How to Change Your Car’s Oil

Dec 10, 2007

There are many places you can go to get your oil changed. Most of the places are not too expensive, but they are often busy, and it is hard to get to the shop when you are busy working. If you are interested in changing your car’s oil yourself, there are things you should know. First of all, most cars are pretty much the same. If you have changed one car’s oil you can change all cars. While the oil pan may be located in a different area on the cars they are in the same general spot. Below are a few tips on how to change the oil in your car:

- You will need at least six quarts of oil. Preferably you will want to use the same type of oil you had in the engine before.

- You will also need to purchase a new oil filter. You will need to make sure you are buying the correct oil filter for the model of your car.

- During an oil change most people also change the air filter on their cars. The air filter tends to become dirty in about the same time as the oil needs changing especially on older model vehicles. Therefore you may wish to purchase an air filter as well.....

- If you have not done any prior work on the vehicle at home, you will need to purchase a car jack or tire racks. These racks allow you to drive up on them to elevate the front end of the car where you will be working. If you are using a jack or the racks you will need to place blocks behind the other two tires to keep the car from rolling.

- You will also want to make sure that the e- brake is on and that the car is in park. You need to elevate the car so that the oil will run out of the oil pan completely as well as make it easier for you to reach the oil pan.

- You will need something to catch the oil in. Most auto parts shops including those online will have oil pans that you can drain the oil into. These pans have a special design to make disposing of the oil into an oil drum easy.

- You will also need an oil filter wrench. This wrench must be the correct wrench for the size of filter you have. There are many sizes depending on the type of car you have. There are even oil filter wrenches for semi trucks. Another tool you will need is the wrench for the oil pan nut. This nut has to be removed to let the oil leak out. This is usually a metric or standard wrench depending on who manufactured your car. The best tool for this job is a socket wrench.

- Once you have all of the tools and other items you will need to locate the oil pan. It is best to look in your car manual for this information. Keep plenty of towels on hand as well.

- First you will want to loosen the nut on the oil pan, making sure that you are prepared for the first gush of oil by having the waste pan underneath the oil pan.

- Next you will want to locate the oil fill cap and remove it. Some manuals may tell you to do this first. I have found that this creates more of a gush if you wait to remove the hexagonal nut after, so the potential for a spill is higher.

- Once you have gotten the oil flowing out of the vehicle you can then set a bucket just under the oil filter. There will be a little oil drainage from the filter so having the bucket under there will help keep you from causing a spill. Once you have removed the old filter you can then screw on the new filter following the instructions on the box.

Now that you have removed all of the oil from your vehicle you will need to make sure that you replace the hexagonal nut on the oil pan and make sure that the oil filter is screwed on tight. Then you can begin replacing the oil. It is best to fill the engine with at least four bottles of oil and then let it settle. Check the engine oil level and then keep adding a quart until it is full. As stated above, most cars take six quarts.


Author: Slav Vaskevich is an active contributing member of - an online used car parts inventory and advertising network.

How to Change Your Car’s Oil