How To Change Your Oil

How To Change Your Oil - In today's economy more and more people are changing their own oil. Not only is it cost effective but it gives a person a sense of accomplishment and saves on the cost of an oil change.

How To Change Your Oil

Change Your Oil
Change Your Oil

Having ran a repair shop for many years I thought what better way to give back to the community than to write an article on how to change your oil.

What you will need

Lets start with a few basic things you will need to accomplish this. If this is your first time some of you may be at a loss for what it will actually take to pull this off. Relax, it is not as hard as you may think. First, you will need to go shopping.The counter help at all the parts houses can walk you through everything you will need.

Some things you may already have, others you may have to purchase.

A good checklist would be:

Ramps or jack and jack stands,drain pan, set of sockets, oil filter wrench, oil, oil filter, set of open end wrenches, container for the used oil disposal and clean up material, IE rags, hand cleaner.

Depending on your vehicle this list will vary. Different makes and models require different filter wrenches, oil quantity, etc. The counter person can look all this up.

Where do I find what I need?

Any reputable parts house can guide you and supply you with everything you will need. Just tell the counter person the year, make, model and engine size of your vehicle and that you are in the market for everything you need to change your own oil.

How do I change it?

Now comes the fun part.

First, lets get the vehicle up in the air so we can get under it. This requires either driving up on a set of ramps or jacking the vehicle up.

If you use ramps please have someone help guide you up on them, you do not want to over shoot the ramps. If you are using a jack always use jack stands once you get the vehicle raised.Make sure you put the stands in a secure spot on the frame. Once raised be sure to block the rear tires.You can use a wheel block or a piece of wood, or even a brick.

Once the vehicle is raised, make sure the engine is warmed up. This will ensure all the impurities will be removed with the oil, and warm oil flows much better than cold oil.

Locate and remove the drain plug, ( Left turns are for loosening, right turns are for tightening) and drain the oil into your drain pan. Remember, the oil will be hot so care is required not to get it on you.

Locate the oil filter and using your filter wrench remove the filter.

Now let all the old oil drain out. Replace the oil drain plug, making sure not to over tighten it, and install the filter.

I recommend to never tighten the oil filter more than a firm twist of the hand. If you over tighten it you may not get it off next oil change. Always put a thin film of oil on the oil filter gasket before installing it.

Now it is time to put the new oil in the engine. Make sure you put the proper amount in the motor, using the fill tube under the hood. Be sure to replace the oil cap after installing the oil. Many engines have been damaged by not making sure the oil cap is back on the motor properly.

Start the motor and count to 20, checking for leaks under the vehicle.

If no leaks are found, carefully remove the drain pan, lower the vehicle and check the oil level on the dip stick and add any if needed.Remember to remove the wheel blocks.

Clean up and record keeping.

I use a five gallon bucket with a secure lid to store the old oil. Most service repair shops will dispose of the old oil for free. Do not dispose of it yourself, as it needs to be recycled. Just throw the old filter in the bucket with the oil, never in the garbage.

Wash up and record your mileage.Parts houses have oil change stickers for you to record your oil change mileage on. I recommend you change your oil every 3000 miles.

You may have to reset your oil change light if equipped. You will find this info in your owners manual.

You have successfully changed the oil in your car!


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