Changing your car’s oil is the most common – and routine – maintenance up-keep that every car owner has to deal with.
Unless you want your car to fall apart, that is. But not everyone can do most vehicle repairs all on their own.
… but routine maintenance like changing your oil can be done by anybody. And if you do it yourself, you will probably save yourself truckloads of cash each year.
As long as you’re fine with getting your hands dirty…
Most people will tell you that changing your oil is easy, but if you’re also like many other Americans – you are hesitant to try it out yourself.
… but the truth is, any person can change their oil on their own. Even if you have ZERO experience.
Here’s how anybody (even you know-nothin’ cousin) can change their car’s oil in less than a day…
Step 1: Find your owner’s manual.
Before you slide underneath the hood, there’s a few things you need first. You will need to buy around 4-5 quartz of oil… and… an oil filter to go with it. To find out which oil your car takes and what filter units you need to buy, you will need to know:
- Engine size.
- Oil type.
Make sure you get enough oil to fill up your vehicle. That way you won’t have to change your oil as frequently.
For the oil filter, all you will need to do is go into a department store and flip through a book to find the oil filter that your vehicle needs.
There’s also sites like Amazon and OEM sites that you can buy the part from. It would be wise to do more research before going to the store.
It’s important not to skimp out on the filter. You will want the best filter possible. Why? The high-grade filters don’t cost that much more than the economy filters… and… they last for more miles.
Once you’re sure you have the correct oil and oil filter, you’re ready to get dirty.
Step 2: Grab all your tools and prepare the car.
Before you start changing your oil, make sure you have all these tools:
- Car jack
- Car jack stands (for safety)
- Socket wrench
- Rubber gloves
- Old towel/blanket to catch loose oil
- Sturdy oil pan (must be heat safe, preferably with spout)
- Oil filter
- Paper towels
Before you get your car up on a jack, it’s helpful to run your car for a minute or so to ensure that the oil in your car is warm.
… but make sure you turn it off when you jack it up. You just want the oil to be warm.
TIP: You may also want to place a white sheet underneath your car so that you won’t have to clean the oil spill afterwards. You can just simply toss away the sheet once you’re done… or you can use an oil pan. It’s up to you.
Your car probably came with a jack. If not, there are plenty of department stores that will sell you one.
If your jack can’t raise high enough for you to fit underneath it, then you will need one that can.
You must jack up your car, otherwise it may fall on top of you. Once your car is up, you can begin draining the oil.
Step 3: Drain Your Oil.
As stated earlier, you will want to run your car before you drain your oil so that it pours out smoothly.
… but once that’s done, you can jack up the car and place the oil drain pan beneath the plug in your car’s oil pan. From there you should be able to find a bolt called the drain plug.
It’s different on each vehicle… especially on imported cars like Audi’s. Check your car’s manual if you’re not sure.
Ensure that the oil drain pan is directly underneath the plug and ready to catch all the oil once it drains.
Place rubber gloves on so that you don’t burn yourself from the warm oil. Then use a socket wrench to twist off the drain plug. Once it’s loose, unscrew the drain plug with your hand.
Once it’s off, try to remove it as quickly as possible.
… otherwise you might get a splash of oil on the face.
Once it starts flowing, let it drain fully. And then use a paper towel to wipe off the drain. Replace the plug, and then move onto the next step.
Step 4: Remove and Replace the Oil Filter
Now it’s time to replace your oil filter. It’s usually a white cylinder shape.
Once you remove the filter, more oil will come out of your vehicle. That’s why it’s best for you to move the oil pan underneath the oil filter.
Oil filters come in a couple different types. Some you can unscrew by hand, but others are made of paper.
For the paper filters, you need to unscrew a cap, slip out the filter, replace it and then seal it shut. It’s always best to check your car’s manual.
Here’s what the process usually looks like…
- Unscrew the old oil filter.
- Let the opening drain until it’s empty.
- Wipe off the opening with a paper towel or an old rag.
- While wearing gloves, dab your finger in the oil pan and run some oil along the rim of the new oil filter to keep it lubricated.
- Lastly, replace the filter and tighten the seal with your hand.
You should wear gloves the entire time in case you burn yourself by accident. Once the filter’s replaced, wipe off the filter and pan to avoid drips of oil.
Doing this will make spotting leaks easier.
(Did you know that our professional service department can fix your oil leaks at unbeatable prices? Give our team a call here.)
Step 5: Refill Your Oil.
Once everything is sealed, it’s time to fill it up with that oil you bought. Again, your car’s manual will tell you how much you need. The 4-5 liter jugs are usually sufficient enough.
Filling up your oil is simple, just follow these steps here:
- Remove the oil cap from the top of your car. You will see the oil symbol on top of the cap.
- Place a funnel inside the hole.
- Begin pouring oil into the funnel until you’ve added the amount specified by your owner’s manual.
- Replace the cap and hand tighten it.
When you fill up your car with oil, you can take it off the jacks and start up the engine. You will want to let it run for at least 10 minutes to cycle the oil through your engine.
After 10 minutes, shut off the car and check your dipstick to make sure the levels are full.
And voila, you’re done! That’s how you can change your oil the HARD way.
… but there is an easier way to get your oil changed. And, you will save more time if you DO it this way.
How? It’s simple… our fully qualified service technicians can change your oil for you so that you won’t have to worry about getting your hands dirty.
… plus we’ll top up all of your other fluids, such as your wiper fluids, transmission fluid… and… engine coolant.
If you’re at all interested, give us a call at 855-808-9288… or visit our lot in Framingham, Massachusetts.
You can book your oil change appointment here.