How to Change Your Vehicles Oil

Introduction: How to Change Your Vehicles Oil

In this instructable I'll teach you how to change your vehicles motor oil.

You will need:

1) Motor Oil (the type of oil and oil capacity vary depending on your vehicle, so check your owner's manual)
2) A New Oil Filter (you should change this every time you change your oil)
3) An Oil Pan
4) A tarp, pan, or plastic drop cloth (to protect the ground under your vehicle from oil spills)
5) Shop Towels (in case a quick clean up is needed)
6) A Funnel (for adding the new oil to your engine)
7) Adjustable wrench or socket wrench
8) Oil Filter Wrench

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Step 1: Lay Your Tarp

The first step is to lay your ground protection down.  Use a heavy object to hold it in place.  I've used some wood blocks and a jackstand in this photo.

Step 2: Prepare Your Oil Pan

Unscrew the the green cap on the top of the pan.  This will allow oil to flow from your vehicle into the container.  Then place the pan underneath your vehicle's engine oil drain plug.

Step 3: Remove the Oil Drain Plug

Once you've placed your oil pan underneath your drain plug you will remove the plug with a wrench or a socket depending on the size of your plug.  I'm going to use an adjustable type wrench. Once you've removed the plug allow the old motor oil to drain into your pan for about 15 to 20 minutes.  When it has completed draining you can replace the drain plug.  Do not over tighten the plug as you can damage the mating surfaces on your engine and cause leaks.

Step 4: Remove/Replace Oil Filter

Once your oil has stopped draining into the pan, reposition the pan underneath your oil filter.  Remove the old oil filter and place it on top of your oil pan so that it too can drain.  You should be able to remove the filter by hand, but if not you can use a ratchet and oil filter wrench.  Allow any oil to drain from the filter hole for a couple minutes. Clean the surface of the opening. with a rag or shop towel.  Now install the new filter.  Take some new motor oil and coat the rubber gasket on the bottom of the filter and then thread it into the opening by hand.  NEVER TIGHTEN AN OIL FILTER WITH AN OIL FILTER WRENCH! THIS SHOULD BE DONE BY HAND SO AS NOT TO OVER-TORQUE THE FILTER!

Step 5: Add Your Oil

Now that your drain plug and new oil filter have been re-installed, it times to fill your engine with oil.  Locate the engine oil cap on your motor.  Remove this cap and place your funnel in the opening.  Now add the engine oil making sure you don't fill over the capacity stated in your car's manual.  Once you're done adding the oil, screw the cap back on the engine.  You're all done! You've successfully changed your engines oil.  Make sure to dispose of your oil and engine oil in safe and proper fashion according to local regulations.  This instructable was made using tools found at TECHSHOP in the Auto-Bay.

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    2 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I was always wandering what to do with the old oil? How to reuse/dispose?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Normally, you can bring your used oil into an automotive parts store (Autozone, Oreilly's, etc) and they'll recycle it for you. Give em a call ahead of time to make sure their containers aren't full. We have oil disposable on site here at the techshop menlo park facility.