So you’ve been thinking about changing the oil in your car.  You've come to the right place to the get the answers you need to get this job done. 

Changing the oil in your car is a simple process, and most will master it during the very first try.  Knowing how to change the oil in your car is a good skill to acquire for the following reasons:  no more waiting at the shop, no more having to drive down to the shop, lastly you can get a better filter and higher quality oil for less money when doing this yourself.

The process is as follows: 1. Drain the old oil 2. Change the filter 3. Replace the engine with new oil.

What you’ll need: New oil, a drain pan, a filter wrench, a wrench to take off the drain plug, and a funnel.  You’ll also want to know how, and where you can dispose of the old oil drained from your car.

You should consult your owner’s manual to see at what mileage interval, and what weight oil is recommended for your car; personally I try to change mine every 6,000 miles.  At this interval I’ve never had any problems with premature engine wear with my vehicles.

Step one – draining the old oil, and installing new filter

If you’ve been driving your car, you’ll want to give it an hour or more to cool down.  It can be dangerous trying to change the oil when it is very hot after you've been driving around.  If you have not been driving around then you can warm your car up for a 1-2 minutes to help get the oil a little warmer for draining; warming the oil will help it drain a little easier.  Consult the owner’s manual for the location of the oil filter, and drain plug prior to crawling under the car to remove them.  Once you’ve determined their locations, crawl under the car with your filter wrench, drain plug wrench, oil pan, and new filter. 

Remove the oil drain plug, and drain oil into pan.  Remove the old filter, and place in pan.  Replace the drain plug, making sure to not over tighten it.  I like to use the tips of my fingers on the wrench, and snug it up, instead of cranking on it with the palm of my hand, using this method gives me better feel.  Once you feel it snug up, you’ll only want to turn it just a little more. 

Before installing the new oil filter, take a little of the old oil, and rub a little around the rubber ring on the oil filter.  Rubbing oil on this rubber ring will help to ensure it comes off easier next time you need to change your oil.  Screw the new filter on snugly with your hand, being careful not to over tighten.  The new filter can be installed with your hand only, I would advise against using the oil filter wrench to tighten it, or you may end up over tightening it.

With a few oil changes you will become much more familiar as to tightness with which to install the  filter, and oil pan drain plug with.

Step two – adding the new oil into the car

Open up the hood of your car, locate where you need to add the new oil, and then using your funnel begin to add the oil (keep in mind it is much easier to add more, then to remove it if you overfill the engine).  Add the oil slowly, checking with the dip-stick to make sure you do not under fill, or over fill the engine with oil.  Check with your owner’s manual to see how many quarts of oil your engine takes.  Once you’ve filled the engine up with the oil, start the car, let it warm up for a few minutes, and then check the oil level again with the dipstick making sure it is at the proper level (between the designated marks on the dip-stick).

Congratulations, you are finished!  Now make sure to dispose of the old oil properly.   You may be able to put it out in a special container for the garbage company to pick up, or you may have to take it to a recycle center.