How to change your oil

It may sound like a big task, but regularly changing your car's oil is exceptionally important to keeping your car running well. Oil breaks down over time, which causes your filter to become clogged with containments that can damage your engine. While the frequency with which you should change your oil can differ depending on your type of car and how frequently and far you drive, the process is always the same, and surprisingly easy to perform by yourself, assuming you have the patience and aren't adverse to getting a little dirty in the process...

 

  1. First thing's first: you need to drain away your car's oil. To do this, use either jacks or ramps to lift your car. Remember to consult your owner's manual for the proper spot to place the jack to avoid damaging your car.
  2. Heat the oil slightly with two to three minutes of idling to allow the it to drain quicker. Open the hood of your car and remove the oil cap
  3. Next, shimmy under your car and locate the oil pan (it will resemble a flat metal pan, and will be closer to the engine than the transmission). There will be a bolt or plug toward the bottom, which will need to be removed to drain the oil, BUT NOT YET! First, place a large pan and a couple sheets of newspaper directly underneath the plug to catch the oil and avoid a mess.
  4. Now it's time to remove the oil plug. Loosen it counter clockwise using a socket wrench, then the rest of the way with your hands. The oil will be coming out by this point, and with a little luck will be falling right into your oil pan.
  5. Now we play the waiting game. It will take several minutes for all the oil to drain from your car, so be patient. Once it's stopped flowing, it's time to replace the plug, first with your hands then tightening with your wrench.
  6. Next step: replacing the oil filter. Start off by locating the filter assembly, which really does differ care to car. Typically though, they're white, blue or black cylinders about 10cm-15cm long and 7.6cm wide.
  7. Unscrew the oil filter, moving counter clockwise. Make sure you still have your oil pan in position, as oil trapped in the filter will come out as you unscrew it. You'll also want to ensure that the rubber gasket ring comes off with the filter, because should it stick to the car, the new filter won't seal property and will leak.
  8. Prepare the new filter by dipping the tip of your finger in the new oil and swearing it on the gasket ring of the new filter. This will help to ensure a good seal for the new filter, and will help with removing it next time you go through this (don't worry, it won't be for a while).
  9. Finally, carefully screw on the new filter, ensuring you do not cross the threads. Take note of the specifications on the box to see how tight to tighten the filter, but generally, you tighten the filter until the gasket touches, then a quarter turn more.
  10. Finish up by adding the new oil to your car, according to the specified quantities in your manual. Replace the oil cap, close the bonnet, and you're good to go.