Regularly changing your car’s engine oil, just like taking your car to Hoffman every couple of weeks, is one of the most vital maintenance tasks you can perform to keep your vehicle running smoothly and extend its lifespan. While it may seem daunting at first, changing your car’s engine oil is a relatively simple and rewarding DIY task. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of changing your car’s engine oil like a pro.
Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials
Before embarking on this task, ensure that you have all the essential tools and materials at hand:
- New Engine Oil: Refer to your car’s manual for the correct type and quantity of engine oil required.
- Oil Filter: Ensure that you have the right oil filter that matches the specifications for your specific vehicle model.
- Socket Wrench or Oil Filter Wrench: You’ll need this to loosen and remove the oil filter.
- Drain Pan or Container: To collect and contain the old oil safely.
- Funnel: Helps you pour new oil without spilling.
- Disposable Gloves: For your safety and to keep your hands clean during the process.
- Jack and Jack Stands: If your vehicle doesn’t have a built-in ramp, you’ll need these to elevate your car safely.
Park the Car on a Level Surface and Warm Up the Engine
For an accurate oil change, park your car on a level surface. It’s also a good practice to warm up the engine for a few minutes. Warm oil flows more easily and carries away more impurities when draining.
Locate the Oil Drain Plug and Oil Filter
Crawl beneath your vehicle to locate the oil drain plug and oil filter. Typically, the oil drain plug is situated at the bottom of the engine oil pan, while the oil filter is usually on the side of the engine.
Drain the Old Oil
Position the drain pan beneath the oil drain plug and use your socket wrench to carefully loosen and remove the plug. Allow the old oil to drain completely into the pan. As it drains, take a moment to inspect the drain plug washer for any signs of damage and replace it if needed.
Replace the Oil Filter
Using an oil filter wrench, carefully remove the old oil filter. Before installing the new oil filter, lubricate the rubber gasket with fresh engine oil. Hand-tighten the new oil filter into place. Be sure not to over-tighten, as this can cause leaks.
Add New Engine Oil
Set up your funnel in the oil filler hole and pour in the recommended amount of new engine oil. Your car’s manual will specify the right oil type and quantity for your particular vehicle.
Check the Oil Level
After adding the new oil, wait a few minutes to allow it to settle in the engine. Then, use the dipstick to check the oil level. If necessary, add more oil, but take care not to overfill.
Dispose of the Old Oil Properly
Never dispose of used oil by pouring it down the drain or onto the ground, as it is harmful to the environment. Instead, responsibly take the used oil and filter to a local recycling center or an auto parts store that accepts used oil.
Remember to consult your car’s manual for specific instructions and recommended oil change intervals. Performing regular oil changes will not only save you money on costly repairs but also give you the satisfaction of knowing that you are taking excellent care of your vehicle. Enjoy your smooth and trouble-free motoring!
For more detailed instructions and visual guidance, you can watch a video tutorial on how to change engine oil here: