Engine Oil Change
Oil changes are simple and straightforward and can be undertaken by anyone who is prepared to get their hands dirty. Many owners find it very rewarding to carry out their own basic servicing. If you can do some maintenance yourself, the saving you make on labour costs will allow you to service your classic more regularly, and buy the best service parts and oil available.
To drain the old oil you will need to be able to get access to the underside of the engine. To get at the sump drain plug you will have to raise the car, either by driving it up a pair of service ramps, or by jacking it up with a hydraulic trolley jack (capable of lifting one and half tons or more) and then supporting the car on a pair of purpose built axle stands.
- One UK Gallon of Engine Oil (approx 4.5 L)
- Oil filter
- Drain plug washer
- Hand cleaner
Always use a good quality oil, putting cheap oil in your classic is a false economy. To ensure the best possible running and to prolong engine life, always use the correct grade of oil as specified in the handbook. Leading oil manufactures have now re-introduced formulations specifically for your classic MG.
The early MGB engine has a canister type oil filter with a renewable element, later models had a screw on cartridge type filter. Make sure you buy the correct oil filter for your engine and that it is made to the original specification.
- Drain plug socket or spanner
- Oil filter wrench
- Quality jack
- Axle stands
- Service ramps
- Oil filler can
- Waste oil container
Service ramps are ideal, but you must take great care when positioning the car as you attempt to drive the car up. If the surface is not absolutely flat the ramps are inclined to lose grip and slip forward. Once the car is safely up on the ramps, put on the handbrake, remove the keys from the ignition and then engage gear.
Oil changes can be messy but by careful preparation you can avoid getting oil all over the drive-way or the DIY mechanic. Put down plenty of newspaper on the drive to soak up the inevitable spillage. Wear old clothes or overalls when carrying out an oil change. It is also essential to have a supply of rags to wipe up any excess oil and keep your hands clean. It is worth buying a quality hand-cleaner to make a thorough job of cleaning your hands after the job is completed.
It is essential to dispose of waste oil correctly. Every local household waste recycling centre has free facilities for the safe disposal of waste oil. Once the old oil has been drained it can be put into a suitable container and taken to a recycling centre and emptied there into a collection tank. Oil must never, under any circumstances, be poured into drains, burnt or buried in the garden. All these practices are illegal and it is quite unnecessary to risk prosecution in this way, because disposal is free at any recycling centre. In some parts of the country certain local garages are also offering waste oil collection points.
Engine Oil Change Procedure
This article first appeared in Enjoying MG Magazine