How to change the oil in your car


Apr 15th, 2019

How to change the oil in your car

It is important that you change the engine oil of your vehicle regularly, as well as, its filter in order to keep your car running at an optimum level. As you continue to drive your car, you will experience a breakdown in the oil, as well as, the clogging of your vehicle's filter with contaminants. Changing the oil in your car is relatively easy and is not expensive to carry out.

How often should you change the oil and filter?

It is recommended that oil change is carried out according to the specifications of the car manufacturer. This is because all vehicles are unique in their own way. You can locate information about changing your car oil in the manual. Then again, if you look in the maintenance schedule, you will find the information there too. 


  1. Jack The Car Up

Move your car into space which has level ground, as well as, sufficient working area. Allow the car to stay idle for about 10 minutes in order to warm up the oil. Caution is needed for draining hot oil. Now, put your car in park mode and activate the parking brake before you exit your car.

Restrain the tires of your car with a wheel block. Ensure that you place the wheel blocks only on the car tires that will stay put on the ground. Then, look for the vehicle’s jacking points. If you do not know how to find them, refer to the owners manual.

Now, it is time to jack the car up, and this must be done on one side. At the jacking points, place the jack stands. To ensure that the car is sufficiently restrained, rock the car in order to guarantee safety. Then, set the pan for recovering oil (drain pan) under the engine of the vehicle. Allow your car to rest for about 10 minutes so that it cools down. This is because the exhaust and the engine might still be hot. 

  1. Drain the Oil

At this point, you need to gather your supplies. The items that will be needed are the new oil to be used for the car, as well as, the recommended oil filter. Now, take out the oil cap. You can find it located at the top of your vehicle's engine when you open the hood.

Next, we need to locate the oil pan which is under your vehicle. The oil pan is a metal pan that is flat and in closer proximity to your vehicle's engine. Find the drain plug for your engine, and you should be careful not to confuse it with the drain plug for the transmission. To easily locate it, try to point out the exhaust which is always connected to the car’s engine. It is the tube which goes from your vehicle's front all the way to the back. Below the engine, you will find the oil pan, as well as, the drain plug.

In a counter-clockwise motion, take off the oil plug by making use of an appropriate socket. Alternatively, a crescent spanner can be used. If the metal washer is still in top shape, it can be reused. However, the felt drain plug should be removed and replaced. 

Keep in mind that several minutes are needed to completely drain the old oil from your vehicle. As soon as the oil no longer runs from the crankcase, you should replace the plug. The new washer should be placed in the plug, and three important areas which you should carry out inspection and cleaning are the drain, as well as, the plug and the gasket. It is on the drain plug that your vehicle's new gasket will be put.

  1. Replace the Oil Filter

Since filters do not have a specific position where they can be placed, you need to find the filter assembly. The replacement filter that you have bought can give you a clue regarding what is to be looked for. Basically, filter cylinders measure about 4 inches to 6 inches in length with a width of 3 inches. There are vehicles which come with filter elements or cartridges instead of the regular kind of filter that is usually spin-on. In that case, you will find a built-in reservoir that contains the filter element.

Once you have found the oil filter, unscrew it. You can grip it by hand and make slow and steady twists in a counterclockwise motion. If it seems difficult to unscrew by hand, you can make use of a tool for removing the oil filter. Ensure that the drain pan is correctly placed below the filter before you attempt to remove the filter completely. This is important to avoid spillage. In order for too much oil not to spill while taking out the filter, a plastic bag can be wrapped around it so that if oil escapes while being removed, it will be caught by the bag. Remember to keep the drain pan in place so that any oil that spills can also be caught by it. In the filter, some oil will still remain trapped, and they will only come out once completely unscrewed. 

At this point, you need to get the new filter prepared. Take very little replacement oil with your fingers tip, then, take the new filter and smear the new oil on its gasket ring in order to enhance gasket lubrication and help the new filter to seal very well. This will, also, make it easier to get the filter off during the next oil change.

Very little oil can be poured into the filter before you install it. The reason for this is that it helps to lower how long it takes your vehicle to build the right oil pressure. For vertically mounted filters, getting them filled with oil almost to the brim is possible. However, if the filter is mounted at a slightly different angle, then, some of the oil will definitely spill as you intend to spin the filter back on.

Now, screw the new filter back on very carefully so that threads are not crossed. On the filter, you will find instructions on how tight it should be. Check the box specifications to find specific instructions. Click on the filter should be tightened to the point where the gasket touches. 

  1. Add New Oil

The right amount of oil needed is indicated in the manual. New oil should be added through the vehicle's fill hole. For the oil to pour easily without any bubbles, hold the bottle such that the spout remains on top. Ensure that the right oil is being used. It is very important that you consult the experts or go to the manual before you add any oil. The dipstick is not always reliable when it comes to providing correct measurements. This mostly happens when you just run your engine. For the stick to give you an accurate reading, carry out checks very early in the morning when your vehicle is parked on level ground, cold and stable.

The next thing to do is to put back the fuel cap. Ensure that no tools are left around and, then, shut the hood. Beneath your car, carry out an inspection to ensure that there are no leaks. Wherever there are spills, do your best to wipe it all off. There's really no danger if some oil comes in contact with the crankcase as you pour it, but it could lead to smoking as the temperature of the engine builds up which results in a burnt oil smell and could get you nervous. Also, it can affect the smell of your interior. 

At this point, you can start the engine. Make sure that the light which indicates oil pressure goes off as soon as you start the vehicle. Your car should remain in neutral, and the brake for parking should be activated in order to carry out checks for drips or leaks beneath your car. Leaks may occur if the filter, as well as, the drain plug are not tight enough. Allow the engine to run for, at least, 60 seconds in order to build pressure while making sure that everything was installed the right way. 

Resetting the light for the oil change is another option that you can explore. It is important that you consult your manual to determine how best to carry out the steps as the process is peculiar to different makes and models. For example, some cars require that you turn them off after which you turn the vehicle’s ignition on. Then, go ahead to pump the vehicle’s gas pedal within 10 seconds about 3 times. As soon as you restart the vehicle, you will find out that the lights have been reset.

The oil levels should be checked, and you can do this by taking the dipstick out. As soon as you have turned off the car for about 10 minutes and allowed the oil to settle, check the dipstick again to make sure that you have the right levels.

  1. Dispose of the Oil

Use a sealing container to get the old oil transferred. You can make use of the new container which you emptied the new oil from. Pour carefully and slowly so that none of the old oil is spilled and you can make use of a plastic funnel. Where possible, mark the bottle so that you do not mistakenly think of it as new oil. Other types of containers which you can use are used milk jugs, plastic bottles, or even your windshield washer fluid jug. The important thing is to ensure that you clearly mark the container which is to be used regardless of what choice of container you go with. Never make the mistake of using containers which hold chemicals such as paint, antifreeze, as well as, bleach and pesticides to poor old oil. This is because the recycling process will be affected negatively.

Check your oil filter to ensure that it is drained too. Oil that comes from the filter can be included with the old oil. It is possible to recycle your oil filters, so, do not dispose of them.

The next step is to look for a collection site that specializes in the collection of old oil. In your neighborhood, you can find information about collection sites from motor oil vendors. The used oil from your vehicle can be accepted at service stations where oil changes are carried out but will likely pay a small fee. 

Recycled oil may be a good option for you the next time you wish to carry out an oil change. Motor oil that has been used can be refined to the point where it complies with certain certifications, as well as, specifications related to brand new oil. The recycling process for used oil consumes lesser energy when compared to the production of brand new oil. Then again, the recycling of motor oil assists in the reduction of oil importation from foreign countries. Sometimes, you can purchase recycled oil for a far lesser price than new oil.