First DIY Oil Change '03: Where to Begin - Honda Civic Forum



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Old 05-02-2015   #1
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Question First DIY Oil Change '03: Where to Begin

Hi All,

I'm getting set to do my first DIY oil change on my GF's 2003 Honda Civic EX.

For years I paid dealerships and recently started doing my own oil on my truck. Money savings is so-so, but very rewarding and opens up some other possibilities like addictives, etc. So fast forward, and I want to change my the oil in the Honda. But just wondering a few basic, (and hopefully simple), points of concern.

First, I'm a bit weary of ramps and just use jacks + jackstands. But I have a solid jacking point on the truck. Exactly how do you lift a 2003 Civic without having to buy ramps? Secondly, I've read a lot of the stickies concerning the various oils and what not and am going to change her car - now with 100K - over to full synthetic. I was leaning towards Mobil1 but am not married to that. My question is whether anyone would recommend a motor flush given the mileage? I was looking over
Motor Medic Motor Medic
but one of the reviews mentions having to drop the Oil Pan, which I've never done. Additionally, I was also wondering about adding an addictive. I know this might be blasphemes to some, but I'm wondering if something like
Bar's Leak Bar's Leak
wouldn't act like a bit of preventative maintenance on the engine. My truck has a tick so I fully intend to use both on that, but knock on wood, her car really only suffers from some sort of rattle, (I think it's related to the exhaust somewhere).

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-02-2015   #2
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Re: First DIY Oil Change '03: Where to Begin

Build ramps out of 4x4s?
Floor jack and jack stands. Owners manual for jacking info.

Synthetic is fine. Specs are important.

Oil additives: NO. Correct spec oil is all it needs.

Flush: NO. At best it is a waste of money, at worst it can cost you an engine.
Remove the oil cap and look inside: Do you see shiny metal valvetrain components (bright or dark, depending on oil condition) or do you see sludge buildup caked on everything?

Bars leak: No. Too many places for it to cause problems. If there is a leak it needs fixed. If it has blown the head gasket then Bars can't help.
Fix it the right way.
(I have used GM cooling system seal tabs in many various engines over the years, though I don't think I've ever used it in Hondas.)
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Old 05-02-2015   #3
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Question Re: First DIY Oil Change '03: Where to Begin

Thanks for the advice ezone! I've looked over her manual for the jack points for changing tires, etc, but is that sufficient for draining oil as well? Also, would I jack one side, place a jackstand, then work to the other side?

Also, just curious, but aside from her car, (I swear by Honda engines these days!), are those your thoughts on other engines with the flush & addictives for other engines as well - even those with a slight tick like my truck, (Ford...of course)?
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Re: First DIY Oil Change '03: Where to Begin

Ramps are great. I actually made ramps, out of 2x10's. For oil change you can use the tow hook on the front as a jack point. Other Jack points are behind the front tires, it shows you in manual.

Just use a name brand synthetic. Mobile 1 is great. I use Castrol.

Additives are not needed.
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Old 05-03-2015   #5
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Re: First DIY Oil Change '03: Where to Begin

Quote:
Originally Posted by BootyDo View Post
Thanks for the advice ezone! I've looked over her manual for the jack points for changing tires, etc, but is that sufficient for draining oil as well? Also, would I jack one side, place a jackstand, then work to the other side?
Yes. I'd say raise both sides to keep it even. Always support with jackstands, never rely on a jack.

I've even parked straddling a curb with 2 wheels on one side just so I could slide under a car.

Quote:
Also, just curious, but aside from her car, (I swear by Honda engines these days!), are those your thoughts on other engines with the flush & addictives for other engines as well - even those with a slight tick like my truck, (Ford...of course)?
Depends. What is causing your tick?


If an engine has sludge buildup caused by neglect or oil problems, the LAST thing I would want is for any of that sludge to loosen and migrate to the oil pump pickup tube and starve the engine of pressurized oil flow.
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Old 05-05-2015   #6
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Re: First DIY Oil Change '03: Where to Begin

Thanks all! I'm still a bit wary of ramps and would tend to lean towards jack and jackstands, but I looked for the tow hook last night and noticed it's off center by the driver's side just a bit. Is it okay to lift from that point or would it twist the body/frame with so much stress towards one side of the car?

Also, it sounds like the best course of action is to avoid the flush/addictive for her car. Sounds game to me! For my truck, I think I'm going that route since I'm not entirely sure what the cause is and suspect is could be buildup in between oil changes. Well, at least I'm hoping it's just that and not a greater concern.

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Re: First DIY Oil Change '03: Where to Begin

just my two cents on your truck.....

I bought a 1990 F150 a couple years ago that obviously had a checkered past. Burned oil.. leaked oil...gas in the oil when I got it. It's not my daily driver but just putting good quality gas and oil in it has solved the majority of problems. No additives.
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Re: First DIY Oil Change '03: Where to Begin

its fine to use the front jack point as long as youre on level ground and you block the rear tires and use jack stands i also blace wooden blocks under the car as a third precaution just in case the stands fail your better safe then dead.
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Old 05-07-2015   #9
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Re: First DIY Oil Change '03: Where to Begin

Thanks again all! Very eager to give this a go. Feel pretty stupid for not realizing there's a defined front jack point. As for my Ford, I think I might have to resort to something. nothing dramatic, but that lifter tick drives me nuts!
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