When it comes to car maintenance, changing the oil is one of the easier tasks that you can take on yourself. It’s a simple process that requires few tools, and you’ll end up saving some money in the long run.
What you’ll need: wrench to remove drain plug, oil filter wrench, drain pan, funnel, latex gloves, jack and jack stands or ramps. The first time you change your own oil will be the most costly as you’ll have to buy the tools.
Consult your owner’s manual to see which oil filter, oil type, and the amount of oil you’ll need to change. Most cars require four to five quarts of oil. Also, make sure you buy the correct oil grade for your car.
Here are the steps to change your oil:
Unscrew the drain plug with the proper size box end wrench. Let the plug drop into the drain pan so that you don’t burn yourself or spill oil. It will take a few minutes for the oil to drain.
Reinstall the drain plug into the oil pan. Do not over tighten.
Now, take your car off the jacks. Let it run to cycle the oil. After a few minutes, turn your car off and check your dipstick to ensure that the levels are where they need to be.
Some people like having someone else change their oil as it is more convenient for them, and mess-free. That’s fine, too. Look around for the best deal on oil changes. If you have a mechanic that you’ve worked with in the past, ask them if they have any specials or coupons. Also, many mechanics anymore have mailing lists; ask to join so that you are aware of monthly specials.