How Often Should You Change Your Oil and Filter?

March 29, 2018

As a general rule, mechanics recommend you change your motorcycle engine oil about every 3,700 miles. This, of course, depends on your driving style. If you tend to make lots of short journeys, you will probably have to change the oil more often because the engine oil performance will deteriorate more quickly. If, however, you tend to take longer trips on highways, you might be able to get more life out of your oil.

You do not need to replace the oil every time your oil is changed, unless you analyze it and see that it’s very dirty. Typically you’ll replace the filter every other time you get your oil changed.

Looking to change your motorcycle oil yourself? Here’s a quick rundown of the steps involved, from a motorcycle mechanic in Hendersonville, NC:

Grab everything you need: Once you actually start changing your oil, you don’t want to have to run around your shop or garage to look for all of the tools and items you need to get the job done, especially when your hands are already slick with oil.

  • Drain the oil: Put your bike on its stand and place the drain pan directly underneath the bolt, anticipating where the oil will shoot out. Remove the bolt and watch the oil drip out. Allow the used oil to completely drain while you take off the filter. You can unscrew the filter with a filter wrench, and be careful not to damage the filter if you plan to put it back into the engine.
  • Put in a new drain plug crush washer: Remove the old crush washer first. The new one will help you to preserve the threads on the bolt in your oil pan, as it won’t require as much torque to wrench on the plug.
  • Put the drain bolt back on: Make sure the bolt is completely cleaned and free of all grime and dirt before you reapply it. Make sure you don’t over-tighten it—you’re screwing it onto cast aluminum, which could be damaged if you use too much torque while screwing it on.
  • Prep the filter: Fill the filter up to about a quarter of the way full with fresh oil, and slosh it around slowly to make sure all of the filter material gets wet with oil. With a dab of oil on your finger, run your finger around the rubber seal to get it “wet” so it will make sufficient contact with the engine. Put the new filter on when you’re done and make sure you don’t over-tighten it.
  • Fill it up: Make sure you know the appropriate oil capacity level for your bike, then use the funnel to add about a half quart under full capacity into your fill hole.
  • Close up and clean up: Clean up all the materials you used and, assuming your oil is at the correct level, you’re all good to go!

For more tips about changing motorcycle oil, contact a motorcycle mechanic in Hendersonville, NC today.

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