Introduction: How to Do an Oil Change DIY

Hello, my name is Payton Ludwig, I was a service technician for 2 years at Pierson Ford in Aberdeen, SD. I have seen many customers in my day that have come in and have not changed their oil 15,000 miles and the oil comes out straight black, this can cause premature engine wear and can cause huge problems in the future. Today I am going to show you how to keep your car running healthy and save yourself a good amount of money, with just 6 easy steps.


You will need a filter wrench, a wrench, ramps or a jack and jack stands, oil filter, and some oil.

Step 1: Drive Your Vehicle on Ramps

First use a jack and jack stands or ramps to raise the front end of the car off the ground so there is some crawlspace under it to work under the vehicle. Next drive the vehicle on top of the ramps. Make sure the vehicle is completely stable and will not drop while being worked on.

Step 2: Take Off Oil Cap

Now unscrew the engines oil cap. This is located on the top of the engine, normally right in the middle but the location of the oil cap may vary from vehicle to vehicle. After the oil cap is unscrewed, set it aside to screw back on after the process is done.

Step 3: Drain Oil From the Vehicle

Next use a creeper to scoot underneath the belly of the car and locate the oil pan. The oil pan is normally located in the front of the engine right in the middle of everything and is the lowest part of the engine because all the oil collects there when the car is not running. Set an oil bucket under the oil pan once you have located it and loosen the oil drain plug with a wrench. Loosen it enough to where it is hand loose and twist it off. If the car is hot, let it drain some oil out without completely taking the oil drain plug out. If it is completely cold take the oil drain plug out completely and make sure an oil bucket catches all the oil and make sure to catch the drain plug before it goes in the oil bucket. Now that the drain plug is out, let the oil drain completely out of the car. This usually only takes about 2-3 minutes on average depending on the cars oil capacity. Take rag and wipe off any oil that may have spilled. Once there is only a small stream of oil coming out of the engine, go ahead and take the drain plug, screw it back in tell it is hand tight, and then tighten the drain plug decently tight with a wrench afterward. Use a rag to wipe off any excess oil on the drain plug or the oil pan.

Step 4: Replace Old Oil Filter

Now locate the vehicles oil filter. This is a round sphere like shape normally on the bottom of the engine. Location of the vehicles oil filter may vary from car to car so make sure to look up a video to make sure the oil filter has been located. Once you have located the oil filter, take a filter wrench, loosen the oil filter, and put an oil bucket under the oil filter. Once the oil filter is loosened enough to where it can be unscrewed by hand, twist the oil filter until oil starts running out. Wait until oil isn’t just constantly running down and then use a rag and wrap it around the oil filter and twist it all the way off and drop it in the oil bucket. Let the oil drain out and once there is a tiny stream grab the new oil filter. Put a finger under the stream of oil, get a little bit on a finger, and rub it around the black O-ring on the new oil filter. This helps seal the O-ring from leaking. Then screw the new oil filter back on to the oil filter housing until it is hand tight. Then use an oil filter wrench and tighten it.

Step 5: Fill Oil and Put Oil Cap on and Back Off the Ramps

Then make sure nothing is under the vehicle at this point and back it off the ramps or lower it down from the jacks. Now place a funnel in the hole where the unscrewed the oil cap came from. Now take the cars specific oil that is specified for it and fill it to the vehicles oil capacity specification. This will vary from vehicle to vehicle. Then finally take the vehicles oil cap and screw it back into the hole hand tight. The oil change has been completed at this point.

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