how to change your oil
Maintenance Help

How To: Change Your Oil

Changing your car’s oil is one of the easiest things to do besides changing a tire. If you’ve never done it before, it’s not a bad idea to start. The amount of savings is pretty decent when you compare the average cost for an oil change by an auto shop is about $30 and up to $75. If you drive your car quite a bit, you might find that you need to change your oil more often than others which can end up costing $500 or more a year. By doing this yourself, you can see how much money you can save.

Doing your car’s oil changes yourself enables you to use a better premium brand and filter while still saving money. You can find several premium brands with enough to do your own change for about $15 in many cases. Add the cost of a new filter and you end up with a total of around $20 to $30. This is usually the cost for a basic oil change at a shop without full synthetic oil.

Steps To Change Your Oil

Your first step to change your oil is going to be to start the car and let it run for a few minutes. Usually about 7 minutes is enough to get the oil nice and warm, depending on the climate in your area.

After you’ve warmed up the car and oil, put down some plastic under your oil pan on the ground to prevent any messes. Next, put down a bucket or a container so you can drain the oil into it and take it to your local auto parts store to recycle or dispose of it properly.

Next, unplug the drain plug from your car’s oil pan. Check the drain plug’s washer and replace it if necessary to prevent any future leaks. Clean it off really good.

Take off the old oil filter and pay attention to make sure the seal comes off with it too. You will more than likely need some sort of oil filter wrench. There are several available at local parts stores or even Wal-Mart, just look in the auto section or the change your oil section. Some are adjustable in case you have more than one car and plan on doing more oil changes. Others come in one size and attach to your ratchet. Either one works fine.

Put the drain plug back on the oil pan after cleaning it thoroughly and also put the new oil filter in place of where the old one was. Make sure the rubber seal is on there good and didn’t move while screwing it back on.

Now grab a funnel and start to add the new oil to your car from the oil cap on top of the valve cover. Make sure to use the right amount of oil your car holds and also make sure to use the right type of oil for your car per the user’s manual.

Once done, make sure to cap off the bottle to the oil before you throw it away to prevent any spills and hazards. Take the old oil to a local auto store so they can dispose of the oil or recycle it.

Once done, turn the car on and make sure everything is good. If the car has an oil pressure gauge, make sure it is reading the correct readings. If it isn’t then check to make sure you used the right oil and also check the oil filter for leaks or any other issues. Check the oil level with the dipstick on a leveled surface after the car has warmed up again.

If everything reads fine and correct, you are done! Congratulations! Drink a beer and celebrate because you just saved yourself some money while learning something new that will be very useful in the future. Remember to mark how many miles you had so you can change your oil again at the right interval.

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