How To Change Oil
Learning how to change oil in a car is one of the basic parts of owning an automobile. It's true that you can take your car or truck to an auto shop for a quickie oil change, but doing it yourself only takes a little longer and is a lot less expensive. Remember to check your car's automotive manual before following the directions below about how to change oil.
Things You'll Need:
- Jacks and jackstands or car ramps
- Safety goggles and gloves
- Oil drain pan
- Socket wrench
- Oil filter wrench
- New oil filter
- Four to six quarts of new motor oil
- Large resealable plastic bag
- Drive your car around for ten to fifteen minutes to warm up the oil. This will make it easier to drain during the process.
- Park the car on a flat surface in your driveway. Be sure to set the parking brake to keep the car from rolling. You may also want to block the tires with bricks or cinder blocks. Lay out a couple of newspapers to catch any drips.
- Lift the vehicle up using ramps or jacks and jackstands. Open the car hood and disconnect the battery cables.
- Slip on a pair of safety goggles and crawl under the vehicle. You might want to use gloves as well.
- Locate the oil drain plug on the engine oil pan. Slide a drain pan under the plug and then use a socket wrench to loosen it. Turn it so that the plug points down for the easiest draining. If the plug falls into the pan, let it sit until the oil finishes draining and has time to cool.
- Use an oil filter wrench to remove the old oil filter carefully. It probably still has hot oil in it, so keep it away from your face. Pour any remaining oil into the drain pan.
- Take the new filter and use a little of the new motor oil to lubricate the seal. Follow the filter instructions for installation.
- Climb out from under the car and find the oil filler under the hood. Typically it's marked with the word "OIL". Remove the cap and use a funnel to add four to six quarts of new oil. Refer back to your automotive manual for the exact amount and type of oil your car needs. Screw the oil filler cap back on.
- Test the oil level using your car's dipstick to ensure that you've added enough oil. Start the car's engine and let it run for a few minutes. As the car runs, look under the vehicle for any leaks. If there are none, shut the car off and check the oil using the dipstick again.
- Pour the old oil from the drain pan into a resealable plastic bag. Take the used oil and your old filter to a local oil change provider for recycling.