How to change the Engine Oil on a Classic Car

How to change the Engine Oil on a Classic Car

This guide captures ‘bygone’ advice on how to change the engine oil on a Classic Car. It is part of a series I am building that describes what to do on a Classic Car Basic Service.

Useful information for Classic Car and Retro Car enthusiasts, as many of these tasks are no longer required on modern day cars.

Remember folks these are ‘bygone guides’ … useful but the safety and personal protective equipment measures are reflective of bygone awareness. Stay safe.





What is the best time to change the oil on a Classic Car

In short the bygone advice was to change your oil every 6,000 miles. However the most appropriate time to actually change your oil is when the engine is at normal working temperature after a few miles drive.

The warmth helps the oil to drain away completely and takes the impurities with it. The oil will drain more easily still if you remove the oil filler cap on top of the engine.


What is the best Oil to use in a Classic Car

There is no simple answer to this as there are many variables to consider such as performance desire and age of the car. Not to mention the manufacturers recommendations. I shall be writing a detailed article soon and adding it to this series.

However let me point you in the direction of Fuzz Townshends Classic Oils in my Supplier Library. Guy Lachlan the Managing Director is the man to go to for great advice. Most of which is on their website.

FUZZ TOWNSHENDS CLASSIC OILS on SCOTTYS Supplier Library

Latest Classic Oils listed on eBay


How to change the oil on a Classic Car

Provide yourself with a container to hold the old oil (most small car engines hold five litres, a gallon or so) and prepare yourself for a messy job.

From under the car use a spanner or square male box drive to remove the sump drain plug and be ready to catch the oil in your container. The job of changing the filter can begin while the oil is draining away.

To refill, wipe any metal ‘whiskers’ off the drain plug, some plugs are magnetic to help catch such rubbish­ and then replace the plug. Pour in enough oil to reach the ‘full’ mark on the dipstick via the oil filler cap entry typically on the rocker box cover on the top of the engine.

It is worthwhile investigating the recommended oil quantity the engine requires. Put approx 75% in before letting it settle and checking the fill level on the dipstick, topping up until you reach the full level.

Start the motor and run it for a few minutes to allow time for the oil to fill the filter and the oilways in the cylinder block. Switch off and give the oil a couple of minutes to settle. Check again with the dipstick and top up the level if necessary.

Finally make sure there is no oil leakage around either the filter or the drain plug. If there is then tighten them up.


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Regards SCOTTY