How to Change Your Vehicle's Oil

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Many people bring their vehicles to an automotive shop to get their vehicle’s oil changed not knowing how simple it is to do it at home. The average oil change costs anywhere from $45 to $70, depending on what vehicle you drive and what grade of oil you use. Changing your oil at home could save you around $25 every time and it only takes about a half an hour.

Step 1: Find Oil Type and Amount of Oil Needed

The first step in changing your oil is to figure out what type of oil your vehicle needs and how much it needs. Look in the vehicles owner’s manual or look up the make, year, and model of your vehicle online. In newer vehicles, it is recommended to run synthetic oil in your vehicle, but it is not required.

Step 2: Gather Tools and Materials

Next, gather the tools and materials required to change the vehicle’s oil. The tools include a wrench to remove the drain plug, oil filter wrench, a pan to drain the oil into, jack, and jack stands for safety. Materials include an oil filter. The oil filter is specific to the vehicle, so refer back to the owner’s manual to find the part number. Most parts stores will have all the tools and materials needed to change oil.

Step 3: Lift the Vehicle and Locate Drain Plug and Oil Filter

After all the tools and materials are gathered, use the jack to lift the vehicle up for easier access to the drain plug and oil filter. Locate the drain plug and set the pan underneath the drain hole. Remove the plug slowly so that the oil does not make a mess. Usually the oil filter is located near the drain plug. Use the oil filter wrench to loosen the oil filter slowly. The oil filter will start to leak oil before it is completely off. Start preparing the new oil filter for re installation. Put some oil on the tip of your finger and put it on the seal of the oil filter to help it seal to the engine better. Do not use the oil filter wrench to tighten the oil filter, just hand tighten it until it is snug. If the oil is done draining from the drain hole, reinstall the oil drain plug tightly so it does not leak.

Step 4: Remove the Oil Drain Plug and Oil Filter

Remove the plug slowly so that the oil does not make a mess. Usually the oil filter is located near the drain plug. Use the oil filter wrench to loosen the oil filter slowly. The oil filter will start to leak oil before it is completely off.

Step 5: Prepare the New Oil Filter for Re Installation

Start preparing the new oil filter for re installation. Put some oil on the tip of your finger and put it on the seal of the oil filter to help it seal to the engine better.

Step 6: Re Install the Oil Filter an Oil Drain Plug

Do not use the oil filter wrench to tighten the oil filter, just hand tighten it until it is snug. If the oil is done draining from the drain hole, reinstall the oil drain plug tightly so it does not leak.

Step 7: Lower Vehicle and Pour New Oil In

When the oil filter and drain plug is reinstalled, lower the vehicle to start refilling it with the new oil. Remove the oil fill cap and start to pour in the new oil. Be sure not to over fill the vehicle with oil as it is not good for the engine.

Step 8: Check the Oil Level

Check the oil level periodically by pulling out the dipstick. Once the oil level is in the safe zone on the dipstick, put the cap back on tightly and start the vehicle. Let the vehicle run for a while and watch the oil pressure gauge or make sure the check engine light does not come on. Turn off the vehicle and check the dipstick again to make sure the oil level is still safe. If it is low, add more oil until it is at a safe level again.

Step 9: Oil Change Complete

Finally, you have successfully changed the oil on your vehicle and saved yourself about $25. Not only does this save money, it helps you keep an eye on the fluid levels and other aspects of the vehicles engine.

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    2 Discussions

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    andybiker

    18 days ago

    it's
    great to encourage people to change their own oil - I always do.

    most people however do not have a garage lift.



    oil can be changed on your driveway with most cars.

    put a sheet of cardboard under car to keep any oil drips off your driveway.

    use an old oil bottle (5L or a gallon) with the side cut out as a
    "bowl" to collect waste oil once you undo the drain bolt.

    be careful, oil may be hot.

    leave oil drain for at least 10 minutes.

    change copper washer or o-ring when refitting drain plug.

    pour waste oil into a suitable bottle for disposal or recycling.

    (as we used an old oil bottle for our bowl we can carefully use the original
    spout to pour it away)



    complications.....

    modern cars may have plastic undertrays that have to be removed.

    some cars do not have a dipstick. Yes, seriously - 2009 audi A4.



    I hope this makes sense, computers are my trade, not cars!

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    audreyobscura

    21 days ago

    These are great tips! Thanks for sharing!