Is it hard to change your own oil?
You can learn how to change your own oil at home with a few simple tools. Typically, an oil change can be done in less than 30 minutes. The quick lube shops will charge you anywhere from $40 to $150 dollars to change the oil in your car and you can save this money by learning how to do it yourself! You will need a few things, all of them can be purchased at any automotive parts store. You will need:
- Oil Filter Wrench - There are several different styles available
- Box End Wrenches Or Socket Set - Bring a set as every car will require a different size
- Drain Pan - This will catch the oil that drains out of your car
- Oil - Ensure you get the correct type for your vehicle
- Oil Filter - Ensure you get the correct filter for your vehicle
- Drain Plug Gasket - May or may not be required, check your manual
- Drive-on Automotive Ramps or Jack - This is optional and will make the job easier
Begin by consulting your service manual or dealer to find out what type of oil your car needs. This is vital as putting the incorrect type of oil in your car can damage your engine. When you have all the things you need find a safe place to do your oil change and follow these steps.
CAUTION: Ensure the engine is cool prior to starting your oil change
Drive the vehicle onto the ramps or jack the front end
Make sure that you have a spotter help you if you choose to use ramps. If you jack the front of your vehicle, secure the vehicle properly with . If you do not have access to ramps or a jack, skip this step. As long as you are able to access the underside of your vehicle you can change your oil.
Place drain pan beneath the engine and remove drain plug
First, open the oil filler cap at the top of the engine. The drain plug is typically the lowest point on your engine. It will be on the bottom of the oil pan and will be easily accessible with a typical wrench. Remove the plug and allow all of the oil to drain into the pan. Once all of the oil is drained replace drain plug gasket if required and replace and tighten the drain plug.
Locate oil filter and replace
Place drain pan beneath the oil filter and remove the filter using the oil filter wrench. Rub a little bit of the new oil on the circular seal of the new oil filter to assist it in sealing against the engine. Install new filter.
Refill the car with oil
It is important that you put the correct amount of oil in the car, too much or too little can cause engine damage. Fill the oil slowly and check the level on the often. When the dip stick indicates that the oil level is correct replace the filler cap and start the vehicle. Watch the oil gauge and ensure it rises. If your car is equipped with a low oil light, ensure that it stays off while the car is running. Shut the vehicle off and check the oil level again. Check the underside of the car for leaks, if there is oil leaking, ensure that the filter and drain plug are tight.
Dispose of your old oil and filter
Take your old oil to your local recycling facility. If you don't know where to take it, ask a local mechanic, they will know where a recycling facility is.
Learning how to change your own oil at home is satisfying and inexpensive. By doing this yourself you can save hundreds of dollars per year and avoid the hassle of waiting in line at the quick lube shops.