How To Change Oil In Your Car: Step-By-Step Guide
Car owners make mistakes with oil changes despite it being a straightforward process.
What’s the reason?
Performing an oil change properly requires that you know where to look for specific parts on your car. Furthermore, you’ll need the right tools and materials.
In any case, if you have any doubts about the motor oil change process or are unsure whether you can perform the task properly, you should seek professional assistance. Besides having the right expertise and tools, they’d also be able to do an oil change properly and safely.
Following that, here’s how you should change your oil:
Step #1: Verify the type and amount of oil required for your engine.
In order to change the car oil properly, it’s crucial to know how much engine oil (or motor oil) you need and its viscosity and weight.
The owner’s manual explains these details and other oil-specific requirements – for example, your car’s diesel engine requires synthetic oil for optimal performance. Use the right oil to ensure lubrication and prolong the life of your engine.
Step #2: Prepare your car for an oil change.
Parking your car on a plastic sheet spread across a level surface is an easy way to protect it. If an oil spill were to occur, this sheet would facilitate cleanup. After starting your car, allow it to run for about five minutes (to warm up the motor oil) before turning it off.
What is the reason?
Draining warm oil removes some contaminants, so it flows better.
The next step is to:
- Engage the parking brake
- Elevate your car securely with a jack
- Install jack stands to provide support
- To prevent the car from rolling, place wheel chocks
Step #3: Locate, loosen, and remove the oil drain plug.
Drain plugs (also known as sump plugs or oil plugs) are usually found beneath your vehicle’s oil pan (also called sump) under the engine block. After you find the oil drain plug, place an oil catch pan (aka catch pan) underneath it.
After that, loosen the oil plug or sump plug from under the oil pan with a socket wrench or ratchet. Oil may spill all over the place if the oil drain pan is not positioned correctly.
Step #4: Drain the dirty oil out of the engine.
The motor oil will flow out as soon as you remove the drain plug.
Depending on the amount of oil in the car, draining could take a few minutes. In the ideal world, you should let dirty oil drip until it slows down. Sometimes, dirty oil will flow out at an angle, so you may need to adjust the position of the oil drain pan to prevent spills.
Step #5: Reinstall the oil drain plug.
Wipe the oil drain plug with a clean cloth. Check the drain plug and drain plug gasket for any signs of damage.
All of these parts need to be replaced if damaged.
Afterward, lay the rubber gasket, reinstall the oil drain plug, and tighten the plug to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Step #6: Replace the oil filter (if necessary).
Using a filter wrench, remove the oil filter. Examine the oil filter condition and determine if it needs to be replaced.
In order to replace the old oil filter, you will need to know what kind of oil filter your vehicle uses:
- The old oil filter can be easily removed with a twist of a screw-on oil filter. In addition, some engine oil needs to be applied to the O-ring when installing the new oil filter.
- To replace an oil filter cartridge, remove its housing cap. Once you have replaced the oil filter, reinstall the cap after you have swapped the oil filter.
Step #7: Pour fresh oil into the engine.
Once the oil drain plug and oil filter have been installed, it’s time to add fresh oil.
First, you’ll need to lower the car and open its hood. After removing the oil cap (usually with a can symbol), slowly pour in the new oil in the correct quantity.
Step #8: Check the motor oil level.
The oil dipstick can be used to determine if the new oil level is correct.
Put the dipstick on the ground and wipe it down with a clean cloth. After that, push the dipstick back into its tube. Remove the dipstick and check if the oil level falls between the specified markings.
An oil dipstick is, however, not always available in some cars. In such cases, you’ll need to check the electronic monitor in your car to determine the engine oil level.
Step #9: Start the engine, turn it off, and check the oil level again.
Turn on the engine after installing the oil fill cap.
The engine is turned on for a few minutes, then turned off, and allowed to sit for a few minutes. Make sure the oil level is correct and that there are no signs of oil leakage under the car.
Make sure to top off the engine with more fresh oil if it is below its specified range.
Step #10: Dispose of the old oil.
The used oil (or old oil) must be disposed of properly.
Alternatively, you can transfer the old oil into a container and take it to a shop that sells auto parts or to an oil recycling facility.
In the event that any one of these steps is beyond your skills, we recommend that you seek the assistance of a professional mechanic.
We will answer some frequently asked questions regarding oil changes now that you know how the engine oil is changed:
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are answers to four frequently asked questions about oil changes:
1. When Should I Change My Car’s Engine Oil?
There isn’t a definitive answer to this question.
Motor oil may need to be changed every 3,500 to 5000 miles if your engine uses conventional oil.
Alternatively, if you’re using synthetic motor oil, the oil change intervals are typically much longer – between 10,000 and 15,000 miles.
Change your engine oil slightly before the oil change interval specified by your vehicle manufacturer.
2. How Do I Change My Car’s Oil?
Here are some of the tools you may need to change your oil:
- Socket wrench
- Oil filter wrench
- Jack stands
- Oil drain pan
- Container for old oil
- Rubber mallet
For safety and cleanliness, you’ll also need latex gloves, paper towel sets, safety glasses, and so on.
3. Materials Needed for Car Oil Change?
The following materials may be required for an oil change:
- Engine oil
- Oil filter
- Oil filter gasket
- Oil filter washer
4. How Much Does A Lubrication Cost?
A professional mechanic can change your oil for between $50 and $125.
Costs vary depending on:
- The make, year, and model of your car
- The type of engine oil used
- Your location
Fill out this online form to get a more accurate estimate.
However, if you’re replacing the oil and oil filter yourself, you can expect to spend $75.
A few steps are necessary to changing your car’s engine oil, and you should follow them correctly. Otherwise, your engine’s performance and lifespan may be compromised.