A Guide to Changing your Car’s Oil

Over the years your car will need routine maintenance that has to be performed by professionals, but there are some jobs that you can do just fine by yourself. One of those is the oil change, and whether you want to attempt it on your own in an effort to save money, or if you just want to get a bit of independence, it can be a good place to start with the upkeep of your car. A lot of car enthusiasts will tell you that the oil change is easy, but it’s natural to feel cautious about attempting it for yourself. Here are a few pointers when it comes to changing your car’s oil.

First steps

Gather all of the necessary equipment, including the car jack, socket wrench, an oil drain pan, new oil, oil filter and a funnel. You should also have rubber gloves, paper towels and an old towel or blanket to catch the loose oil. Before you get the car up on the jack you should run your car for a few minutes to make sure the oil in the vehicle is warm. If the oil is warm then it will flow out easier, just make sure the engine is off when you get the car up on the jack.

Drain the oil

Place the oil drain pan beneath the plug in your car’s oil pan and look for a lone bolt called the drain plug. You should check your car’s manual before looking for this, as it can look different on various vehicles. Put your rubber gloves on and then use a socket wrench to loosen the drain plug. After you get it loose, unscrew the plug the rest of the way by hand, and try to do it as quickly as possible to minimise oil spillage. The oil will then start flowing freely into the pan, and you should let your vehicle empty completely before moving on. Wipe the bottom of the vehicle with your paper towels and then replace the drain plug.

Replace oil filter

Oil filters come in different types, as some are in self-contained units that can be unscrewed by hand, while others are made of paper. For the paper ones you unscrew a cap, slide out the paper filter, and then replace the new one before resealing. You should be wearing gloves during this entire process, as there will still be oil pouring out of the filter that you can burn yourself with.

Refill the oil

After sealing everything underneath the car you can begin to refill the oil. Read your car’s manual to find out how much oil is needed. Remove the oil cap from the top of your car, place a funnel inside and then begin to pour the new oil. Then simply replace the cap and tighten it up again. After filling the car with new oil you can take it off the jack and turn the engine on. Allow it to run for a few minutes to cycle the new oil through the system before turning it off again, and check your dipstick to see that the levels are where they should be.

Get rid of the old oil

There are legal guidelines when it comes to disposing of car oil, and you should take it to a mechanic service that will be able to do it for you. There are some petrol stations that will help you out, too. You can place the old oil into the container that you bought your new oil in for easy transportation. And there you have it, you’ve now successfully changed your car’s oil all by yourself!