How to change oil

Author: Peter Dewhirst   Date Posted:4 August 2016 

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A well oiled (4 stroke) engine is a happy engine. Changing your oil is the most basic dirt bike maintenance you can do, and it's an easy way to save money too...learn how to do it here in our easy guide!

A well oiled engine is a happy engine. Just as with cars, a motorcycle or buggy engine will fail miserably if its oil is not changed regularly. We recommend changing it after the first 2 hours of use and then every 5-10 hours after that. It is also worthwhile checking your oil level before each ride. Sure you could take it into a mechanic and have them change it all out for you, but why not save the money, do it yourself and add one more thing to be proud of on your list of motorcycle or buggy maintenance successes. After all, a true motorcycle enthusiast knows how to tinker with every bit of their bike or buggy and changing your oil is right on the top of that list.

Tools You'll Need

Changing your oil can get a bit messy. Even the most experienced mechanic will end up with oil on their hands before the job is done. It's just a fact of life. So it's important to make sure you have all the tools you'll need before you start to get to work. Nothing is worse than realising that there's a door between you and the tool you want when your hands are covered in oil.

The basic necessities are fairly straight forward. Changing the oil in most bikes will be very similar but of course there are those dirt bikes that try to make your life more complicated by having extra parts to remove. Lucky you got your bike/buggy from Cob & Co Imports and we don’t make your life complicated.

Once you've gotten your fresh 4 stroke motorbike, mineral based (NOT SYNTHETIC) engine oil, check out your engine and where the oil filter housing and drain plug are in order to gather the right size tools to disassemble and reassemble them.

You'll also need:

  • Drain Pan
  • Funnel
  • Clean Cloths

Once you've gathered all of the tools you will need by your bike/buggy, you can either mount your bike on a stand or just allow it to rest normally with the kick stand down. Just remember that the angle at which your bike is sitting will affect how the oil will flow out of your engine and you'll need to place your drain pan accordingly.

Some people recommend taking your bike for a quick ten minute jaunt before starting to drain your oil. This heats up the oil and allows it to flow better. The better your oil flows out of your engine, the cleaner and faster the drain you will get. However, if you're not quite skilled at draining your oil yet, we recommend doing it cold for the first few times as to not risk burning yourself on the hot oil, engine and exhaust.

You will also want to make sure that you are changing your oil in an area free of dust, dirt and other contaminants. If even the smallest piece of sand ends up in your oil, it can wreak havoc on your engine. For this same reason, use clean tools as well.

Draining the oil

Remove any parts that may be blocking your access to the drain plug. Once you've got clear access, remove the drain plug with the right size wrench and let the oil flow into your drain pan. You might find it entertaining to yell "there she blows!" when it does. As the oil drains, take a look at the oil drain plug and clean it off.

Because oil is hazardous to the environment, be sure to dispose of your oil responsibly.

Putting it back together

Put back the oil drain plug with a new crush washer, replace any parts you have removed to gain access. It can be a good idea to wait until the job is finished and you are sure that the drain plug is tight not dripping any oil.

Fill it up

If everything is back in place (trying to refill your oil might be difficult with the drain plug still out), open the oil port on the dirt bike/buggy and fill it with the appropriate amount of oil that your specific bike/buggy calls for by using an oil measuring cup. If you look up , find your bike/buggy and then look at the “Specifications” it lists the “Engine Oil Capacity”. Do not overfill your oil because it will put extra stress on the seals inside your engine, spit up into your air filter forcing you to replace it and will add to the wear and tear of your bike.

Once you've replaced the oil, screw the oil cap back on and clean up. Wipe off any oil that may have spilled and check for leaks. The best way to dispose of used oil is in an old but clean bleach or laundry container and to take it to the local dump. Most dumps or auto parts stores will take used oil which should not be thrown in the trash or dumped down the drain. Just like your dirt bike/buggy isn't fond of old oil, neither is the environment. Lessen the guilt you have for taking unnecessarily long showers by being responsible with your oil.