and Bikers Nepal as the Head of after sales. Currently he is planning to open his own workshop “Iron Monk Moto” at Gairidhara, Kathmandu.

It may seem that an oil change is a complicated job, but like the name it’s just that; an oil change. Remove dirty used oil from engine, pour in fresh oil with a new filter, ta-da you’ve just done your first oil change. Although the job isn’t very complicated and just about any one that is good with a wrench can get this job done, and trust me there is very little in the world that is as satisfying as working on your own vehicle, at least for me. So for all you DIYers out there that want to change oil at home, here are some steps and tips to get it done properly.

TOOLS REQUIRED

A good quality socket set (metric or standard
sizes depending on your motorcycle)

A screwdriver (Phillips or Flathead depending on
the fasteners used)

A pair of paddock stands (if a double stand is not
on the motorcycle)

A jack and a set of jack stands (for cars)

A funnel

A measuring can

A pair of latex gloves

A pair of safety glasses

Required amount of oil (read owner’s manual for
oil specifications)

An oil filter

Oil filter removing tool

A container to catch used oil from the engine

A container to store used oil that is leak free

Rags to clean things along the way

With all the required items in front of you, take a look at your vehicle around the engine area. Look for leaks from the sides of the engine or cracks on the engine. If you see any leaks or find that there is no oil inside the engine, please go to your nearest repair shop and have it fixed, oil leaks create a lot of problems real fast and cost a lot if found at the later stages. If everything looks good, it is safe to proceed with the oil change procedure.

Always wash your vehicle before working on it, to get rid of dirt and debris that might get in to critical engine components while changing engine components. Be sure to wash the bottom of the engine too so that the engine oil drain bolt is visible. Doing this also helps you get an idea of where the drain bolt, the oil filter, and the oil filler cap is located.

Once you find all three of these, fire up the engine and let it idle for a few minutes to get the oil warmed up and easy to exit.

Now that your engine is warmed up (CAUTION: never touch a hot engine, serious burns will occur, the engine should be warm to the touch), position the vehicle in such a way that you have easy access to the drain bolt and the filter by using jacks and stands as necessary

With a socket that fits snuggly on the drain bolt, use a ratchet to get it loosened up, once loosened place a container wide enough below the drain or a funnel underneath the drain and place the end of the funnel into the container. Remove bolt and washer while letting the old oil drain into the container. (Physics tip: Open the filler cap to help drain the oil faster).

Some drain bolts have magnets attached on the end of the bolts to catch metal shavings, inspect the magnet for unusual item and wipe off clean if normal.

To remove canister style filters, turn counter clockwise to remove, whereas internal filters require the removal of an oil filter cover, held in place by 2 or more bolts. During removal of the filter, a few more millilitres of oil will drain out, be ready with the container to catch it.

Wipe off any oil that might have run off on to the engine surface or on the exhaust pipe.

Wipe the mating surface of the oil filter clean of any debris to get a good seal when the new filter goes in place. Canister style oil filters require oil to be applied on the rubber O-ring gasket, and some oil filters require the oil filter to be pre-filled before installation (be sure to read the directions on the manual or on the oil filter).

Hand tighten the canister filter snuggly until you can’t turn it anymore. For internal oil filters make sure that the mating surfaces are clean and the gaskets are in working condition, if not then replace them.

After the filter is done being tightened, replace the drain bolt along with the washer and tighten to its recommended torque specification. Do not over tighten the drain bolt, as the oil pan where the drain bolt sits can crack if over tightened.

Put a funnel (if required) on the oil filler and fill the engine with the required amount of oil. Sit the vehicle upright and look at the sight glass or dip stick, to make sure the oil is in between the high and low marks.

Start the engine and let it idle for about 3 minutes meanwhile checking for any leaks from the filter and drain bolts. After shutting off the engine and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes, recheck oil level and refill as required to bring oil back to level.

Once the level is correct and no leaks are present, the oil change is complete. Repeat the oil change at the recommended intervals mentioned by the manufacturer. Happy riding, until next time. Adios!

Words by- Kalash Tuladhar

Photos by- Gaurav Xhompate Sunuwar

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