How to Remove Water From a Car Oil Tank

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A vehicle's oil reservoir can become contaminated by coolant when the head gasket fails, causing coolant to mix with oil. The oil returns to the oil reservoir mixed with coolant and will need to be removed before operating the vehicle. Operating the vehicle with contaminated oil causes failure of lubrication properties and serious damage to the engine.

Things You'll Need

  • Oil filter for the year model of your vehicle
  • 5 quarts of oil appropriate for the year/model of your vehicle
  • Oil filter wrench
  • Crescent wrench
  • Oil drain pan
  • Allow the engine to cool down completely.

  • Place the oil drain pan under the oil reservoir.

  • Remove the oil drain plug by using the crescent wrench and turning counterclockwise.

  • Allow all the oil coolant mixture to drain into the drain pan until there is just a slow drip.

  • Remove the oil filter by using the oil filter wrench and turning counterclockwise.

  • Install the new oil filter by turning it hand tight and 1/2 to 2/3 of a rotation more by hand.

  • Reinstall the drain plug by using the crescent wrench and turning clockwise until tight.

  • Open the hood and locate the oil fill plug. The oil fill plug has a yellow top with an oil can printed on the top. It is usually located on top of the right valve cover.

  • Pour all 5 quarts into the engine and close the fill cap.

  • Start the engine and allow the engine to come up to operating temperature.

  • Locate the oil dipstick and remove it from the tube. Use a shop towel to clean the oil from the dipstick. Put the dipstick back in the tube.

  • Remove the dipstick again from the tube and check the level. The level should not exceed the full mark on the dipstick. Check for bubbles separating the oil on the dipstick. Bubbles indicate that there is still coolant mixed with the oil. The oil will need to be changed again using the same procedure if bubbles are found.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is very important to flush all the coolant from the oil system. The coolant will prevent the oil from adequately lubricating the engine and cause serious damage.
  • You will need to change the oil filter with a new one when all the coolant has been flushed out.
  • Never tighten the oil filter using the oil filter wrench. This will damage the oil filter seal.
  • Do not do this procedure until the engine is completely cooled down. Severe burns will result if the procedure is attempted while the engine is still hot.
  • Do not misuse the hand tools used in this procedure. Misuse of hand tools can damage equipment.
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