Changing your oil filter or your car’s oil by yourself can definitely save you big bucks. The frequency in changing your oil is usually found in your car’s manual, most owner’s manual even includes the exact quantity of motor oil needed after an oil change. You don’t need to be an expert or even a mechanic to change your car’s oil, it’s easy!
RandomFix will surely give you the guidelines on how to change it without a hassle. What you need to learn are the basic parts of the car and grab the right equipment you need to complete the job. With the exception of a few vehicles that have the oil drain plug or vehicle’s oil filter in a hard to reach location, changing your engine oil can be a breeze. Some DIY individuals even go so far as to state that most often you can change your engine oil faster than have to go the dealer or oil change facility.
The process in changing your oil includes draining of the existing oil that’s in your engine, replacing the oil filter, adding the new oil, making sure that there are no leaks, and testing the quality.
To start changing your oil, the gook needs to get churned up to flow easily out of the engine. Do this by warming up your vehicle’s engine for 2 to 3 minutes. The engine will be too hot to touch, it could burn your skin. You’ll know to turn the engine off when it’s slightly warm to touch already.
Here are the steps you should follow to easily change your car’s oil:
The Drain Plug
You’ve been warned earlier about learning the basic parts of a car. Locate under your car what is called a drain plug. Located at the engine bottom, under the oil pan is a plug or a large nut. If you have a hard time reaching your oil drain plug, jacking up the car or crawling underneath it will probably be a good idea. A few words of safety advice, never go under a vehicle that’s not supported by quality jack stands or a heavy duty drive-up ramp, many pros prefer the plastic ramps. It can take some skill to drive up a service ramp, I’ve included a great how-to video for ease.
Place a container just right below the oil drain plug to catch the oil. Make sure the container is big enough. Unscrewing the oil drain plug should be next. Make sure to protect your hand using paper towels or a rag and be prepared to move your hand out of the way. Shortly, the oil will drain out of the engine to the catch container.
Changing your engine oil can be a dirty job if not done correctly. Always wear proper gloves and eye protection. Some tools like a magnetic drain plug remover tool will assist in avoiding injury from the hot oil. For the catch pan, you can pick a splatter guard which will ensure your garage floor remains spotless.
At the top of your engine, you should remove the cap from oil filler hole and proceed by unscrewing the oil filter with the use of an oil filter wrench. Make sure you invest a quality oil filter wrench set for your vehicle. Depending on the ‘make’ of your vehicle the oil filter can be in several different locations. As a rule of thumb most European vehicle’s oil filter is normally located at the top of the engine. This makes servicing some European vehicles a dream, whereas most Asian imports, the oil filter is serviced from underneath the vehicle. Once you’ve located your oil filter, twist the filter off by turning counterclockwise. Once the oil filter is removed, make sure you have removed the oil filter gasket. If the old oil filter gasket is not removed it can cause a severe oil leak that can bring permanent engine damage.
Tips: Be careful in removing the filter to avoid spilling the oil in it. Avoid contact with the motor oil at all time.
Using the drain pan, empty the oil from the filter and wrap in newspaper afterward. You may set the used engine oil aside and take it to a recycling center later along with the oil filter. Most auto parts store will also recycle used motor oil and this is normally free of cost.
Dip your finger into a newly opened oil bottle and use it to moisten oil filter gasket that’s on the new oil filter. Screw the new filter replacing the old one into the engine. Turn it gently and follow the directions you’ll see on the filter. Do it until it ‘seats’ and give another ¾ turn. Look at the oil drain plug and wipe around it only after all of the oil has been drained out.
With late model vehicle the oil filter, a cartridge sits inside of oil filter housing. These late model oil filters come with a large oil ring that needs to be replaced from time to time. To look for the correct torque specification for your oil filter and drain plug, check out this Amsoil website.
You could use an adjustable wrench to tighten the oil drain plug when you replace it. You must remove and put a new gasket the Drain plug. Do not over torque the drain plug as most late model vehicles come equipped with an aluminum oil pan that can be damaged easily. Whenever and wherever possible use a torque wrench. Once the drain plug and oil filter are back in, you’re now ready to add fresh motor oil.
Using a quality funnel slowly pour the engine oil through the oil filler cap. Once the correct quantity of engine oil has been added proceed by tightening the oil filler cap. On some vehicle taking an oil measurement may have very inaccurate readings, so, let your engine run for about 10 to 15 seconds. Let your car sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
A few words of caution, after you’ve changed your engine oil, pay attention to all the warning lights on your instrument cluster on the first start. If you should see an oil lamp stay illuminated this could be a very bad sign. TURN OFF YOUR VEHICLE’S ENGINE IMMEDIATELY. Also, look out for any signs of low oil pressure from any of the vehicle’s systems. The oil drain plug and around the filter should be checked for leaks.
Using a clean and lint-free rag, remove the oil dipstick before shoving it back in. Again, pull it out and check it, adding little oil at a time if needed. The stick should be checked after you add little oil at a time ‘til you reach full line on dipstick.
You can now remove the drain pan you put earlier under the vehicle and do a test drive on your vehicle. Driving around the neighborhood a couple of times would help.
Let the oil settle down again for around 5-10 minutes, re-checking the dipstick after.
If it’s still full, you’ve just successfully changed your car’s oil! A final oil level check should be conducted only on a level surface. Some vehicles will need the oil change reminder light or message reset. Easy, right?
Remember the old oil you set aside earlier? Now you just have to bring it to an auto parts shop or the nearest oil-recycling center you know! Here a few last minute helpful tips, when you remove the oil filler cap, place it by the hood latch, that way if you forget to put it back, your hood won’t close ensuring you will not forget. I recommend doing the same with the dipstick. There’s also another method of changing engine oil by just sucking it out. Some vehicles don’t have a dipstick and you will need to check the oil level using the driver information center.
How did you find changing your car’s oil by yourself?