That time has come again. I need to change the oil on the car as another 10,000 kilometres has flown by. So, I got online and ordered replacement oil, a replacement oil filter, and a replacement air filter.
I recommend changing your coolant when you change your oil, but seeing as I changed the coolant just a few weeks ago when my radiator broke, I skipped it this time.
I used MANN filters and Aral 10W-40 motor oil (as recommend by the Suzuki manual) for this basic service. In case you’re wondering, the replacement part numbers are:
Oil filter: MANN W 610/1
Air filter: MANN C 2448
Oil: Aral Bluetronic 10W-40 (4 litres)
I saw very cheap Chinese-made filters on the internet, but for peace of mind I chose German and European made oil and filters which I bought online from Damo Slovakia. In the photo you can also see a bottle of “Super Rost Killer” which I bought for a bit of pre-winter anti-rust prevention which I’ll apply in a few weeks.
I want to add that Damo Slovakia was very good to deal with. Sometimes Slovak companies don’t have very good customer service, but Damo was fast, cheap, and easy. They even called to apologise that there would be a delay on the oil, giving me the option of a different brand. Very thoughtful. Also, the courier delivery fee was only €1.80! I’m impressed and I’ll definitely use them again.
Once you’ve turned off the engine and safely raised the car we’ll have a look at the two things we’ll be removing. The red circle is the old oil filter and the blue circle is the oil sump bolt. When you’re ready, you’ll unscrew both of these and whether you like it or not, lots of oil will come out!
Once your engine has cooled to a safe temperature, remove the oil cap on the top of the engine and place it somewhere. With the oil cap removed, there won’t be any resistance stopping the oil from pouring out underneath.
Have a look at the dipstick while you’re there. It’s a long thing with a yellow handle. Pull it all the way out then wipe off the oil on it. Then, put it back into it’s hole for a couple of seconds, and pull it out again. Check where the oil level is. It should be somewhere between the top and bottom marker holes, preferably in the middle. In my case there was too much oil in the car.
Make sure you have a big oil collection tray under the car, because the slimy black oil is going to come out – and come out fast – when you undo that oil sump bolt!
Right, here comes the potentially messy part. Make sure your oil collection container is in the path of the oil flow. As you can see, the bolt is aimed towards the back of the car which means the oil will flow out in that direction. Are you sure you’ve got the container in the right place? If not, it could mean a lot of scrubbing the garage floor afterwards!
See what I mean? The oil flows out at quite an angle, so make sure your tray is aligned properly. Also, almost 4 litres of oil is going to come out, so make sure your tray is big enough!
Once that oily torrent has turned into a drip, it’s time to unscrew the oil filter. This is another messy job, so make sure you have the ground covered with many layers of newspaper. I mean it, don’t underestimate how messy this next part is.
The oil filter should come undone with a good strong grasp and a solid counter-clockwise turn. Occasionally, if it’s really tight, you’ll need an oil filter removal tool (like a giant lid opener) but fortunately I’ve never needed one.
Once you’ve removed the oil filter – actually, halfway through unscrewing the oil filter – a load of trapped oil is going to come out, so get ready!
I thought I was prepared, but much more oil came out than I expected, so a few drops of oil splattered on the garage floor and I rushed into clean-up mode.
Once you’ve cleaned up the oil (unless you’re better prepared than I was) apply a film of oil to the rubber gasket on the new oil filter and screw it in, in place of the old one.
Above is a better view of the socket where the old oil filter was attached. Your new oil filter will screw straight in there. It should be done up quite firmly.
Now you can screw the oil sump bolt back in place and move to the top of the engine, as it’s time to add shiny new motor oil. Unfortunately the oil is going to go “glug glug glug” spurting out of the container, splashing everywhere. To solve this problem, use a funnel or make one out of a plastic drink bottle that is clean and completely dry.
Now add the new motor oil. You’re going to use almost the entire 4 litre bottle, as the 2004-2010 model of Suzuki Swift takes 3.7 litres, according to the manual.
Once you’ve poured in almost the whole bottle, put the car down on the ground and run the engine for a bit to warm it up and slosh it around inside the engine.
Turn off the engine and check the oil level with the dipstick. It should be in the middle, between the two holes in the dipstick. Don’t go above or below these holes.
If you don’t have enough oil the engine could easily wear out its bearings & piston rings (very expensive to fix). Too much oil on the other hand and you could find oil burning in the cylinders, fouling your spark plugs, and the car struggling to start in winter. Therefore somewhere in the middle is the way to go.
Now replace the oil cap, clean all the horrible oil off your hands, and let’s replace the air filter so the engine can breathe properly.
Start by un-clipping the clasp above in the blue circle and unbolting the bolt in the red circle.
And do the same on the other side. If you’re lucky, you might be able to get away without undoing the bolts, but I couldn’t: there just wasn’t quite enough room to get the old filter out of the way with just the clips undone.
With a little wiggling, the old air filter will come out and you can play with its paper fins for a while (it’s ok, everyone does this).
Look at the difference between the old and new filters. The car looks like it’s been smoking a pack a day for 20 years, but it’s last service was only 10 months ago!
Next, just reverse the process for installing the new air filter, and you’re done. Make sure you screw in the oil cap, and lastly, have a quick look under the car to check for any leaks.
As for the old motor oil, you’ll need to find a safe way to dispose of it. Many gas stations have oil reclaiming facilities, so ask your local gas station. If they don’t know, ask a mechanic as they all have oil collection facilities. They may even take it from you if you buy them a beer or two.
If your motor oil bottle comes with a reminder sticker, fill it out and attach it somewhere convenient. I placed mine on the inside of the door, near the door hinge so that I can see it any time without having to open the hood.
And that’s it, you’re done!
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