Since we’ve already covered the things needed for an oil change, let’s move on to changing the easy self-maintenance of changing your car’s oil.
How to Change the Oil in a Car
Step 1: Setup for an Oil Change
Make sure the vehicle is secure; use a flat and stable surface, and put the vehicle in “Park” if the transmission is automatic, or select 1st gear if the vehicle has a manual transmission. Then pull the parking, or “emergency” break to ensure there is no movement.
Then run the engine for about 30 seconds. This warms the oil and makes the oil less viscous, which makes the draining step go much more quickly. Make sure to measure the heat of the engine with your hands before you start the next step. Checking the engine heat gives you an idea of how hot the oil is inside. If the engine (and the oil inside it) is too hot, then let the engine sit for some time.
Step 2: Remove Oil Fill Cap
To help the oil drain more smoothly, locate and remove the oil fill cap. This is located inside of the engine compartment, underneath the bonnet. This is unscrewed by hand and no tools are required yet.
Step 3: Remove the Oil Drain Plug
Locate the oil drain plug and remove the bolt. Make sure that the oil pan is placed underneath the plug. Also, it is important to note that the oil should not be hot as mentioned in Step 1. Feel the radiant temperature around the plug, and touch it only if the air around this area feels comfortable.
To remove the plug, loosen the bolt with the wrench, and then unscrew the rest by hand so the bolt does not fall into the pan. Unscrewing by hand also give more control, which means less of mess when the plug comes off. When unscrewing the plug, be sure to take care. If it gets lost in the pan, it will be difficult to get it out. Also, move the pan if you notice that it isn’t catching all of the oil as it drains.
Step 4: Remove the Oil Filter
Once the oil has been drained from the engine, the oil filter can be removed.
There are certain filters with a welded-on nut on the end which makes this step much easier. However, if this is not the case, then a specialty oil filter wrench will work. If there is no other option, a pierced oil filter with a screwdriver will get the job done. However, this is very messy and can cause oil spills on the Earth and in your vehicle’s engine compartment.
Step 5: Replace the Oil Filter
Using a reverse process from the previous step, screw a new oil filter on. The oil filter size must be the same as the old one or it will not fit properly and cause your engine to leak oil.
Quick Tip: If a little bit of oil from the previous oil filter is rubbed onto the new filter’s rubber seal, it will cause a tighter seal.
Step 6: Replace the Oil Drain Plug
The next step is to replace the oil drain plug; be sure to tighten it, but not too tightly or it can cause damage, because if an oil drain plug is too tight it will be almost impossible to remove for the next oil change.
Step 7: Add Motor Oil
When adding new oil into the engine, be careful to pour it slowly and evenly to prevent any spills or accidents.
To figure out how much oil your engine requires, refer to you car manual. Never add more oil than is required.
Step 8: Replace Engine Oil Fill Cap
Screw the oil fill cap back on; again, not too tightly.
Step 9: Check the Oil Level to Ensure Proper Filling
To make sure that the oil change was done correctly, check the oil level.
Step 10: Dispose of Used Oil
Be sure to properly dispose of your used motor oil at a recycling center or nearest auto center.
Congratulations, you have just learned how to change the oil in a car! If you’re more of YouTube learner, you can watch the full video on how to change the oil in a car below: