Introduction: How to Change Engine Oil in a Vehicle

Has your vehicle ever had a light come up on the dash that says, “maintenance required or change engine oil”? If so, this is the place to be! Changing oil is a very simple task, but it can be very confusing for some people that have fewer mechanical abilities. Coming from a mechanic with experience, changing oil is the simplest thing to do when working on a vehicle. With that being said, I am going to explain the simple steps on how to change oil in any vehicle.


To change engine oil in a vehicle the first thing to do is find all the tools needed to get the job done. The tools include: oil plug wrench, oil filter wrench, ramps or a hoist, oil drain pan or bucket, new oil filter and also new oil. Now that all the tools are lined up, it is time to go get the oil change done.

Step 1:

After the tools are all lined up the next step is driving the front two tires of the vehicle up on ramps. Driving the front tires up on ramps creates more room for the person changing the oil. With the front up on ramps it not only creates more room, but it also makes the oil drain to one area of the oil pan.

Step 2:

The next step in changing the oil is draining the oil out of the oil pan and removing the oil filter. To do these steps, it is required to lay on the ground and get underneath the vehicle. After the oil pan and oil plug are located, use the oil plug wrench to loosen the oil plug. Before the oil starts coming out in a stream, make sure that the oil drain pan is located under the oil plug. When the drain pan is underneath then take the plug out fully and let drain. When the oil is done draining, put the plug back in and tighten it up. Now loosen the filter from the filter housing with the drain pan below it. After the filter is off, make sure to screw the new one on otherwise there will be major issues.

Step 3:

The third step in the oil changing process is adding the new oil. This is done under the hood of the vehicle. There will be a screw on cap with either a logo of a spout or it might say “engine oil” or “5w-20,5w-30,0w-20” depending on what oil the vehicle takes. When the oil fill cap is located, screw it off and add the required amount of oil to the vehicle. When done adding oil, screw the cap back on.

Step 4:

The final step in the oil changing process is to go back over everything just so you know everything got done correctly. First, I would make sure the oil plug is nice and tight, but not over tight otherwise it will strip the bolt threads out. Next, I would advise to check the oil filter and make sure it is tight but not too tight, otherwise it will get super tight when the vehicle temp warms up. This causes big issues when the next oil change rolls around. The last thing is to make sure the oil fill cap got put back on. If it doesn’t get put on, then there could end up being oil getting sprayed everywhere underneath the hood.