Thursday, September 23, 2010

How To: Change your own oil...

So, you want to man up and change your own oil eh?
Well, I am going to (attempt) to walk you through the process via words.

Items Needed:
Oil Filter (go to your local auto parts store and have them look it up on their computer for correct sizing)
CORRECT oil (see owner's manual for specific oil weight requirements and amount needed)
Rubber Gloves
Oil Catch Pan (can be purchased for around $15 or less if I recall correctly)
Wrench or Socket Set (this will be used to take off your oil drain plug)
Oil Filter Wrench (some cars have hard to reach oil filters, mine included...will get to that later on)
Hydraulic Jacks (unless the vehicle that you're going to be changing is a truck or high up etc.)
JACK STANDS (do NOT rely on the jacks alone to support your vehicle. It is very unsafe/reckless)

Optional but recommended items:
Paper towels
Purchase a GOOD oil filter (WIX is what I normally purchase)
Quality oil (Castrol, Mobil 1, Pennzoil)

I know the items required may seem like a lot, but once you've allotted them for later changes all you're going to need to buy are the oil and oil filter.
Now, for the steps:

1. Bring your vehicle up to temperature by driving around (maybe to purchase said items above).
2. Pull your vehicle to a level (preferred) surface and get all of your materials ready.
3. Using your owners manual, locate the specified jack points on your vehicle.
4. Put the vehicle in park (if automatic) AND make sure your emergency brake is on.
5. Jack up both sides of the front (or rear if the engine is in the rear) of the vehicle.
6. Place jack stands under a reliable point under the car (for example, the frame).
7. Get under car and locate your Oil Drain Plug, then figure out what wrench/socket will fit it.
8. Place your oil catch pan under where the oil will drain out (use some common sense here).
9. Put on your rubber gloves and proceed to loosen the oil drain plug with the wrench/socket
           CAUTION: The oil WILL be hot/warm if you had just been running the engine, be careful
10. Once the drain plug is loosened, make sure you take it all the way out AND HOLD ON TO IT, do not let it fall in the oil catch pan.
11. Let all of the oil drain out until there is just a very slow drip (maybe grab a drink or prepare other items)
          TIP: Remove your dipstick and Oil Cap on the topside of your engine for faster draining
12. Once all of the oil has drained, replace the oil drain plug (along with a new seal if required)
13. Locate Oil Filter and remove it, using paper towels to wipe up splatters on engine and etc.
14. Replace Oil Filter with your newly purchased one, but make sure you open one of your new quarts of oil and RUB A SMALL AMOUNT OF OIL ON THE RUBBER GASKET OF FILTER. 
15. Tighten the filter, don't go overboard I tighten mine hand tight and they do not leak.
16. Get your funnel (if you have one) and place it in the portion of your engine where you add oil.
17. Determine the specified amount of oil to add to your car and begin adding oil.
         TIP: If you are questioning the amount to add in, put a LITTLE less, adding is better than removing. 
18. Frequently check dipstick levels to ensure you're doing it right.
19. Once oil has been filled to the correct amount replace oil cap and dipstick.
20. Remove your jack STANDS then slowly let the car down off of the jacks.
21. Turn on car, let it run for about 5 minutes (making sure there are no warning lights etc) then check oil.
22. Check the oil level regularly for the next couple days to ensure proper amount.





  1. This will be useful when and if I get a car, lol

  2. Haha, well man I wish thee luck.
    Having a car...and enjoying it too is something I hold near and dear to my heart.
    It's, although my opinion, more than just an appliance. :/

  3. *sudden guilty feeling about not changing my oil for a year*


  4. I dunno bro. That looks a little complex haha.

  5. This is useful advice for those who may not know about automotive maintenance, good job.

  6. Thanks I'll try and remember this when I get my first car :)

    but yea your right about the CRZ I want to see top gear do a review of the car and see what they gotta say about it