Wrench (open, boxed end or socket)
Oil filter wrench
Rag or paper towel
Rubber or latex gloves (optional, but recommended)
Oil filter (refer to your owner's manual or use a look up table)
As with all instructables, read all of the directions completely, before starting your project.
Step 1: Raise the vehicle
Whether you use ramps or a lift, be sure to set your vehicle's parking brake, and use wheel chocks to secure it.
Step 2: Drain the oil
Find the oil drain pan plug, on the bottom of the engine (this will be a hex head bolt), and determine the proper size wrench to use. I prefer a combination wrench, but you could also use a socket or adjustable wrench. The advantage to using a combination wrench is that it can be a one handed operation. If you use a socket wrench, it will not ratchet after the bolt is loosened. It will take several turns to remove the bolt, so you will need two hands to ratchet the wrench.
After selecting your weapon of choice, position your drain pan under the drain plug. Loosen the drain plug by turning it counter-clockwise. (Remember, lefty loosey, righty tighty?) As soon as the plug is loose, oil will start leaking out. This is normal. Just keep going. Some folks will recommend that you don't let the plug fall into the pan, but honestly, if you try to hold onto it while you are un-screwing it, hot, dirty oil will run down along your fingers and hand, and down your arm. Just go ahead and let it drop into your drain pan. You can retreive it later, and is easy if you use the type of drain pan I have shown in the first photograph.
Notice that the stream of old oil will probably not be straight down, but rather angled, based on its location on the oil pan. Adjust the location of your drain pan accordingly. Also note the as the stream turns into a trickle, it might actually change direction (based on your engine's geometry and surface tension) and especially if you are doing this outside, with a stiff breeze blowing!
Step 3: Remove the old filter
Make sure your drain pan is under the filter, and go ahead and loosen it (again, lefty loosey, righty tighty). As soon as it is loose, oil will start to flow out of the engine, at the mounting location. I like to pause for a minute or two to let it drip before completly un-screwing the filter. Remember that when the filter comes loose, it will be full of oil, and should be placed in the drain pan.
Step 4: Install the filter and plug
Spin the new filter back on to the engine. (Righty tighty) When you feel the filter go all the way on and stop, continue tightening by hand, an additional 1/4 to 3/4 turn. It may actually be more depending on your filter, so check the directions on the package.
Retreive the drain plug and re-install it in the oil pan with your wrench. It should be snug, but not overly tight.
Wipe off any drips with your rag.
Step 5: Add the oil
Using a funnel, pour the recommended amount of oil into the crank case. One of the worst things you can do is add too much oil, so I like to hold back about 1/2 quart to start with.
Replace the filler cap.
Start your engine, and give it a few seconds for the oil to start flowing before backing the vehicle down off the ramps or lift. Park on a flat area, and look for drips which may be coming from the oil filter or drain plug.
After a day of driving, check the level of the oil, by pulling out the dipstick and wiping it off with your rag. Insert it all the way back in the tube, then pull it out and check the level of the oil against the marks on the dipstick.
Step 6: Clean up
One of the easiest ways to transport your used motor oil is to simply pour it into your empty oil bottle(s). Be sure to mark the bottle 'Used Motor Oil'.
You may have noticed a plastic file box in the photos. This is a handy way of keeping all of your oil changing supplies and extra oil in one place. (You could also use a 5 gallon bucket with a lid.) Because it is plastic, oil dripping from your funnels and wrenches is not a problem, and it keeps away all the sawdust and debris that might be floating around your garage! I also keep note cards with the different wrench sizes needed for my various vehicles, along with instructions on how to reset my 'CHANGE ENGINE OIL' light.
I have been designing products in the automotive, aerospace, medical, defense and consumer products industries for over 30 years. I am an "Inventor for Hire", so if there is something you need designed or built, just send me a message, or stop by http://www.lime3D.net, and maybe we can do business!