How to Change your Engine Oil

Oil changes are one of the most frequent and essential maintenance tasks for automobiles. A car engine has internal components that spin and rub together quickly, producing excessive heat. Engine oil is needed to lubricate the engine components to sustain their functionality and reduce the heat generated. Otherwise, the engine could overheat and incur permanent damage and you may require a tow truck.

Unfortunately, you cannot keep the same oil inside your engine for too long. Most car manufacturers recommend changing your engine oil every 3,000 to 7,500 miles. Check the owner’s manual for more information on the mileage requirement for oil changes. If you don’t change your engine oil after travelling this many miles with your car, its lubricating compounds will no longer be viable. That is why you need to perform regular oil changes to ensure your engine stays lubricated.

Engine oil is more than a lubricant, though. When engine parts move around and rub together, they cause dust, metal, and dirt particles to fly out onto other components. But when you have fresh oil circulating through the engine, it will capture those debris particles and bring them to your oil filter. Then your engine can continue to function normally without any obstructive debris in the way.

The Oil Changing Process

There are two options for changing your oil. First, you could take your car to a lube shop and request an oil change from a professional auto person. They can also check your tyres, brakes, and other parts of your suspension system to ensure they function correctly. If they find any problems with your vehicle, they will recommend which repair services can fix those problems.

Unfortunately, an oil change can cost over $150 each time you get it done professionally. So not only are you paying for the oil product itself, but you’re also paying for labour fees too. In fact, most of the cost is for the labour rather than the oil. That is why you should seriously consider doing the oil change yourself.

Oil changes are not complicated for the average person to perform. You don’t need to have any special auto mechanical training or anything like that. You just need to follow simple instructions and use simple tools and accessories that anyone can obtain.

Let’s go over the 16 steps of the standard oil changing process:

1) Choose the Oil

There are different types of engine oils, such as fully synthetic oil, semi-synthetic oil, and crude oil. The cleanest and most cost-effective choice would be fully synthetic oil. Some car manufacturers claim it can last up to 15,000 miles in your engine before it needs to get changed. Check your owner’s manual to verify which oil is recommended for your particular car engine.

2) Obtain the Tools and Accessories

Oil changes require you to use several different tools and accessories. Ensure you obtain a spanner, funnel, oil drain pan, oil filter spanner, latex gloves, new oil filter, jack stands, and a jack.

3) Warm Up the Old Oil

Turn on your car and wait a couple of minutes. As the car engine runs, the existing oil will warm up and catch all the debris particles on the engine components. Turn off the engine after a couple of minutes has expired.

4) Elevate the Car with a Jack

Use the jack stand to raise your car and access the oil drainage. Use your owner’s manual to locate the oil drainage area if you are confused about where it is.

5) Find the Oil Drain Plug

Get underneath your vehicle and look for the oil drain plug and oil pan. The plug should look like a large nut attached to the oil pan. It is usually located just underneath the engine.

6) Position the Oil Drain Pan

Grab the oil drain pan and position it underneath the oil drain plug. If you don’t have a conventional oil drain pan, you can use any large container instead. It just needs to be wide enough to catch all the oil that will drain out in the next step.

7) Remove the Oil Drain Plug

Take off the oil drain plug from the oil pan. Now you should see the engine oil draining out from the car’s oil pan and going into the oil drain pan or container underneath it.

8) Remove the Oil Filter

Take off the oil cap on the top of the engine to reveal the oil filter hole. Look inside the hole, and you should see the oil filter next to the oil pan. The oil filter resembles a small can with the label “filter” on it. Try to remove the oil filter without spilling any oil that may still be in it. You must unscrew the filter in a twisting motion to get it off.

9) Add the New Oil Filter Replacement

Take your new oil filter and screw it into the exact location where you removed the old filter.

10) Seal the Oil Drain Pan

Check if all the old oil has completely drained out from the oil pan. If you don’t see any more oil coming out, then it is time to seal the oil drain pan. Please don’t throw away the oil or pour it down the drain because that is not environmentally friendly. Instead, you’ll need to seal the oil drain pan container and recycle it appropriately.

11) Add the Oil Drain Plug

Install the oil drain plug onto the oil pan of the car.

12) Add the New Oil

Stick the funnel into the oil filter hole. Then, pour the new oil into the funnel so it goes into the oil filter hole. Put the oil filter cap back on over the hole.

13) Turn On the Car Engine

Turn on the car engine and let it run for up to 60 seconds. Check under the car for any oil leakage near the oil filter or oil drain plug.

14) Check the Oil Level with a Dipstick

Turn off the car engine for up 10 minutes. Check the oil level with a dipstick to ensure that you put enough oil into the hole. If the “full” mark was reached on the dipstick, then you have enough oil. Otherwise, add more oil as needed and repeat these steps until the oil reaches the “full” mark.

15) Clean Up

Clear out the drain pan and other accessories from underneath the car. Lower the car to the ground and remove the jack stand.

16) Start the Engine and Drive

Turn on your car and take it for a test drive.

Congratulations! You have successfully changed your oil without professional assistance!