Changing your car’s engine oil is an essential part of routine maintenance that can help keep your engine running smoothly and extend its lifespan. By regularly replacing the oil, you ensure that your engine remains properly lubricated, minimizing wear and tear on its moving parts.
In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of changing your car’s engine oil. This task can be done by DIY enthusiasts with basic mechanical skills and a few tools. So let’s get started!
Gather the necessary tools and supplies
Before you begin, make sure that you have all the tools and supplies required for this task. Here’s a list of the items you will need:
- New engine oil (Check your car’s manual for the recommended viscosity and type)
- Oil filter
- Car jack and jack stands or ramps
- Wrench or socket set
- Oil filter wrench
- Drain pan
- Rag or shop towels
Park your car in a safe and level area
Before you start working on your car, find a flat and level surface to park it. Make sure the engine is turned off and cool to avoid any potential burns from hot surfaces.
Prepare your car for the oil change
- Engage the parking brake to secure your car in place.
- If your car has a protective undercover or engine splash shield, remove it to access the oil drain plug and oil filter.
Drain the old engine oil
- Locate the oil drain plug under your car’s engine. It is usually a bolt-like fitting at the bottom of the oil pan.
- Position the drain pan under the oil drain plug to collect the old oil.
- Use a wrench or socket set to loosen and remove the oil drain plug. Be cautious as the oil may be hot.
- Let the old oil drain completely into the pan. This may take a few minutes.
- Once the oil has stopped dripping, clean the drain plug and securely screw it back into place.
Replace the oil filter
- Locate the oil filter. It is typically a cylindrical-shaped component attached to the engine block.
- Use an oil filter wrench to loosen and remove the old oil filter. Again, be careful as it may contain some residual oil.
- Take your new oil filter and lubricate its rubber gasket with some fresh oil.
- Screw the new oil filter into place, ensuring it is hand-tightened. Do not overtighten it.
Add new engine oil
- Locate the oil filler cap on top of your engine. It is usually marked with an oil can icon.
- Remove the oil filler cap and place a funnel into the opening.
- Pour the recommended amount of new engine oil into the funnel. Check your car’s manual for the exact capacity.
- Once all the oil has been added, remove the funnel and securely tighten the oil filler cap.
Check the oil level
- Start your car’s engine and let it run for a few minutes.
- Turn off the engine and wait for a couple of minutes to allow the oil to settle.
- Remove the oil dipstick, wipe it clean, and reinsert it fully.
- Pull out the dipstick again and check the oil level. It should be between the minimum and maximum marks.
- If the oil level is low, add more oil as needed and recheck the level.
Clean up and dispose of the old oil
- Carefully transfer the used oil from the drain pan into a sealable container. Be sure to use a funnel to avoid spills.
- Seal the container tightly and take it to a recycling facility or an auto parts store that offers oil recycling services.
Regularly changing your car’s engine oil is a simple but important task that can greatly contribute to the longevity and performance of your vehicle. By following this step-by-step guide, you can confidently perform an oil change at home, saving time and money. Remember to consult your car’s manual for any specific instructions and recommendations.