Change the oil in your car. Do this every few thousand miles.

I learned to do oil changes in high school speech class. One of the boys worked in a garage. He gave a really great how-to demonstration/speech about changing oil. He gave another about rotating tires, but there isn't anything complicated about that. After each speech the teacher had the other students critique the performance.
I didn't understand one of the speeches given by a boy who had polio or cerebral palsey.
He thought I was unkind to his speech when I asked what it had been about, so he beat me up after class. My karate was not effective against polio-based techniques.

Read on to learn more...

Step 1: Stuff You'll Need

Here are the tools after the oil change. The tub is draining into the waste jug. The empty new oil jug is also draining to reduce the amount of oil that goes into the plastic recycling.

You will need:

strap wrench to turn the oil filter
wrench to undo the oil plug
tub to catch the old oil
jug to store the old oil in prior to disposal
sawdust to soak up spills
oil filter
oil - get it in the big jugs so you don't throw so much plastic away. Also the big jugs are useful.

A service manual or clerk at the the parts store will tell you the type of oil and filter you need.
A service manual will be especially handy if your car was designed on a computer. Such vehicles tend to have parts hidden in inconvenient locations. You may have to take covers off to get to the parts you need.
<p>Hey Guys and Gals, I read an old 1960's Mechanics Illustrated (when we were a less Government controlled USA) and stated to cheesecloth filter your used motor oil, and dump it in your oil burner heating tank. I've secretly done it for three years, and no smoke or muss. The Oil Burner Mechanic told me that it was not mixing with the clean diesal fuel, and probably sitting at the bottom of the tank (BS!)</p>
cheap kitty litter works best for accidental spills <br>
Ok Tim... who beat you up. High School was a long time ago, but I remember you ;)
First of all, take the oil filter cap off BEFORE draining the oil. This will break the vacuum. <br> <br>Secondly, NEVER start the engine without oil. <br> <br>However, I do like the tip about tying a rope to the ramp, so that the rear wheels hold them in place. I think I'll start doing that with a cargo strap.
<p>Never get your oil changed at Walmart. <br /> <br /> The people at Walmart will spill oil ALL&nbsp;over the front of the car and the engine. Then you have to go back&nbsp;to get it cleaned and&nbsp;get your money back.<br /> <br /> Infact, always get your oil changed at Walmart.</p>
I used to have it changed at Walmart, but then when I had it changed on my 1997 Thunderbird, the 'technician' said that I couldn't get the new filter on (of course I am able to do it lying on my back in the driveway). <br> <br>He was just going to leave it like that! I don't know how the Hell he expected my to drive it like that. The manager had to go and do it for him. <br> <br>The LAST time I had it done at Walmart, they stripped the threads on my oil pan.
I change my oil over a drainage ditch next to my house I fell that if the oil came from mother nature why not give back. Go Green... I have a giant truck, with straight pipes, makes it really loud....
i take mine to the recycling plant
Right on man, but uh, oil came from a few hundred feet below the ground, the surface doesn't like it much. Save it and use it to weather-proof decks or something.
use it to make an oil lamp! <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Glass-Bottle-Oil-Lamp/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/Glass-Bottle-Oil-Lamp/</a><br />
using used car oil will make that oil lamp smokey and a great mosquito killer
i did that once in a emergency on a road trip
Dude, you should write books, not instructables.<br /> <br /> Don't get me wrong, your instructable is fine (well above average one might say). But your story-telling is just phenomenal! I love the story about you getting beat up by the kid with polio.<br /> <br /> If you already wrote books please tell me where i can buy them. If not, you should i know you got what it takes!<br /> <br /> <br />
I take my used oil to my Shop (place of business) Safety Kleen picks it up and pays us for it.. about .21 cents a gallon.<br />
Great job! Another way to take off a filter is to stab it with a screwdriver. Just keep an extra car around in case it doesn't come off. I use old oil for our chainsaw
I like to first make sure the filter will unscrew (I have oil filter pliers, which I highly recommend), and then punch a hole in the filter. This lets air in and will help the filter drain. Since I put the filter on last it's rarely too tight, but the holes help a lot when they mount the filter sideways, at an angle, on the block. On cars like honda, where there is a aluminum washer on the drain plug, loosen the drain plug a half turn first, then warm the engine up to prepare for draining. I'll leave it to you to look up the rate of expansion for aluminum vs. steel. I get a big cardboard box and cut out a panel to lay down on. It catches drips and makes a smooth surface to lie on. Also, for just an oil change, I rarely even drive up on the uber-low ramps I've made out of 4x4 wood blocks. As long as I can get a wrench in there and a drain pan, I'm fine. And I've got a car, Tim ought to have plenty of space on a truck. I suppose he wants to just show off his newly welded ramps.
the whole point of the screwdriver is if it won't unscrew by hand. Agreed about the ramps. My dad has a F-150 and a Dodge Ram 2500 van and I can fit under both with a creeper.
I read that part. For me, however, the holes are all about draining the oil. I get your point, however. I put a new engine in my GF's car. after 3000 miles, she takes it to iffy lube, who try to pressure her into all sorts of extra craptastic upsells. She declines, citing the brand new engine. She must have gotten a little nasty, because 3000 miles later, I almost had to use the blue wrench on the filter! My comments were meant for the general audience. I stuck it on top b/c it was a popular thread and I was tangently related to your comments. I also note that we're keeping this thread toward the top!
Get an old nasty, big ugly 71' suburban, they will barely want to change the oil!
Hey, your truck is probably much bigger than Tim's. Have you seen how tiny those Datsun pickup trucks are? I don't need to lift my '91 Thunderbird to do the oil change, but I think those Datsun pickups have less ground clearance. If I needed to lift a car, I'd be much more comfortable using jacks and jackstands than using ramps. Also, cardboard is nice, and I generally use it at home when it is available, but when I work on my grandmother's car in her garage, I put down a bit of plastic painter's dropcloth, then drive on top of it so that I leave absolutely no oil whatsoever.
I'm talking about my Camry. If I grab my bumper and push up, my wench will clear my oil pan and let me unscrew it easily, no ramps needed. The truckling has way more clearance than my 'yota.
Put the screwdriver through both sides, it increases success rates, plus you get two handles so it's easier...
Thats what I meant. Sometimes the screwdriver cuts through the metal instead or twisting it.
Though giving it a good thump to one side makes it dead easy to grip if you don't have a screwdriver handy, if it's too thin and rips then punching a big dent in it should work, then it's easier to get a hold of...
I suppose the dent would work, I could probably get a pipe wrench or slip joint pliers on there
Okay, what about Rotary engines? This guy Aaron once said, "Unlike piston engines which burn oil as they wear out, Rotary engines burn oil by design." I would suspect they burn less oil than reciprocating engines but still.
nice my buddies had the same truck. it had no 5th no reverse no gas flap and we lost a door by the end
I change the oil of a Citroen ZX and I don't need half that height.
this has got to be the funniest DIY oil change instruction ever. Great story. rofl
<em>Your manual will tell you how much oil to add. It's usually 5 quarts. If your car takes more than that you are probably an evil person who drives a greedy fat dirty SUV that gives athsma to babies.</em><br/><br/>I totally got a laugh out of that. But, my 4-cyl diesel takes 6.7qts. :P<br/>
6 QUARTS here. I don't about all that liter crap. :p I'm an American, could you tell? One quick comment though, re-using used oil can actually scar your cylinders further, leading to even faster oil use. A better idea is to use some kind of stop leak product, and failing that, use thicker oil (My 20 year old jeep is made for 10w30, I use 10w40. It runs much better now.).
<sub>things change over the pond......</sub><br/><br/>
Our vw takes about a liter.<br/><sub>&gt;:D european units ftw</sub><br/>
2 things. I don't recommend using ramps. As mentioned in this instructable, they are UNSTABLE and difficult to use. A jack and jack stands are more stable and safer. Also, NEVER DO STEP 6. Running your engine without oil causes metal-on-metal friction and can RUIN your engine. As mentioned in this instructable, it can also cause a HUGE mess. Other than that, the rest of the procedure is correct. SOURCE - Father is a trained UTI mechanic.
do NOT!! do step 6. running the engine without oil will destroy your main bearings and cause a drop in oil pressure and more oil consumption, not to mention scratching and scoring the cylinder walls
"It can" is much different than "it will". Calm down dude. Engines are made to hold explosions, they are durable. A few seconds with no _new_ oil will be fine, since everything already has a layer of oil on it anyway.
Oil Drains from the top to the bottom, cams and lifters require constant oiling not to mention the bearings which are pressure oiled not splash oiled therefore starting the motor with no oil in the crankcase even for a few seconds can destroy your cam, score cylinder walls and spin bearings. as for your comment about the difference between "it can" and "it will". that is just ignorant and not to mention negligent, as "it can" means that there is still a possibility of it happening. yes it all has a layer of oil on it but that is not enough to stop your bearings from spinning as the shafts do not rotate on the bearing itself but rather a layer of oil called a "hydrodynamic wedge", if there is no oil in the crankcase then you get no oil pressure, that "hydrodynamic wedge" is not there, shaft spins on bearing, bearing gets worn (possibly "spinning", causing costly repairs), and as p.cassady said a drop in oil pressure and more oil consumption
Step #6 scares me. I think it's totally unnecessary and potentially damaging to run or rotate your engine with no oil in it. On a scale of things, I can't imagine the benefit outweighs the possible damage. I would recommend not doing that step. Frankly if the Jiffy Lube guys did that with my brand new truck, I'd lance them with a wiper blade!
He mentioned to only go for a few seconds, which will not hurt it, as the cylinder walls as well as the cam and lifters will all still have oil on them.
Bull crap. It may not have enough to lube the upper engine if yo totally remove it this way. There is NO reason to start a engine the 1/2 cup in the head and valves will never be a problem .
thats true but the main bearings will not have any oil pressure to cousin them
A good way to drain the lifters is to run engine without oil. That makes a really cool sound. I think this step is totally unnecessary and could likely lead to major engine damage that would far outweigh the cup or so of old oil. You would assume that this old oil is degraded, so having less of it in the engine would compound potential damage.
Well then go right ahead and do it. I think that step is a risky one that most people don't understand the consequences of doing this at all. On a risk-reward scale, the risk highly outweighs the reward.
Don't start engine with no oil in crankcase- just keep up with routine maintenance and that little bit of oil will not matter. I would like to add to write up that before new filter is installed fill it or at least partially fill it with oil.
Hmm, well, i never had a girl help me to my next class, and even though the guy was 10x my size, Everyone made fun of me, no exaggerations here. But i stole his watch somehow in the middle of it i guess.
In New York state any garage that does new york state inspections is required by law to accept your used motor oil. Please recycle your used motor oil. I have noticed many requests on craigslist for used cooking oil so there should be no reason to dump that down the drain either.
What kind of car is this?
Thank you so much Tim, I was just wishing we had an ible on how to change oil!
Did the oil (and brakes) on my truck today, god I love that truck, and since I'm driving to miami in a couple of weeks, I wanted it in good shape. For the first time Autozone made me "register" to drop off oil, weird, but probably keeps the shadetree mechanics away.
yeah, i did the same thing, so I asked about it. The reason behind it is that they don't 'recycle' the oil ... they send it to another company that uses it in their engines (that's what they said, or something like it) so they don't want contaminants in it because its costly to get the tank cleaned... They told me a little anecdotal story about how they noticed a strange smell coming from the tank... and turned out someone had Meth mixed in with their oil... But that's beside the point... Point is, they take your name and number so that if something comes up and the tank gets poluted, you get a nice little phonecall...

About This Instructable



Bio: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of www.zcorp.com, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output ... More »
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