How to Change Your Own Oil

Some things about car ownership are inevitable, like oil changes and tire rotations. Regular maintenance isn’t too costly, yet learning to change your own oil can save you money in the long run. Here’s the how-to of oil changing.

Choose Your Oil

Consult your owner’s manual to learn which type of oil is best for your car. While you’re looking in there, read up on any instructions or precautions specific to your vehicle.

Prepare Your Car

If your engine is cold, then start your car and let it run for five or ten minutes. Oil changes work best when the oil is warm. Then, pop your hood and remove the oil cap. This will help the oil drain more quickly. Next, you’ll need to elevate your car so you can get underneath. Don’t use a jack for this. It’s too unstable and dangerous since you’ll be under the car. Instead, drive your car onto a wheel ramp and put on the emergency brakes.

Drain the Oil

Now that you can get under your car, locate the oil drain plug towards the rear of the engine sump. Place a large drain pan (5 to 7 quarts) underneath. Loosen the plug with a wrench and remove it with your hand, but be careful as the oil might be hot.

Replace the Oil Filter

Now you can carefully remove the old oil filter and replace it with a new one. Before inserting the new filter, apply some new oil to the rubber gasket. Then, screw it back into place. After cleaning off the oil plug, replace that, too.

Fill Your Car With Clean Oil

Using a funnel, fill your car with the oil you chose with the help of the owner’s manual. Check your manual to see how much oil your car should have. Screw the cap on, take your car off of the wheel ramp, and you’re good to go!

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