Would you like to save money on car maintenance? Most people would say absolutely to this question, but most people don't have skills in automotive maintenance. Well, a person doesn't need to be a certified mechanic to accomplish the basic maintenance procedures on a vehicle. One of these basic maintenance procedures is changing the oil and oil filter. Most maintenance recommendations say to change the oil in a vehicle every 3 thousand miles. So this is something that most people do on a regular basis. That leads me to the point of this paper, which is to explain the basic oil changing process. This will make it so you don't have to take your car to an oil change shop and you can save money in the process.
The first thing to understand is the basics of working on a car. In the case of changing oil and an oil filter, there are a few things that will be needed. Most of these items can be purchased, as far as tools and equipment, and can be reused over and over. So first it's a good idea to go to an auto parts shop to get the necessities for an oil change. These necessities should include but are not limited to: an oil drain pan, to catch the old oil, an oil filter wrench, ask the auto parts person which one should fit your vehicle, oil, and an oil filter. You may want to buy some shop rags to clean up any spilled oil as well. Also, the auto parts technician will be able to tell you what oil and oil filter is best for your vehicle. There are a few other tools that are needed for the job. They include a vehicle jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, and a socket set is always a good thing to have. Like I've already explained most of what is needed for the first oil change can be reused for further oil changes. The only things that can't be reused are the used oil and oil filter.
After you have acquired the necessary tools and supplies then it is time to start the process of changing the oil. The first thing that needs to be done is to find a level area to park on. Park the vehicle and put the parking brake on. Then place the wheel chocks behind the back two wheels. Make sure they are tight up against each wheel, to prevent rollback when jacking the car up. Next looking in the owner's manual for the proper place to jack the vehicle up at. When the car is up in one of the jacking spots place a jack stand around the jack to take the support in that area. Make sure it is on the frame or axle of the vehicle.
When both sides are jacked up and on stands then lay down under the front of the vehicle and locate the oil filter and oil drain plug. The easiest way to explain where to locate the oil filter is to look at the new filter and then look up at the engine from underneath. They should look about the same in size and shape. Next look for the drain plug for the oil. It should be a square or hex head bolt extending down from the oil pan. If there is any confusion look in the owner's manual or possibly look online for the location.
Once these two things have been located take a drain pan and place it under the drain plug. Remove the drain plug slowly and allow the oil to drain out. When there is little oil coming out of the drain port put the plug back in and tighten down. Do not over tighten the drain plug or it will be difficult to take out next time.
Next, remove the oil filter with the filter wrench or by other means. This is done by turn the filter counterclockwise until it screws off. Be careful because the filter will be full of oil. Place used filter aside and take a new filter. Rub a light coat of oil on the rubber seal on the end that will be screwed to the vehicle. Screw filter back onto vehicle hand tight only, don't over tighten the filter or it will be difficult to remove next time.
Once the drain plug and filter have been removed and reinstalled, the vehicle can be taken off the jack stands. Make sure to get anything under the vehicle out before lowering the car to the ground. When the car is back on the ground put oil back into the vehicle. Find where the oil fill cap is and fill the car to appropriate level. Most vehicles take about 4 to 5 quarts of oil to fill to the correct level. After 4 quarts have been added check the level of the oil on the oil dipstick. There should be an add mark on the dipstick and the oil should be in that mark. The auto parts person should be able to tell you how much is required for your vehicle. After that, the vehicle is ready to be driven again.
Most auto parts stores will take the old oil for recycling for free also. Congratulations you just saved money on basic car maintenance. Although this process sounds like it takes a lot to do, it really isn't that bad. Even the normal person can perform this basic maintenance procedure. After the first couple of times, it will become easy and will save money. So the next time your car needs an oil change consider doing the job yourself and save.