Are you tired of spending unnecessary money on oil changes every few months? Learning how to perform an oil change on your own can save you time and money. By following these simple steps, you can easily take care of this maintenance task at home. Let’s dive in!
Step 1: Warm Up the Engine
To begin, start your car and let it warm up to its normal operating temperature. This helps the oil flow more efficiently and makes it easier to drain.
Step 2: Find the Perfect Spot
Once the engine is warmed up, park your car in a level spot, such as a garage. This will ensure that the oil drains properly. If needed, use jack stands to elevate the front of your car.
Step 3: Locate the Drain Plug
The drain plug is usually located on the oil pan, towards the bottom of the engine. It serves as the lowest point of the engine and is where the oil will be drained from.
Step 4: Get Ready to Catch the Oil
Position a drain bucket under your car to catch the oil when you remove the drain plug. This will save you from making a mess on your garage floor.
Step 5: Remove the Drain Plug
Using a ratchet with the correct size socket, turn the drain bolt counter-clockwise until it breaks loose. Use your fingers to turn it out completely. Be prepared to remove it quickly once it’s on the last few threads to prevent hot oil from splashing everywhere.
Pro Tip: You may need to reposition the drain bucket as the oil drains out.
Step 6: Clean Up
While the oil is draining, take a moment to clean off the drain plug and any tools that got oil on them using a rag. This will help prevent any contamination during the process.
Step 7: Re-install the Drain Plug
Once the oil has finished draining, wipe down the surface around the drain and re-install the drain plug. Turn it clockwise by hand until it contacts the oil pan, then use a torque wrench to tighten it to the factory specification, as mentioned in the owner’s manual.
Important Note: Properly tightening the drain bolt prevents oil leaks. Make sure not to overtighten or undertighten it.
Step 8: Prepare for the Oil Filter
Reposition the drain pan directly under the oil filter to catch any oil that may spill during removal.
Step 9: Remove the Old Oil Filter
With your hand, grip the oil filter and twist it counter-clockwise to remove it. Gently set it in the drain bucket or a trash can.
Pro Tip: If the oil filter is stuck, wipe it clean and use a rubber glove to get a better grip.
Step 10: Install the New Oil Filter
Fill the new oil filter about halfway up with fresh oil. Then, apply a light film of oil to the O-ring on the oil filter. Thread it on the car clockwise until the O-ring contacts its sealing surface, and then turn it an extra ¾ of a turn.
Pro Tip: Marking the oil filter with a marker when it contacts the sealing surface helps identify the ¾ turn mark.
Step 11: Add Fresh Oil
With the oil filter installed and the drain plug in place, it’s time to add fresh oil. Locate the oil fill cap and unscrew it. Depending on your vehicle, the oil fill may be a simple plug that goes into the valve cover or a tube elsewhere on the engine. Consult your owner’s manual for the exact location.
Step 12: Fill Up the Oil
Insert a funnel into the fill hole and add the recommended amount of oil specified by the manufacturer. Refer to your owner’s manual for this information.
Step 13: Start the Engine and Let it Run
Re-install the filler cap and start the car. Let it run for a minute or two, then shut it off and give it a minute to let the oil settle back down to the oil pan.
Step 14: Check the Oil Level
To check the oil level, pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean with a rag. Insert it back into its hole all the way, then pull it out again. The highest point that the oil reached on the dipstick indicates the oil level in your car.
Step 15: Top Off if Needed
If the oil level is below the recommended range, add more oil until it reaches the desired level. The oil level should be between halfway between the “L” (low) and “F” (full) marks or closer to the “F” mark.
Important Note: The distance between “L” and “F” is approximately one quart.
Congratulations! You have successfully performed an oil change on your car. Your vehicle is now ready for another 3000 miles of driving. Remember to always dispose of the old oil responsibly.
For more informative articles, visit Zenith City News. Happy driving!