Never change your oil while the engine is hot!
Let it cool for a few hours, oil can burn you badly.
Be sure you have a safe area to do your oil change. Level, solid ground is a must so that you can safely jack up your car.
I also like to put something on the driveway or garage floor underneath
the engine in case you spill. Cardboard or a piece of plywood are great
Before you even start to do your oil change, be sure you have everything you need to get the job done. What You'll Need
- Ratchet or open end wrench
- Oil filter wrench
- Oil catch/recycle container
- New oil filter
- New Oil
- Clean rag
The first step in an oil change is to get the old stuff out of there.
The oil drains out of the oil pan at the very bottom of your engine.
The oil is held in by a drain plug that looks like a big bolt at the
bottom of the pan.
Before you remove the oil drain plug, be sure that your recycling
container is positioned underneath the oil drain. An oil change can be
no fun if most of your time is spent cleaning up oil. When you
remove the drain plug, let it drop into the top of the recycling
container. There's a screen on top that will keep it from dropping into
Let all of the oil drain out, then replace the drain
plug, tightening it to your cars torque specifications (or "snug but
not too hard" if you are sans torque wrench.)
Put the cap on the
oil recycling container so you can drop it off at a location that
accepts used oil -- most full service gas stations accept it.
Next you need to remove your old oil filter. Using an oil filter
wrench, turn the filter counterclockwise until it's free. Be careful
with it, it's still full of old oil that can spill and make a mess. Some oil filters can be reached from the top, but for most you'll have to be under the car.
With the old oil out and the old filter out of the way, it's time to put the change
in oil change. But before you install the new oil filter, you have to prep it. Before you screw the new oil filter into place, lubricate the rubber gasket on the end of the filter with some new oil.
Next, fill the new oil filter with oil to about 2/3. It's ok if you go
over that amount, it just means you might spill a bit when you screw it
Carefully screw the new oil filter into place. Remember, it has oil in
it so don't forget to hold it upright. It screws on clockwise. You don't need a wrench to install the new oil filter.
Screw it on as tight as you can get it with one hand. Overtightening
the oil filter can strip its threads and cause a leak. Of course, not
tightening it enough can cause a leak. So screw it on as tight as it
will go with one hand, but no more.
Now you're ready to fill the engine with oil. Unscrew the oil fill cap
and insert your funnel. I like to buy the 5-quart containers of oil
(cheaper) but if you're using single quarts that's fine, too.
Check your owner's manual to find out how much oil your engine holds.
Pour a little more than 3/4 that amount into the engine. For example,
if your car holds 4 quarts of oil, add 3 1/2.
If you're using a 5-quart container of oil, there is a guide on the side that shows how much oil you've put in. You're not finished yet
so don't drive off.
We didn't add all
the oil because there may still be a little oil here and there we didn't account for. Check your oil and add more until you're at the right level.Be sure to put your oil cap back on!
Oil spray can cause a fire.