Knowing how to work on your car is a skill that will save you a lot of money over the course of your life. You don’t have to be a gearhead to learn some of the basic maintenance procedures for your vehicle.
Specifically, knowing how to perform an oil change is valuable. Considering it needs to be done every 3000 miles, why not save time and money doing it yourself.
It’s not as daunting as it sounds. Read on to discover how to change your oil in 5 easy steps.
Oil Change Procedure
Before you start an oil change service, it’s important to have the proper tools. Below is a list of the equipment needed:
- Socket wrench
- Filter wrench
- Drain pan
There are some different tools that can be used, but this is the basic kit. As you get into the job, you may find alternative tools that work for your car.
Okay, you have what you need? Let’s get into the process.
1) Find Your Car’s Oil and Filter Specs
There are quite a few styles of oil on the market. Different engines will require certain types and amounts of oil. Oil is categorized by its viscosity. Check the owner’s manual of your car to determine what your engine needs.
To give you an idea, your car might call for 5.7 quarts of 5W-30 oil.
With the filter, viscosity, and oil amount in mind, head to an auto parts store.
2) Drain the Oil
Jack up the car with enough room to work under it. At this point, look for the drain plug on the oil pan.
Position the drain pan beneath the plug. Using the socket wrench, loosen the drain plug. As you do this, the oil will begin to seep out. Make sure the drain pan is set up to the correct trajectory. Remove the plug completely. The remaining oil will continue to drain.
Once gone, return the plug and tighten it.
3) Change the Filter
Near the oil pan, you should see the oil filter. It is a cylindrical device about the size of a soda can. Use the filter wrench to grip the filter. As soon as you begin to loosen the filter, the oil will spill out the seams. Have your rags close.
This is the end of the spilling oil. Set the old filter aside and move the drain pan out of the way.
Thread the new filter in place of the old. If your hands are oily, use the filter wrench to snug it up.
4) Pour in New Oil
This step takes place under the hood. Remove the oil cap from the engine block. Insert the funnel into the oil spout. If you don’t have a funnel this can get messy.
Carefully pour in the indicated amount of oil specific to your vehicle.
Return the oil cap.
5) Clean up
You are almost home free. Clean up your tools and any spilled oil drops. Pull the dipstick out. Check to see the oil levels are correct.
Lastly, lower the car from the jack.
With practice, you will be able to change your oil in about 30 minutes.
Get to Work
Remember, an oil change is a routine process. Learning this skill will pay dividends as long as you have a vehicle.
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