Over the course of the past couple years, the price of takingcare of an automobile has skyrocketed. Tires, oil, gas, and mostanything that has to do with a car has become expensive. Auto shopseverywhere still need to have profit, therefore their prices have alsorisen as well. Consumers everywhere are sacrificing automobileefficiency because they simply can’t afford to have a shop fix their car.The obvious answer to this problem would be to fix your own vehicle. Atfirst, working on a car can be somewhat intimidating. However, startingoff with something simple, such as changing the oil, can lead to moreself-maintenance of your vehicle. All that is needed are a few tools,some time, and an open mind ready to learn.
ATTENTION The car you may be working on is most likely goingto be a different model than the vehicles shown inthese instructions. The concept and overall steps arethe same throughout all kinds of vehicle. For specificrequirements, (ex. oil type/viscosity), you will have torefer to your owners manual. A full explanation will beprovided in these instructions.
Tools & Materials RequiredAll of these items can be purchased at your local auto store. The employees willguide you towards the correct brands and types of tools you need. Once you paythe initial cost of these items, you will save hundreds of dollars by changing yourown oil for years to come. Old Rag Two-sided wrench (box end) Oil filter wrench Oil drain pan Funnel (can be homemade) Latex Gloves Ramps (Depends on ground clearance; NEVER USE THE JACK THAT IS PROVIDED WITH YOUR VEHICLE) Wheel Chocks Oil Oil Filter New Oil drain plug (depends on the vehicle; refer to the auto shop for advice)
Before heading to auto store to buy supplies, readyour owners manual! Check to see how much oil is required. So if your vehicle requires 5.7 quarts; you should buy 6. Find the correct oil viscosity. The manual will give you a number that should be in the (#W - ##) format. If a car requires 5W-30, get that exact viscosity. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Make sure to have the correct oil!
At the Auto Shop The Auto Shop employees will be able to guideyou in the direction of the correct tools to get the jobdone. Simply tell them what model vehicle you ownand what tools you have not already acquired.
You should have all of these materials before you start to change your oil.Pictured on the left: oil, oil filter wrench, latex gloves, oil filter, drain pan, wrench,and funnel. Notice the funnel is homemade which is acceptable. Pictured on theright: ramps, these are what hold your car up so you can get under it, and wheelchocks, these keep the car from rolling while on the ramps. If you have a vehiclewith high ground clearance, you might not need ramps.
Step 1 Before changing your oil, the oil in the carneeds to be warm, NOT HOT. Take a tenminute drive or so, then let the car sit for atleast thirty minutes. If you need moreground clearance to get under the vehicle,now would be the time to put it on theramps. When buying the ramps,instructions should be included on how toproperly and safely use them.
Step 1 continuedThis picture shows how to properly use ramps. Make sureto always have wheel chocks behind your rear wheels tokeep the car from moving.
Step 2 Once under the car, it’s time to locate your oil filter and oil drain plug. The oil pan will be directly under your engine, you should see a large nut on the side. That is your drain plug. The oil filter (white in the picture) will still stand out and should be relatively close to the oil pan.
Step 2 continued Notice how the oil drain plug and oil filter are far apart on this vehicle. Under those circumstances we would have to drain the oil first before taking off the oil filter, unless the drain pan is large enough to catch both. In this case, I will show you how to do them separately.
Step 3 It is now time to start draining the oil. Place your drain pan under the drain plug, notice how the plug is at an angle. The oil is going to come shooting out at an angle so move the pan accordingly. Once the pan is in position, you can get out from the under the car and open your hood. Unscrew your oil filler cap (as shown in the picture). This allows the oil to drain faster and smoother.
Step 4 Now it’s time for the draining. At this point take your box end wrench and start to loosen the drain plug. As soon as you think you can take it off with your fingers, do so. The oil is going to come out fast so try to keep yourself out of the way. Let the oil drain then clean and replace the drain plug. Tighten the drain plug as tight as it will go.
Step 5 Now it is time to take off the oil filter. First, position the drain pan right under the oil filter. Use your oil filter wrench to break the filter loose, meaning loose enough so you can take it off with your hands. Oil filters tend to do this quickly and oil will start to drain off the perimeter. Make sure you’re fast when switching from the wrench to your hands. It’s going to get messy.
Step 6 Hold the filter over the drain pan. Make sure to not drop it in because it will splash oil everywhere. Wait until there is no more oil drainage, you can then set the old filter aside in a plastic bag or something of that sort.
Step 7 Look at the place where you just took the oil filter off. Grab your old rag and clean it as best you can. You do not want any old oil in your new filter.
Step 8 Time to put the new oil filter on. First, grease the top of the oil filter with some oil, it helps it tighten up easier. Now, take the gloves off and tighten the filter until you can feel the inside make contact. You’ll notice it because it almost sticks and it will be harder to tighten.
Step 8 This is probably the most precise step of the whole process. After you hit the sticking point, the oil filter only needs to be tightened another three quarters of a full turn. Take a marker and make a mark on the filter. Now tighten the filter so that the mark is three quarters of a turn further.
Step 9 Simple but very important step. Use your rag to wipe down the new filter and the drain plug. Make sure there are no leaks and both are tightened accordingly.
Step 10 It is now time to start adding oil. Always add roughly one quart less then what the manual says the engine can hold. Example; if the engine holds 5.7 quarts, put around 5 quarts in. If you are not sure how to add oil to your car, consult your owners manual. Make sure to use a funnel, oil is not easy to clean up nor good for the environment. Do your best not to spill any on your engine.
Step 11 Start your car and let it run for thirty seconds. Turn it off then look under your vehicle to check if anything is leaking. If there are no leaks then you may take the car off the ramps. If there are leaks, find them and tighten the oil filter or drain plug again.
Step 12 Now that you’re on flat level, check your oil. If you do not know how to do this, consult your owners manual. It only takes a minute and a rag. After you check your oil, add just enough so that the oil is marked right under the full line.
Step 13 Dispose of your old oil and filter. Most likely the auto store you bought your supplies from will let you dispose of it there. If not, call your county waste management and they can direct you towards a hazardous waste disposal area.
You’re Finished! You have completed a safe, clean, and correct oil change on your vehicle. Having the ability to take care of your own car is a valuable asset. The money you spent on supplies will save you much more money in the future. Once you become more familiar with your car, this process will take half an hour. Don’t stop here, learn more about your vehicle; teach this to your friends, family, and peers.