How to Change Your Oil

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Mechanics will tell you that the only way to correctly change your oil is to get it done professionally. They will also tell you that changing your oil is expensive, time-consuming, and difficult. In reality, as long as you can reach the oil filter, there is no reason that you can’t do it yourself. All you need is to be able to identify different parts of the car and acquire the right equipment.

Overview – To change your own oil, you will have to drain the current oil out of your engine, replace the proper equipment, add the new oil, and check for the quality of the job. The entire process should take around 15-25 minutes when doing it yourself.

Materials – You will need:

  • Oil Filter
  • Drain Pan
  • Gloves
  • Funnel
  • Drain Plug
  • Wrench
  • Floor Jack and Safety Stands
  • Oil

Step One: Get Your Car Ready – You will need to warm your car to get the oil flowing. You will only need to run the engine for about two to three minutes for the oil to be hot enough; any more time and you risk burning yourself.

Step Two: Look Under the Car for the Drain Plug – If you cannot easily reach the drain plug, you will need to jack up your car or crawl completely underneath it. The drain plug is typically a large plug located under the oil pan at the bottom of the engine. Make sure the car is off for this step, so you do not injure yourself!

Step Three: Drain the Oil – The most important step is to make sure you have placed an oil pan underneath the drain plug; otherwise, oil will run everywhere. You also want to make sure that the pan is big enough to catch the oil to avoid a disastrous spill. Next, you should wrap your hand in some paper towels or a rag and unscrew the drain plug. Be sure to move your hand away quickly to avoid being injured.

Step Four: Unscrew the Cap of the Oil Filler Hole and Unscrew the Oil Filter – The cap will be located at the top of the engine. Be careful when you unscrew the oil filter, as it will have oil that may spill onto you.

Step Five: Empty the Filter – Drain the oil filter into the drain pan until it is completely empty. You can set aside the pan and filter, for now, to be recycled at the end of the process.

Step Six: Screw in the New Filter and Replace the Oil Drain Plug – You may need a wrench for this process to ensure it’s tightened.

Step Seven: Pour Fresh Oil into the Oil Filler Hole – You should pour all the oil, save for 1 quart.

Step Eight: Replace the Filler and Run the Engine – Your engine should run for about 30 seconds. You will then run the engine for about 5 to 10 minutes to make sure the oil settles in the pan.

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