A car is like a baby that would never grow old which means you always have to take care of your car from time to time whether you drive it or not. Women are mostly the gender that takes care of babies because they have a more direct relationship with a baby while men are the ones that mostly take care of cars all over the world but there is no reason for that. It is just how it has been for a long time.
When you take care of your car well, it makes you smile all the time
I saw something weird last week that caught my attention, I saw a lady in the Surulere area of Lagos and how she services her car herself in Nigeria, which helps her save ₦15,000 every 3 months caught my attention and curiosity. It was shocking because this lady isn't a professional mechanic, she is just a banker that owns a 2013 Toyota Corolla, one of the most popular cars in Nigeria
She was rounding up when I saw her, so I walked up to her and asked why she was servicing her car herself and she said 'why not? is it not just an oil change?'. An oil change is a keyword she used that made me decide that this was going to be an article I would put out for every Nigerian to read.
Today, we are talking about how you can do car servicing by yourself in your house. If you know about how much it costs to maintain a car in Nigeria, you'd agree that saving ₦15,000 - ₦25,000 every three months makes a lot of sense.
How to do car servicing by yourself at home?
Car servicing is the term given to the routine maintenance on a car that is meant to be done on a car after every 4,000 to 5,000 KMs mileage because every car needs a refresh of some certain supplies within this period.
Servicing a car keeps it running for a long time
An oil change is a term given to the simplest form of car servicing where only the engine oil and oil filter will be replaced on the car so it can be refreshed for another cycle of work.
How Often Should You Service your car?
We are focusing on the oil change aspect of servicing today and what would determine when to service your car is the type of oil you use.
If you drive a car that requires synthetic engine oil, you should service your car every 6 months or every 5,000 Kms but if you drive a car that requires mineral/regular oil, you should service your car every 3,000 KMs.
When you monitor your car's mileage, you would know when to service
You would know the type of oil your car needs by reading the owners manual or just checking the write up on the engine oil cap cover under the bonnet of your car.
However, a lot of modern cars today have a meter that calculates the oil life of your car and it flashes a service reminder when it is due for service
Maintenance light lets you know when you need to service your car
Before I talk about how to service your car by yourself, you should understand that the beginning of a good experience with your car as it ages is that you must always use the required oil needed to service it every time. Know this and know peace.
How to Service your Car by Yourself at Home?
In servicing your car by yourself at home, you must make sure that you plan to do only the oil change. Any other form of servicing like brake pad replacement, suspension inspection, engine inspection e.t.c should be done by a professional automobile technician.
There has been a rise in the number of female mechanics in Nigeria, that's so good to know
An oil change is not very technical, this is why you can do it at home by yourself.
What you will be needing?
- The required quantity of engine oil and specification
- The authentic oil filter
- A Spanner that can unscrew your oil pan bolt
- A Chainspanner that can loosen your oil filter
- A Bowl to collect engine oil
- A jack (maybe) in case you need to raise the car
- 15 minutes of free time with maximum focus
This is what a Chain-Spanner and Oil Filter looks like
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If you have all these 7 things, then you are ready to do your first oil change by yourself in your house. I will highlight the fastest and best step to take when doing car servicing by yourself.
Step 1: Make sure that your car is cool
The car must be cool so that the oil you are about to spill won't burn your hand. In fact, it is best to service a car you haven't driven at all in 10 hours so that all the specks of dirt in the oil would have settled at the bottom level of the oil storage area.
Step 2: Park the Car Properly
Park the car somewhere that can accommodate little oil spill or somewhere that can easily be cleaned in case there is an oil spill
Step 3: Losen the Oil Sump Bolt
The oil sump is the part under the car that houses the engine oil you pour in a car. The oil sump is just beneath the engine and mostly always under the car.
Also called a drain plug; you have to loosen it with a spanner to drain oil
The Oil Sump has a bolt usually size '12-14' locking the oil from pouring out as you drive. You have to find this bolt and loosen it while the container is around the area so that it can take the engine oil siping out as you loosen the bolt.
This bolt must be loosened very fast so that you don't stain your hand with the engine oil sipping out.
If your car is very close to the ground, you might need to jack up the car to access the oil sump.
Step 4: Unscrew the Oil Filter
The Oil Filter is a cylindrical metal case that is attached to a part of your engine. It could be under the car or somewhere around the engine to look at the engine from the bonnet.
Find out where your oil filter is and use a chain spanner to loosen it out completely.
This is how you unscrew your oil filter
Remember that the engine oil is still sipping out through the oil sump.
Step 5: After 10 minutes of oil sipping, bolt the sump & oil filter
After 10 minutes of the oil dripping out to the collecting container, bolt the oil sump tightly and also screw in the new oil filter and make sure it locks properly.
Make sure the old oil drips out completely before tightening the drain plug
Once you do these two things, you can take out the container under the car.
Step 6: Pour the new engine oil
Now, you will pour the engine oil into the engine by using a funnel through the engine top.
When you pour the new engine oil, always make sure you are steady so it won't waste
You will see an engine oil cap cover, open it and pour the engine oil until the dipstick shows that it has properly gauged.
Step 7: Start the car and let it run
When you have gauged the oil with the dipstick and you have confirmed that is it perfect, start up the car and let it run for about 10 minutes.
Step 8: Tell yourself congrats
You have successfully performed an oil change in your car and it deserves a celebration.
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The fact that you can carry out an oil change on your own does not mean you have to disperse your mechanic's role in the life of your car. There are some check-ups and inspections that only a professional can carry out.
Now that you know how to do car servicing by yourself in Nigeria and saves ₦15,000 every 3 months, you can plan to carry out an oil change on a car, you might have few questions. If you have any questions, you can always send us an E-Mail and we would be happy to help.
Having said that, you should check out our website Naijauto.com for more tips and advice on anything car related in Nigeria.
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