Beginner’s Guide: How to Change Your Car Oil

Most car manufacturers and many car maintenance guides advise car owners to change their motor oil and oil filter about every 3,000 miles- or at least every three months. In doing so, the car’s life will be extended and it can keep the car in top running condition. Although oil changes can be a very dirty and daunting job at times, it is still an important maintenance task that must be performed regularly.

If you own a car, you might discover that your car is in need of an oil change. Changing your car’s oil and sending it to a professional auto repair shop can take a toll on your finances. Thankfully, you can try doing it on your own. With a bit of planning, information, and good execution, you can change your car’s oil on your own. Remember though that the tips listed below are for information purposes only. If you don’t want to risk damaging your vehicle, it is best to let a professional do the job.

DIY Oil Change: Basic Things Your Need

  • Socket wrench– This is used to take out the drain plug
  • Jack and stands– Used to raise the car so you can work underneath it.
  • Oil filter or metal strap wrench
  • Oil filter– This collects the impurities found in the oil. There are two types of oil filters namely, spin-on and cartridge.
  • Motor oil– This is known as the lifeblood of the car. The amount of motor oil will range from 3.5-8 quarts for gasoline engines, and 4-15 quarts for diesel engines.
  • Funnel– This helps filling the crankcase much easier.
  • Rags and paper towels– These items are for clean up

Important Reminders Before Getting Started

Before you start changing your car oil, you must first consider this important reminder. There are some car owners who like to start their engine or drive around the neighborhood before they change the oil. This is because hot oil drains faster. Remember though that working with hot oil can cause serious injuries, such as burns to your hands and face. With that said, be extra cautious when you use the hot oil method. This method is also not recommended for beginners.

Easy Steps To Changing Your Car Oil

  1. Park your vehicle on a flat surface. If there is enough room beneath your car slide under it. If not, you can jack up the car using the jack stands.
  2. Once the vehicle is properly supported and secure, you can now crawl underneath your vehicle and look for the drain plug. The drain plug is located near the front area of the vehicle. Place a newspaper or drop cloth around the area to absorb any spills.
  3. You must also place a pan under the plug. Use your socket wrench to loosen the plug. Turn it counterclockwise and then twist to remove it by hand. Allow half of the oil to drain completely. After doing so, replace the plug using the socket wrench.
  4. After all these, you must then locate the oil filter. Again, place the oil pan beneath it. Slip the oil filter wrench around the oil filter and make sure it is secure, then give a tug counterclockwise. Once the oil filter is loosened, twist it by hand to take it out.
  5. Remember to rub some new oil around the rubber gasket before you install the new filter. In doing so, you will prevent any problems in the long run. Screw the new filter onto the filter pipe and tighten it.
  6. After following the steps above, you can now crawl out from under your car and open the hood. Take out the oil filter cap, and then place the funnel inside the hole. Fill it with as much amount of motor oil as your manufacturer’s manual recommends. Replace the oil filler cap afterwards.
  7. Write down the date and mileage. This will help you remember when you need to change the oil again.