Changing the oil in your car is something that you can do by yourself. Although changing the oil might appear rather obvious, there are still a lot of folks doing it wrong. Making it an ugly chore or overpaying for oil changes they could do on their own. Plus, an oil change is the most important task you can do to make your engine maintenance. We’ll show you how to change oil and how to extend oil life.
You may have done it years ago. But with oil change shops charging more and more, it’s time to get back under the car and start saving big bucks. Plus, you won’t be pressured into buying overpriced add-ons (like wiper blades…etc) every time you go in for an oil change. We’ll show you how to change oil fast and painlessly. And we’ll show you some tips you may not know about.
Before you head off to the auto parts store, consult your owner’s manual for the type and weight of oil specific to your vehicle. It’s especially important to follow the carmaker’s recommendations for oil viscosity. Late-model engines rely on oil pressure to regulate valve timing and apply the proper tension to the timing belt or chain. Substituting your personal preference for the manufacturer’s recommendations can result in engine damage, poor performance or even a “Check Engine” light might be on.
Don’t Skimp on an Oil Filter & When to Change Oil in Car.
In the old days, oil filters were all pretty much the same inside. But not anymore. If your owner’s manual recommends extended oil change intervals (every 10,000 km instead of 5,000 km), you must buy a filter that’s rated to go the distance. In other words, don’t fill your engine with expensive synthetic oil and then spin on an economy filter—it won’t last and will decrease your oil life. Check the filter box, ask the store, or check the filter manufacturer’s website to make sure the filter you buy is rated for extended oil change intervals.
There’s a huge difference between an economy oil filter and high quality ones. But there’s only a small difference in price. If you use conventional oil and diligently change it every 5,000 km, you can get by with the economy filter. But if you regularly “forget” and go beyond that mileage or use long-mileage synthetic blends or full synthetic, spend the extra bucks on a better filter. Consider at these cutaway filters and you could see why the premium filter is a better choice.
Keeping up with car maintenance can help extend the life of your car. Because have you ever searched: How much does it cost to replace an engine? It’s not pretty.
If you get all your ducks in a row, you’ll be done changing oil in about 20 minutes. Start by spreading plastic sheeting on the ground. Then drive your car on top of it. That will eliminate all oil spill cleanup work since you can just toss the entire sheet when you’re done, or keep it for the next change if you’re lucky enough to go spill-free. Jack up the car, set the jack stands in place, and lower the car. If you’re on asphalt, place squares of plywood under the jack stands for support.
Place all your tools on a tray or in a box so everything you need is in one place. That means a box-end wrench for the drain plug, a rubber mallet (Step 1), a filter wrench, a drain pan and the new filter. Before you slide it all under the car, open a new oil bottle and smear clean oil on the new filter’s gasket. Then you’re ready to start the job.
Remove the drain plug and get the old oil flowing. Then remove the oil filter and install the new one. Once the old oil is down to a trickle, install a new gasket on the plug (if required) and tighten it by tapping the box-end wrench with the rubber mallet. Wipe the drips with a rag and you’re done under the car.
Required Tools for Oil Change. Have the necessary tools for this how to change your oil lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration. You’ll also need an oil filter wrench, a funnel and oil pan.
- Rubber mallet
- Safety glasses
- Wrench set
Required Materials for Oil Change. Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time for this how to change oil. Here’s a list:
- Container for used oil
- Engine oil
- Oil filter
- Oil filter gasket