How to Change Car Oil and Filter Yourself


Car Motor Oil          So you have decided to start changing your own motor oil. Congratulations! This is a relatively easy process that may seem daunting at first. However changing your own oil will save you a lot of money as well as be satisfying because you will learn the most fundamental vehicle care maintenance procedure. All vehicles are different; however these basic steps will allow you to understand the process required to perform your own oil change.

Step 1

Research what the proper torque specs are for your oil drain plug, as well as what size socket you drain plug bolt requires. You can either find this information on the internet or by contacting your local auto parts store. Find out this information before you perform your oil change so you will buy the proper tools beforehand.

Step 2

Purchase your tools, sockets, motor oil, and oil filter. Most vehicles require roughly 5 quarts of motor oil. Make sure you match the correct viscosity of motor oil to what your car requires. Some examples are 5W 30, 10W 30, 10W 40, etc. You can find this information in your car’s manual usually.

Step 3

Use two car jacks to jack up both sides of the front of your car. Jack each side up far enough so that you will have room to get under the car with a roller. After you jack up the car put jack stands underneath the car to prevent the car from falling if one of the jacks should happen to fail. This is an extra safety precaution that should be used.

Step 4

Now slide under the car and place a bucket or some type of container to catch the dirty oil from the oil change. Use your ratchet and socket to remove the oil drain plug. It may be very difficult to remove the drain plug with a regular ratchet if it is torque on tight. You may have to use a lot of force to remove it. If you cannot, then attach your socket to a long breaker bar which will give you much more leverage and force to remove the bolt.

Step 5

Once the bolt is removed let the dirty motor oil drain into the pan. Let it drain for a good five minutes or more to allow all the remaining oil at the bottom of the pan to come out. Now put the drain plug back on and torque it back to spec using a torque wrench. If the plug came with a washer and the washer needs to be replaced, then you can do so before you bolt it back on. If the washer is a metal one they usually do not need to be replaced unless it is visibly damaged or leaking. However the plastic washers usually need to be replaced.

Step 6

Now remove the oil filter using an oil filter removal tool. Be careful because it is usually hot. You may want to wear gloves for this. Let the rest of the oil drain out into your catch pan. Usually there is not that much oil that comes out of the oil filter housing.

Step 7

Install the new oil filter. Take a small amount of new fresh motor oil and rub it on the rubber gasket on the top of the new oil filter. Screw the new filter on as tight as you can with your hands. Then use a tool to give it an extra quarter of a turn to a half turn with the tool to ensure that it seals well.

Step 8

Remove the motor oil catch pan from underneath the car as well as all your tools. Now remove the jack stands and lower your car all the way down to the ground.

Step 9

Open the hood and unscrew the oil cap. Fill with your new motor oil. Check the level of your oil with your dipstick to make sure you have added the correct amount of oil. Once done reseal your oil cap and close your hood.

Step 10

Your car should now be ready to go. Start the car and let it run. Listen for any weird ticking noises coming from the motor. If you do, you may have forgotten to add the motor oil or are missing a few quarts of motor oil. Also check underneath the car to see if you are leaking any new oil from the drain plug. If you are you either did not tighten it enough or you need to replace the washer.

Step 11

You are done! Congratulations, you have just completed your first oil change.

Additional Advice

                   There are many oil types and manufacturers out there. Make sure you use the proper grade of oil and viscosity for your vehicles application.

Change Car Air Filter   Change Car Air Filter                                                                           Choose Right Car Rims    How to Choose the Right Car Rims