Instructables
How to give your car a lube job
By Radio Sloan • Photo by Megan Holmes
Courtesy of Venus Zine

Radio Sloan, former guitarist and bassist for the late ’90s experimental queercore band the Need has a reputation as the woman who can build, take apart, or fix anything. Though she’s not a certified mechanic, she’s picked up a thing or two about car care. “I had to tour around the country with no money in a shitty van,” she says. “That’s how I learned to be a mechanic.”

Sloan is a big proponent of doing your own car repairs if you can and recommends checking your oil, transmission fluid, and brake fluid regularly to avoid surprise hassles on the road.

REQUIRED GEAR

Oil: Depending on your engine size, you will need 4 to 6 quarts. You can ask at the auto-parts store, or approximate by cylinders. For instance, a four-cylinder engine will usually take 4 to 5 quarts.

Oil filter: There are cross-reference books available in the oil filter section that will list the type of filter you will need by your car’s year, make, and model.

Oil filter wrench: I’ve used the belt from my pants many times. It’s all about leverage, but I suggest to first-timers to spend the couple bucks on a wrench to add to your collection of “the right tools for the job.”

Ratchet set or wrenches for your oil filter bolt: If your car wasn't made in the U.S., chances are it’s metric, so be sure to choose the correct size of wrench. I want to remind you that if you use a crescent wrench or something weird to try to remove the bolt, you may be opening a can of worms and might have to replace the bolt entirely if you strip it or if it keeps leaking.

Oil drainage pan: You need some sort of container to put the old oil in that slides under the car. I use old cat-litter pans.

Funnel and dipstick

Note: Assuming you have a ratchet set, your cost will be about $15 for the filter, oil, and new filter wrench.

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up