How to do an Oil Change
Frederick the Frog demonstrates how to do an oil change. The page is aimed at Renault 4 owners, but should apply to some extent to most classic cars. Frederick has also written a page showing what happens if you don't change your oil.
Filling with new oil
The Renault 4 oil capacity is about 3 liters. Fill the engine until the level reaches the maximum mark on the dipstick. Then run the engine for a minute. Let the engine stand (to allow the oil to drain back to the sump), and top up the oil if necessary. This allows the oil filter to fill with oil.
Finally check the sump plug and oil filter for leaks. If the filter leaks it either has dirt under the mounting or isn't tight enough. If the drain plug leaks then probably the copper sealing ring needs to be replaced.
Oil Change Intervals
The Renault handbook suggests changing the oil every 5,000 miles, and the oil filter every 10,000 miles. This seems reasonably sensible advice, although I normally change the filter with every oil change. They aren't expensive. Neglecting oil changes can lead to oil sludge and a scrap engine.
Which oil to use?
Back in the days when Renault 4s were built the only oil available was 20/50. That oil is still available, and is available from motor factors for less than £5 per gallon. That's cheaper than petrol!
Modern cars are built to extremely tight tolerances and use thin oil. This could cause the Renault 4 engine to run at a lower oil pressure, which could be an issue for an older engine.
Disposing of waste oil
Waste oil is nasty stuff (that's why we can't have scrap yards any more). In the UK the local tip will normally have a container for waste engine oil. Don't pour it down the drain! It's illegal, will kill the fishies and also block the drain.
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