How to Properly Change Oil for Dummies




Introduction: How to Properly Change Oil for Dummies

Oil changes are very important for keeping your vehicle running at its peak performance level and avoiding costly trips to the automotive shops. Simple maintenance such as changing your oil prevents costly breaks down of your engine and transmission. Now that you know why it's important to change your oil the question is how do you know when it's time to change your oil? Just simply lift up your hood and check your oil dipstick. When checking the dipstick it's very easy to read and check to see if the level is correct. Also be sure to check the color and texture of the oil. Be sure to let your car to sit for at least 30 minutes before checking the oil level, if not the level will not be accurate.

Step 1: Checking Your Oil

Be sure your vehicle is in park and in a safe area, turnoff your engine and let the vehicle sit for 30 minutes. Next open your hood and locate the oil dipstick, which is located near the engine, make sure you have a clean paper towel handy, so when you pull out the dipstick you have something to wipe the stick with. During the first removal of the dipstick immediately wipe and disregard this pull because it is inaccurate. Place the stick back in all the way back to its normal position, remove and immediately the oil level. Now wipe the stick with the paper towel and check the color of the oil to see if it is dirty and unsuitable for your vehicle. Should the oil be normal replace the dipstick and continue using your vehicle, however if the oil is unsuitable immediately change the oil before causing serious damage to your engine.

Step 2: Getting the Supplies

Check the oil cap or vehicle manual to see what type of oil your vehicle uses and how much, also what type of oil filter. Next go to the nearest automotive shop and purchase your cars' oil as well as the oil filter. Also you will need an oil filter wrench and oil drain pan plus a good set of pliers

Step 3: Cleaning Oil System

Use oil wrench to remove the old oil filter before you go any further in the cleaning process, now use a jack to lift your car high enough to get under your car to remove the oil plug with the oil wrench pliers. The oil plug is located on the bottom of the oil pan, which is directly below the engine block. Be sure to have oil drain pan ready so once you remove the oil plug the oil will begin to drain out. After drainage pour in new oil then replace the oil plug so the new oil doesn't pour out. Once that is complete restore your vehicle back to the ground.

Step 4: Replacing Oil Filter

Before replacing the oil filter make sure the area is clean. Next place a small amount o the new oil on your finger and rub around the rubber gasket of the oil filter. This is to prevent the rubber gasket from melting, which would cause a leak. Fill the oil filter 2/3 of the way up, tightly replace the oil filter.

Step 5: Refill Engine With Oil

Remove the oil cap and pour in new oil, be sure to check dipstick as you add the oil to make sure the level is correct.

Step 6: Checking Your Work

Replace your oil cap and wait at least 5 minutes before using the dipstick to check the quality and level of the oil.

Step 7: Test Drive

Start the vehicle and be attentive to unusual sounds and how the vehicle drives. After testing the car, park the vehicle and lift your hood to check for leaks from the oil filter and oil plug.

Step 8: Cleaning Under the Hood

Look for oil under the hood, if there is oil present be sure to thoroughly clean it so it doesn't cause any electrical problems and does not burn off causing bad odor.

Step 9: Recyling

Take old oil as well as oil filter to your local automotive shop to properly dispose of the oil and filter.

Step 10: Final Cleanup

Make sure to clean the ground to prevent oil stains, after cleanup immediately wash your hands degreaser.Once this is done you are ready to drive until your next oil change.

Step 11:

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    Eek! In step 6 it looks like the car might have a blown head. White frothy oil means that it has been spoiled with water or coolant. Generally the cause of this would be a blown head gasket or a cracked head.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Firstly, please don't get under a car that is suspended on only a jack... get some proper stands. Lots of people die every year from cars that fall off jacks.

    Secondly, its probably a good idea to replace the drain plug BEFORE putting in new oil. Shame to waste all that shiny new oil :-)


    8 years ago

    how oil looks means almost nothing. You can send in samples to be tested to see if the additives are still doing their job and that the oil isnt broken down. Useing a quality filter like Purolator Pure One series filters will last you longer than crap filters like Fram. There is a lot of good information available about oil and filters. Check into what Garage Guru said. You, my friend, have water in youre oil.


    8 years ago

    Also follow your vehicle's owner manual for oil change intervals, don't rely solely on how the oil looks, assuming nothing looks out of the ordinary with the oil.


    8 years ago

    When you check the oil level it's important not to replace the dipstick too quickly. Doing so will also give you an inaccurate reading. And if your oil filler cap has the white/yellow foam or if any is visible inside the filler, you could have a stuck PCV valve, blown head gasket, cracked head(s) and/or block.