Introduction: How to Change Your Oil

It is recommended that you change your oil every 3,000 miles or every 3 months, whichever comes first.

Estimated cost:
Oil $10-12
Filter $7

Estimated time: 30 minutes to an hour

Required Tools:
Car Jack or ramp to raise car
Crescent Wrench to remove bolts
A container to drain used oil
Towels, or rags of some sort (it can get messy...)

A funnel is useful, but not essential

Step 1: Identify Oil and Filter Required

Type of Oil
Identify in your owners manual the viscosity (i.e the thickness or type e.g. 10W-30) and the amount of oil your car requires. The average price for one quart of oil is $2.50.

Oil Filter
The type of oil filter you need can be found in either your owner's manual or your local auto parts store can direct you to the right type.

Step 2: Raise Your Car

Raise your car so that you have enough room to work underneath. You can use either a jack or ramps. (If you are not sure how to use your jack, consult your owners manual.)

CAUTION: It may be a good idea to have someone help you if you are using ramps--you don't want to drive off the front of them.

CAUTION!!!: Be very careful working on cars that are raised on a jack or ramps. Make sure that the parking brake is on, and that the car is secure.

Step 3: Drain the Oil

Caution: Do not begin to work under car until the engine has had sufficient time to cool.

Locate oil plug at the bottom of the oil pan.

Place a container under the plug to catch the oil

Have some rags on hand, this is a messy step

Use the crescent wrench to remove the oil plug

Step 4: Remove Oil Filter

This is also a messy step, keep those rags handy...

Locate the Oil Filter
While the oil is draining, locate the oil filter. If your car is front wheel drive, the oil filter will be on the front or back of the engine. If your car is rear wheel drive, it will be on either the left or the right side of the engine.

Remove the Oil Filter
Unscrew the oil filter from the side of the engine.

Step 5: Replace With a New Oil Filter

Screw new oil filter into the place where you just removed the old one.

Step 6: Replace Oil Plug

Check the draining oil periodically. The oil is done draining when it is dripping less than one drop every couple seconds. Replace oil plug when the oil is finished draining.

Step 7: Put New Oil In

Find the oil tank on the top of the engine. Remove the cap, and start filling with oil. A funnel is useful in this step, but not required. Be sure to add only the number of quarts that your owners manual calls for. Put cap back on after you finish filling the tank.