To keep your vehicle healthy and happy, it’s important to have the oil changed regularly. If you know what you’re doing, it’s easy to do it yourself. Here’s a step-by-step guide to changing your car’s oil quickly and cleanly.
First things first, you’ll want to consult your owner’s manual to find out what type and weight of oil the manufacturer recommends. It’s important to get the right oil viscosity, since purchasing the wrong kind can result in engine damage or poor performance.
You should also consult your manual to find out how frequently you should be changing your oil. If extended oil change intervals (every 6,000 rather than every 3,000 miles) are recommended, make sure you spring for high-quality filter that’s rated to last that many miles. They’re not that much more expensive than economy filters, but will hold up much better.
Other tools you will need include a box-end wrench for the drain plug, a rubber mallet, a filter wrench, and a drain pan.
Once you’ve got the right materials, the process itself should only take about 20 minutes. Begin by spreading a plastic sheet on the ground for easy clean-up, and then driving your car on top of it. Then jack up the car, set the jack stands in place, and lower the car.
Before you begin, open your new bottle of oil and smear clean oil on your replacement filter’s gasket. Now remove the drain plug to get the old oil flowing. Once it’s down to just a trickle, install a new gasket on the plug with a box-end wrench, tightening it by tapping the wrench with a rubber mallet.
Now, lower your car, pop the hood, and slowly pour the new oil into the oil reservoir. Once the oil level is close to the top mark on the dipstick, you should be good to go!