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Discussion Starter #1
(note- this is for my new-to-me [3wks!], 1995 D 21 Hardbody Automatic 4-cylinder. I have no clue of its oil-history and unsure I'd be able to find it if I tried)

I guess this is a multi-pronged Q, as I've called-around for prices and it looks like I can spend the price of a regular oil-change on just synthetic fluid, and do it myself...

Hoping for any answers or advice on whether this is an appropriate "first project" for me to do by myself, I'm good at googling/youtube and (barring unforeseen issues with my specific vehicle) expect I can do it properly friend advised I try to remove the oil-filter myself first (before getting an oil-wrench, he said a lot of the time you can just manually unscrew), and that I drain-out everything in the tank, then pour a quart through to 'flush' it, then replace a new filter and fill the same amount I took out. I've got a few Q's to be sure I'm on-point before tackling this myself though (have only changed batteries and brake-pads before..)

1 - I got this truck a few weeks ago and since I got it, it's had a slight oil-leak as well as burning oil from the tail-pipe (presumably...maybe that's gas somehow?), but the dipstick has read over-full since getting it. Would it be wiser, when re-filling with new fluid, to only add 80-90% of what I'd removed and then, incrementally, add smaller amounts so I can actually see it come-up on the dipstick right to the top of the full-line?

2 - Oils...I've never done this so am unsure what to get, both whether I should get synthetic or not and, ignorant as I know this makes me here, I don't even know what type of "30W/20" or whatever ratio my truck needs, FWIW I do very gentle driving (due to an auto trannie that feels like it's about to go, 1st-gear slippage is a daily event), I never put it over 45/50mph, always accelerate slow, etc etc. The hot/cold meter on the dash has never broken the horizontal mark. Oh also I'm in FL where it's hot & humid! Unsure what other factors there are to consider, am having a surprising amount of trouble finding "vehicle specifications" for this truck (have downloaded several manuals but none are official and all are missing a lot)

3- Additives? I don't mind spending extra on synthetic, or additives, anything that can help me get more out of this truck, took me a while to get back on the road and want this thing to last as long as possible (am curious about any type of additive really, I got & returned some gas-treatment as it was an "octane booster" and I realized I'd probably be better off just filling the tank with 93 octane, unsure if that did anything to help clean anything or if it was just $ down the drain lol)

Thanks a ton for any & all help on this one, I've got a couple drain pans (actually have an ATF drain pan too, but that's for another day, getting people telling me it's better to just siphon-out / replace only some of the ATF, that a full flush is bad on older, slippy auto trannies), ready to go get the filter-wrench if needed, was going to just go to a shop but not only do I want to get-going on learning my way around this thing I also don't want anyone but me behind the wheel with how sensitive the trannie is, unsure how much damage is being done when it misses/slips in 1st and whirrs, I know the feel and can remove gas almost instantly unlike anyone unfamiliar w/ this truck!! Again thanks for any help on this one, will get it done professionally if that's what's best but hoping this can be a new thing to add to my repertoire (this thing has so much that needs 'restoration' that I'm intending to put a lot of time into it!!)
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