You don’t have to be a skilled mechanic to change the oil in your automobile. I’ve been changing my own oil for years and I’m not mechanically inclined in the least. Follow these suggestions if you want to tackle an oil change.
What You’ll Need
A new oil filter – You can purchase one online or by going to your local parts store.
An oil filter wrench – This specialized piece of equipment makes it much easier to remove an old filter. Some filters are located in tight spots that don’t allow for the use of a wrench so, you might have to loosen and tighten by hand.
A 9/16″ or similar wrench – To remove the plug bolt on the bottom of the oil pan.
Ramps – To pull the vehicle on to allow access to the oil pan. Be sure and put the emergency brake on and scotch the back tires.
New oil – Consult your owner’s manual or ask the salesman at the parts store for the recommended viscosity. I prefer a synthetic oil as it lasts longer between changing.
An oil collection container – You can easily contain your old oil and the transport it to your waste collection facility. Don’t dispose of the oil in the garbage or on the ground as it’s toxic to the environment.
Some rags, newspapers and paper towels – Changing your oil is a somewhat messy business so always have some extra stuff to wipe and clean with and you can put the newspapers under the oil pan to keep any stray oil from soaking into your garage floor or driveway.
It’s best to empty the old oil when it’s slightly warm so it doesn’t clump up and stay in the engine. After pulling the car on the metal ramps, remove the oil fill cap to reduce the vacuum and to allow the oil to drain more quickly. Unscrew the oil pan plug bolt and let the old oil drain into the collection container. Once the oil flow slows down, use the filter wrench or your hands to loosen and remove the old filter.
When the oil has completely stopped flowing out of the oil pan, screw the plug bolt back in. Put a thin coating of new oil on the gasket ring of the new filter to help it seal. Using the filter wrench or your hands, tighten until the filter is snug then tighten another half turn. Put the new oil in the oil fill hole according to the recommendation of the vehicle manufacturer. Check the dipstick after the next to last quart to make sure you’re not over filling. When finished, replace the oil fill cap before starting.
Start the car and let it idle for five minutes while you check for leaks, your oil pressure gauge (if your vehicle has one) and warning lights.