How To Change Your Oil

An Easy «Do it yourself» Project That Saves Money

Introduction
More than anything, the basic oil change is a great way to connect with your vehicle and take some control over its maintenance. The time you spend under the hood and under the car affords you an excellent opportunity to look around and see if anything else needs attention.
Tools Required
• Wrench to remove drain plug (box end or socket)
• Oil filter wrench
• Oil drain pan
• Funnel
• Latex gloves
• Jack and jack stands or ramps (optional, depends on ground clearance) 

Materials Required
• Oil (consult the owner's manual to confirm the type and amount of oil that's required.)
• Oil filter
• Replacement drain plug washer (depending on application)
Let's get started !
Your engine and its oil should be warm when you get started, but not hot. Let the car sit so the exhaust system cools off some, but don't allow things to go stone cold. If you need to raise the car for better access, this is a good time to do it. Make sure you install proper safety stands, of course.

 

Before making your drain

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Change Your Oil
If necessary, take off the undercover. The good news for us DIYers is that most cars don't have them.
Now it's time to locate the oil filter and drain plug. The vast majority of cars have a bottom-mount screw-on filter.
In this case, the plug and filter are far apart, meaning I must reposition the drain pan after I drain the oil and before I remove the filter.
With the preliminaries out of the way, it's time to drain the oil out of the engine. It's important to place the drain pan under the drain plug — but not directly under it. The angle of the drain plug will cause the oil to stream out at an angle, so I'm offsetting the pan to that side by several inches.
Remove the oil filler cap (the oil will flow out more smoothly and quickly with the cap removed).
It's time to put the gloves on. You can usually remove the drain plug with a common end wrench and a bit of muscle. Go slowly as you remove the drain plug and keep your hands away from the expected path of the oil. It's going to come out quick and warm. This is another reason why it's best not to change oil when the engine and its oil are piping hot.
Inspect and clean the oil drain plug while the rest of the oil is draining. If your drain plug does need a replacement washer, make sure the old one isn't stuck to the engine's oil pan.
Tighten the drain plug. Theoretically, there is a torque specification for drain plugs, but they're almost never published in the owner's manual.
Remove the oil filter
New filters that are properly installed don't go on terribly tight. But they can be hard to get off later because their sealing gaskets swell over time. Use rags to clean as much oil away as you can, paying special attention to the filter sealing surface.

Install the new filter
The last messy step involves smearing a dab of new oil on the new filter's O-ring. Spinning the filter on gently until the O-ring makes first contact with the sealing surface. Generally, oil filters are tightened no more than three-quarters of a turn to a full turn beyond the point where the O-ring first contacts the sealing surface. Consult your manual or the oil filter box to confirm the proper amount.
it's time to add oil
Add approximately one quart less than the recommended amount. Now it's time to replace the oil cap and start the engine. Run the engine for 30 seconds or so to circulate the new oil, check the oil level, then shut it down and check your work area underneath the car for leaks.
Once you're satisfied that everything is OK, lower the car off the jack stands or ramps.
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