How to Change Your Car Oil

Changing your oil is an easy task but also dangerous if you don’t follow the safety procedures. The ability to change your oil can help you save money and reassure the job is done correctly.

Things will need:

  1. Jack (I suggest a 2-ton jack or higher to be on the safe side)
  2. (2) Jack Stands
  3. Motor Oil (Read your vehicle’s manual for the require oil weight and amount)
  4. Oil Bolt Washer
  5. Oil Filter (Read your vehicle’s manual for the filter size)
  6. Oil Filter Wrench (May not need this depending how tight the filter is)
  7. Socket Wrench
  8. Socket (Size varies depending on car’s oil bolt)
  9. Oil Drain Pan
  10. Gloves
  11. Funnel
  12. Goggles

It’s good to warm your engine so the oil can heat up. Let the car cool down for 15-30 minutes. Put on your goggles. Make sure your vehicle is on a level surface. Most vehicles have a jack point in the front mid section of the car or the side or the rear differential. I usually like to use the front mid section but it depends on your vehicle’s ride height if the jack can fit under the car. Look under the car for the jack point. It is a hard metal called the cross-member. It should something like this:
Different vehicles have different designs of the cross-member. If you are not sure which is the right one, refer to your owner’s manual.
Now jack the car up enough so you can fit under the car and with extra space.
Take (1) jack stand and place it under the front driver side of the car. Take the other jack stand and place it under the front passenger side of the car. It should look like this:jack stand

Unscrew the oil filler cap located on top of the engine. The newer cars usually comes with a undercover for aerodynamics and to protect the bottom of the car. It can be removed by the screws or clips depending on car. After removing the screws/clips, you should look for the oil pan and oil bolt. The oil pan is large and it sags down with a bolt attach to it. Place the oil drain pan slightly ahead of the bolt on the ground. Here’s what the oil pan and oil bolt looks like:
oil pan

The oil pan location varies depending on the make of the car. Depending on the oil bolt size, use the appropriate socket size and wrench to remove the bolt. Remember this saying “Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty”. Once you have loosen the bolt, I suggest you remove the bolt by hand so the bolt won’t drop into oil drain pan. After the oil is completely drained, you should start to remove the oil filter. Now, usually the oil filter is located at the bottom of the car near the oil pan but it can also be located on top of the engine depending on vehicle. Here are two examples of where the filter can be located: oil filteroil filter top

You can try to loosen the filter by hand, but if that doesn’t work then you should use the oil filter wrench. Remember “Lefty Loosey.” Once the oil has drained from the oil filter location, you can place the new oil filter on. Coat the oil filter gasket (inside surroundings of filter) with new oil to lube the filter. After you’ve replace the oil filter, you can put the oil bolt back on with the new washer. Do not over tighten the bolt, you may cause damage to the oil pan.
After that’s done, you can jack the car back down. Use the funnel to put new oil into the motor. Put the right amount of oil base on your vehicle’s requirements. Again, if you are not sure, refer to your owner’s manual. Remember to screw the oil filler cap back on. While the hood is open, it’s good to check on your other fluids such as antifreeze, window washer fluid, and brake fluid. After that’s all checked, you can start the car and let it warm. Check for any leaks by looking under the car.
Use the funnel to place the old oil back into the container(s) where the new oil used to be. You can drop off the old oil at any auto parts store such as autozone, pepboys, or advance auto parts.

Image Sources:

7 thoughts on “How to Change Your Car Oil

  1. This is very good, Habeeb. Where did you get the images? It is worthwhile to note the source. And do these instructions apply across models or are they universal?

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