My husband worked as a mechanic for over 25 years. He taught me how to change my oil, (although he usually ended up doing it for me), and I remember the lesson well. I will share these 10 important tips. Before attempting to do anything with your car or truck, you should always make sure you have a safe place to complete the task, the proper amount and quality of materials, and the correct tools for the job.
- 1. Consult the car’s manual or the internet for capacities. This requires knowing the engine size and displacement. Examples: 5 quarts of 5W30 or 10W30 viscosity, plus enough oil to fill the replacement filter.
- 2. Purchase quality motor oil, which should cost between $3.50 and $5.00/quart and a name brand oil filter
- 3. Although you can use jack stands for raising the car, ramps work even better. I recommend you find a safe place and the best and safest method for you to raise the car enough to access the drain plug and the filter. If you have access to someone with a lift, that would be the best choice.
- 4. Proper tools include a filter wrench and an adjustable crescent wrench. However, an exact fit box wrench is best. They come in metric and SAE sizes, (refer to your manual). You will also need an 8 quart pan to drain the old oil.
- 5. Remove the positive battery terminal to avoid sparks and heat if you accidentally short out any circuits.
- 6. Loosen the oil pan drain plug carefully with the 8 quart pan beneath to catch the oil. After the oil has completely drained out, loosen the filter with the filter wrench, (also called a strap wrench), until you can remove it by hand.
- 7. Place a small amount of oil on the new filter gasket and put the filter in place. Tighten the new filter only hand tight plus ¼ turn to prevent tightening too much.
- 8. Replace the drain plug and tighten to specifications, (usually 15-20 ft lbs). Do not tighten too much or you will strip the plug and need a new one.
- 9. Refill the engine with new motor oil. And reconnect the battery terminal.
- 10. Run the car for two minutes and check for leaks. Turn the car off and check the oil level. When you have finished, wipe off any excess oil and clean up any spills before removing the ramps, or letting your car down.
You should always make sure you are comfortable with the information before attempting any task. Use quality products in a safe environment. Keeping this in mind and following these ten tips along with following you car’s manual you will now be on your way to changing your own oil.