March (Mechanic) Madness


M&M Auto Detailer

Snow and freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your vehicle.

Caroline Austin, Staff 2018-2019

As winter comes to an end, it may be time to consider giving your car a tune up. Winter can wreak havoc on your vehicle. The freezing temperatures can cause the liquids in your car to thicken and turn to sludge. Chemical salt on the roads can cause the metal in your car to corrode and potholes, caused by ice, can tear up your tires. Take advantage of the warming temperatures and check out these tips for a simple car check up.


  • How to change your oil:
  1. Locate the engine’s oil pan and drain plug (under the car on the bottom of the engine.)
The oil drain plug is located on the bottom of the engine.

2. Place a large oil drain pan under the drain plug to catch the oil that will leak out.

3. Using a rag or rubber glove to protect your hands, unscrew the drain plug. (Use a wrench if you can’t get it by hand!)

Allow the oil several minutes to fully drain out of the vehicle.

4. Carefully remove the oil filter and empty it into an oil drain pan.

5. Make sure all of the oil gets placed into the oil pan for proper disposal. It is VERY important to ONLY dispose of oil at designated waste management sites. For information on waste management in York County, visit

6. Open a new bottle of oil and dip your finger into it. Use this oil to moisten around the gasket of your new oil filter so it will screw smoothly onto the engine.

7. Gently screw the new filter into where the old one was until it sets into place. Then, give it a three-quarter turn.

8. Once all the oil has finished draining out, use a clean rag to wipe off excess oil around where the drain plug goes.

9. Put the oil drain plug back on and use a wrench to tighten it.

10. Using a funnel, slowly pour all but one quart of the new oil into the oil filler hole.

11. Replace the oil filler cap and run the engine for about a minute. During this time, check to see if any oil is leaking out of the bottom. If so, turn the engine off and tighten the caps and plugs.

12. Use an oil dipstick to check the oil level. If it is low, slowly and incrementally pour in the remaining oil, rechecking the level periodically as you go.

13. Turn off the engine and wait 10 minutes for the oil to settle into the filter before driving.


  • How to change a tire:
  1. Acquire a jack, a lug wrench, a new tire, and the owner’s manual of your vehicle.
    Bridgestone Tires
    Use a car jack to lift the afflicted tire off of the ground.

2. If your car has one, apply the parking brake to stabilize your vehicle while you change the tire.

3. If changing a front tire, apply wheel wedges to the back tires to prevent the car from rolling. If changing a back tire, place the wheel wedges behind the front tires.

4. If the tire’s lug nuts are covered by a hubcap, remove the hubcap. If your lug nuts are exposed, skip ahead to step 5.

5. Using the lug wrench, loosen the lug nuts on the tire. Don’t remove them completely yet.

6. Raise the vehicle with the jack.

7. Remove the lug nuts and take off the flat tire.

8. Mount the new tire onto the lug bolts.

9. Lower the vehicle partially and screw the lug nuts on tightly. Even when you think they’re as tight as possible, give them one final tug with the wrench just to be sure.

10. Lower the vehicle completely and remove the jack. Don’t forget to replace the hubcap!


  • How to refill your windshield washer fluid

1. Purchase a jug of windshield wiper fluid from any auto parts store or gas station.

2. Prop open the hood of your car and locate the washer fluid cap.

3. Locate the fluid cap under the hood of the car and remove it.

4. Pour the fluid in until it reaches the fill line. If you don’t see a fill line, just leave a bit of space at the top.

5. Replace the fluid cap.


For a full vehicle tune up guide, visit