DIY Car Maintenance: How to Change Oil

 
One of the most important things you can do to keep your car in the best condition possible is to change your motor oil and filter. Oil in a car is like blood in our bodies – it flows throughout the car’s engine and keeps everything running smoothly. Frequent oil and filter changes are essential in increasing the life of your car and its performance.
 
Here’s how to change oil and how to extend oil life:
 

Tools You Need:

  • Container for used oil
  • Engine oil
  • Oil filter
  • Oil filter gasket
  • Wrench set
Step 1: Look under your car to find the drain plug

The drain plug is a large nut or plug located under the oil pan at the bottom of the engine.

Step 2: Place a container under the oil drain plug

You want this container to catch the oil, so make sure it’s big enough.

Step 3: Unscrew the oil drain plug

Protect your hand with a rag or some paper towels, and be ready to move your hand out of the way. The oil now drains out of your engine into the container.

Step 4: Remove the cap from the oil filler hole at the top of your engine and unscrew the oil filter

Use a wrench if you can’t do it by hand. To unscrew the filter, twist it counterclockwise.

Step 5: Empty the oil from the filter into a drain pan

After the filter is empty, wrap it in newspaper and set it aside to take to a recycling center with your old oil.

Step 6: Open a new bottle of oil and dip a finger into it

Lubricate the rubber gasket on the new oil filter with some new motor oil.

Step 7: Screw the new filter into the engine where the old one was

Turn it gently by hand until it “seats” and then give it another three-quarter turn.

Step 8: Replace the oil drain plug and use an adjustable wrench to tighten it

If your vehicle uses an oil drain plug gasket, make sure the old one has been removed and lay a new gasket on the pan before you replace the plug.

Step 9: Use a funnel to pour all but 1 quart of the fresh oil into the oil filler hole

With a dip-stick, double check your oil level to be sure you’ve added enough.

Step 10: Replace the oil filler cap and run the engine for 30 to 60 seconds

Check for leaks from the oil drain plug and around the filter.

Step 11: Shut off the engine

Allow it to cool for 5 minutes to 10 minutes for the oil to settle into the oil pan, and then check the oil level again.

Step 12: Keep adding oil a little at a time

Check the stick after each addition until you reach the “Full” line on the dipstick.

Step 13: Remove the drain pan from under the vehicle

Let the oil settle down again for 5 to 10 minutes, then recheck the dipstick. If it’s still at “Full,” you’re good to go!
 
Having the correct tools and an understanding of how to perform the oil change. You should be able to do this DIY!
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