The local service station would be more than happy to charge you fifty dollars for fifteen minutes work when they change the motor oil in your vehicle. With a little understanding and the right tools, you could change the oil and filter in your vehicle in less time than ti would take to get over to the service station and save yourself a bundle of cash doing so.
The oil in your vehicle should be changed every three months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes sooner. This simple guide on the six steps to change your own car oil will help you protect your car engine and your wallet at the same time.
1. Preparing to Change the Oil
Before you can change the oil in your vehicle, you’ll need some supplies. Purchase the motor oil, oil filter, and make sure you own an oil filter wrench and a pair of rubber gloves. Wait until the engine has cooled for thirty (30) minutes before changing the oil. Find the oil drain plug at the bottom of the oil pan, and place an oil pan big enough to hold several quarts of fluid directly under the plug.
Now that you have all your supplies and have located the drain plug, put on your gloves and grab your socket set or adjustable wrench.
2. Removing the Old Motor Oil
Loosen the drain plug and as soon as you see the oil coming out, get your hand out of the way as quickly as possible. If the plug fell into the oil pan, leave it there until all the oil has drained from the oil pan. Depending on the size of the engine, it might take a few minutes for all the oil to drain out.
Once the oil is dripping and stops, you can move to the next step.
3. Removing the Old Oil Filter
Move the oil pan under the oil filter, then use the filter wrench to loosen the filter. Once removed, drain out all the oil in the filter into the drain pan. The old filter can be wrapped in an old newspaper and set aside. Drain all the oil in the drain pan into a container that you can use to safely transport the used oil and the filter to a recycling center.
Make sure that you removed the oil drain plug from the oil pan if it accidentally fell in during the earlier step.
4. Replacing the Oil Filter/Plug
Open one of the quarts of motor oil that you purchased, dip your finger into the oil, then run it along the gasket on the new oil filter. Replace the oil filter back on to the engine, hand tight. Read the instructions on the oil filter packaging, it may need a three-quarter turn after it is snug to the engine block to be secured.
Now wipe clean the hole where the oil plug goes, replace the oil plug, tighten with your adjustable wrench.
5. Checking for Any Leaks
Remove the oil filler cap, place a funnel in the hole, pour in one quart of motor oil. Replace the filler cap and run the engine for thirty (30) seconds. Get under the vehicle and check the filter and drain plug for leaks. Turn off the engine and wait ten (10) minutes for all that oil to settle in the pan, then check one more time for leaks.
If no leaks are detected, time to add all the motor oil.
6. Filling the Engine of Oil
Since each engine takes different amounts of oil, add a quart at a time, then remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, and shove it back in after reading the oil level. Pull it out again to check it. Keep on adding motor oil a little at a time until you reach the FULL line on the oil dipstick.
Once full, test drive the car for a few miles, let the oil settle, read the dipstick, if full, your oil has been successfully changed.
Changing the oil in your vehicle might take a little more time than at the service center, but you are getting peace of mind you did the job right and you saved a bundle of cash over the course of the year.