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Regularly changing a vehicle’s engine oil and filter is one of the most important periodic maintenance tasks every motorist should do to keep the vehicle running well for a very long time.

Buy the Right Oil and Oil Filter
Confirm the right motor oil and oil filter unit to best fit the car requirements. To do so, one must secure the following information: car’s engine displacement size and car’s year, make, and model, and car’s oil type. Following carmaker recommendations for oil viscosity is always the best route to avoid engine damage and poor car performance. It is best to buy a quality filter rated to go the distance as the oil.

Gather Tools and Equipment
Before even opening the hood for a change oil, one should always make sure to have all the necessary supplies and equipment within reach. Aside from the oil and filter, one must prepare the following: oil wrench fitting the diameter of the filter to make removing the old filter easily, especially when unscrewing by hand won’t cut it; socket wrench to unscrew the drain plug; funnel to transport oil; drain pan or old bucket to collect used oil; newspaper to catch any spilled oil outside the pan; rubber gloves to protect the hands from hot surfaces; and oil rags or paper towels to wipe off drips and help clean hands.

One should also invest on a jack and jack stand, car ramp, or a safe and secure set of blocks or wheel ramps to elevate the car’s front off the ground and give more room to work underneath the car. Additional tools may be needed in the case of some vehicles that require removing the top or bottom panels for the change oil.

Warm Up the Engine
Warm up the engine for 5 to 10 minutes to allow sludge to move out of the engine easier. Don’t keep the car running for too long to prevent the oil from getting too hot. If the oil gets too hot, wait for about 30 minutes to avoid getting burned.

Raise the Car
With the car parked on a flat surface and the parking break engaged, put the car ramp or wheel ramps in front of the front wheels accordingly. Alternatively, locate the jacking points and jack up the car using a jack stand. As additional security measure, put wheel blocks or tire restraints on the rear tires. Apply enough force by rocking the vehicle to test its safety while raised.

Drain the Oil
Spread newspaper out on top of the drain pan placed underneath the engine, specifically under the oil drain plug. Always exercise precaution when working underneath the car, especially with the engine and exhaust that may still be very hot. Loosen the lone bolt of the oil drain plug by turning it counterclockwise using a socket wrench. When still not familiar with this part, verify that it is really the engine oil drain plug and not the transmission drain plug by checking the manual and looking for a flat metal pan closer to the engine than the transmission.

Wear rubber gloves and manually unscrew the loosened plug as quickly as possible to give way to the stream of oil for draining and minimize spill. The draining process usually takes about 10 minutes. Once oil stops dripping, reinstall the drain plug by hand, then tighten with a quarter turn clockwise using a wrench.

Remove and Replace the Oil Filter
Oil filters come in different varieties depending on car specifications. These include self-contained units that can be simply unscrewed by hand and those made of paper that slides out after unscrewing a cap. Look for the oil filter, a Coke can-sized object that is usually found under the hood, but at sometimes foun beneath the car. Move the drain pan underneath the oil filter before unscrewing the oil filter for replacement counterclockwise, as more oil may still come out from it. If it’s difficult to remove, one may need an oil filter removal tool. To avoid oil spill while removing the filter, wrap a small plastic bag around the filter to catch any oil that escapes as you remove it.

After allowing the opening to drain completely, wipe off the opening using paper towel or oil rug. Smear some of the new motor oil along the rim of the new oil filter by dabbing a finger to it, ideally while still wearing gloves, as this lubricates the gasket and prevents sticking, cracking or causing oil leak by creating a reliable seal for the new filter. Putting a small amount of oil into the filter itself prior to installation also reduces the amount of time the car takes to regain proper oil. Skip this step if using paper filter. Replace the filter and manually tighten the seal. Wipe off both the filter and pan after oil filter replacement.

Refill the Oil
Once everything underneath the car is sealed and secure, remove the oil cap from the top of your car, place a funnel inside the fill hole, and refill the tank’s oil based on the manual’s specified amount and grade of motor oil. Most oil jugs provide a measure on their handle to confirm how much oil is left. If the filter is mounted vertically, filling with oil may reach almost up to the top. If the filter is mounted at an angle, a minimal amount of oil will spill just prior to spinning the filter on. It is good to hold the bottle with the spout on top so oil pours more smoothly without bubbling. Replace the fill cap, tighten all parts, making sure there are no loose tools and leaking issues. Wipe off any spills to prevent burning oil smell.

Test the Car and Record Information
Get the car off the jacks. Start the engine for a minute to allow the new motor oil to circulate thoroughly. Turn off engine and allow the oil to settle for 5 to 10 minutes to check oil levels by pulling out and cleaning the dipstick, the putting it back and removing it once more to see how much oil there is inside. It is worth noting that in cases when the engine has just run, one can’t always rely on the dipstick for accurate measurement, as some oil may still be in the galleries. Check the odometer to record the distance the car should run before next oil change and list down the date to also serve as basis for the next oil change.

Dispose the Used Oil in an Approved Facility
Since dumping car motor oil in an unapproved area is often illegal, and more importantly, is a serious environmental concern, pour the oil from the drain pan to a secure container and bring this to any auto parts store, gas station, or oil-recycling center for proper oil disposal.


Motoring Guide: How to Change Car Oil, DIY-style
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Entourage movie review

Protecting fruit trees from impending birds and pests is important to prevent damage to the produce, especially when nearing harvest time. In doing applicable bird-control measures, which often means incorporating several methods to keep birds and pests at bay, fruit tree owners can ensure a better harvest with the peace of mind that no birds or pests turn out first in line with touching, eating, or even destroying their produce.

Trappings and Alternative Food Source
Using bird trapping or netting, which often requires baiting a trap with water and food attractive to birds, works as a form of protection for the fruit trees. However, people should be responsible enough to release any captured birds after. It is also important to check local laws in the area, as birds are generally considered protected animals, making it illegal to kill them. Another way is to provide the birds with alternative supply of food such as birdseed and corn away from the fruit trees, while still employing extra barriers of defense for fruit tree protection.

Visual Decoys
When the budget is tight, fruit growers can simply put out balloons with drawn eyes on them about 3 feet above the trees to help repel birds. In case the birds pop these balloons that are tied around tree branches or poles, the loud sound and blast of air can also scare them away.

Aside from the traditional decoys around, a good number of decoy product varieties are readily available in the market including solar-powered and battery-operated items with extra features like aluminum cannulations, steady LED light and flashing light functionalities beneficial for evening protection, and decoy moving parts for a more convincing look.

Sound Decoys
Whether solar-powered or battery-operated, the more modern sound decoys often provide extra features like daytime and nighttime working modes and passive infrared (PIR) motion-activated sensor for more efficient repelling of nearby birds and pests within the area of coverage. Some also emit ultrasonic waves, vibrations, and pulsations supporting frequency conversion to irritate or simulate danger and repel birds nearby.

Motion detectors that trigger noisemakers can help deter birds through the aid of recordings of beating large wings, predator sounds, and distress cries. It is best to alternate the sound of bird cries with a variety of convincing shrill noises including those of locomotive or static sounds, as well as move the speakers in different areas so the birds don’t get used to these noisemakers.

Chemical Repellents
Chemical repellents are more reliable when needing to seriously protect landscaping and property from corrosive droppings from birds, reduce the health and liability risks linked to pest bird infestation in the region, and prevent the spread of diseases caused by birds such as bird flu. It is best to use chemical repellents that are biodegradable and organic for a more environmentally responsible means of repelling birds.

Many available chemical repellents in the market are diluted to water in containers. Some are directly sprayed or painted onto surfaces so that the area produces food-grade taste aversion to birds and they leave the treated area for a long time or even permanently, as they look for more conducive spaces with better food source for them.

How to Protect Fruit Trees From Birds and Pests
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How to Use the JVC GR-SV3 Camcorder

Photo by eBay selle shirtmaniacali

 

In the early 90’s came the first prototypes of LCD screens for video cameras. One of JVC’s pioneer offers, the JVC GR-SV3 Infocam Camcorder, was released during that time. Back those days of the Viewcam bandwagon, the market for cameras like the JVC GR-SV3 was quite comparable to the inkling for the latest consumer HD cameras of the 2000’s. But this doesn’t mean that the “in” gizmo then which is the “outdated” gadget now is of no good use anymore.

So, for those who want to start using their old camera models again such as the SV3, there is still a very good chance to keep things up and running.

How to Use the JVC GR-SV3

Load the battery and check the power. Make sure the charged battery is properly attached to the camera. Find the power/mode selector knob on top of the JVC GR-SV3 Infocam. Turn the power on and check if the battery jumpstarts it. If everything is generally functional, time to test drive further.

Under a little flap, you can find the tape transport, various secondary controls, and a small LCD information panel. Make sure you have your compatible VHS-C tape loaded into the camera. Follow the signs in loading the tape accordingly.

The good thing about older video cameras is that their features and functions are very basic and considerably easier to explore and discover. So ideally, if you can scrutinize the functions of the latest computers, mobile phones, and HD cameras these days, you can definitely go over this camera and find your way through.

Familiarize yourself with the screen/monitor and the buttons. Check the screen in front of the camera. This screen displays the moving image and you can actually record yourself and readily see the footage on the screen. You can opt to switch off this feature.

At the back panel, there is a main start-stop button. It doesn’t have a safety latch, but it is recessed to avoid accidental pressing.

Behind the tape loading hatch at the back, you can find another set of buttons for selecting recording speed, setting the clock, among other features.

Do a test recording. Record within the best range of this JVC camcorder’s fixed auto-focus and auto-exposure capabilities.

On the front, just below the lens, there is a pair of buttons for the zoom. The camera has a simple 3x zoom lens, along with features like time/date recording, message recording, self-timer, auto indexing, and 5-second record mode. The mono linear soundtrack and the built-in mic record the best sound from subjects up to three or four meters away.

When done recording, press the same button again to end. The machine goes on standby mode.

View the recorded footage. The screen acts both as a viewfinder (the SV3 has an optical viewfinder for normal use) and a playback screen. It is mounted on a hinge that allows it to swing up. It is visible from behind the machine. The screen can be used for playback in either position. The image inverts accordingly for you to get the right perspective. It also has a small built-in speaker for the sound.

As it uses the VHS-C format for recording, it is easy to take some footage with you and play them on a full-size VCR using the supplied cassette adapter. Maximum recording time is 90 minutes on a 45-minute tape, and 2 hours for a 60-minute tape — when using the LP recording mode.

Tips

The video resolution for this camera is just over 240 lines. The LCD screen struggles to resolve much more than a couple of hundred lines than when recordings are played on a TV monitor. The screen itself isn’t very bright and is easily washed out in daylight. Recording color fidelity is generally fine for its range. However, like most older camera models, indoor shooting with minimal lighting does not provide good enough recordings.

The 0.25-inch image sensor and the small lens offer low-light performance when shooting. As expected, noise and grain are more evident in low-light conditions. So, it is best to make sure that the area where you plan to shoot is well-lit. At its best, in good lighting conditions as with exterior day shots, noise levels are considerably low and the picture looks crisp and bright enough for its range.

Make sure the camera, along with its accessories, is cleaned with a camera cleaning cloth. The lens and LCD screen are extra-sensitive parts and should be cleaned with the right material, which are generally available in camera and gadget stores).

Warnings

Be extra careful when using a tripod, especially the small and consumer-type ones. The tripod mount is located way over towards the camera’s side. This design is most likely to protect the internal deck mechanism. However, the downside of it is that it makes the camera quite unstable with smaller tripods.

Rick Maybury. Video Camera 1993. Rick Maybury Ltd.

How to Use the JVC GR-SV3 Camcorder
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