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How To Change the Oil in Your Car

Every automobile up to and including the current models uses motor oil as a lubricant to minimize damage from friction and resulting heat build up. Some automobiles require a frequent oil change-manufacturers recommending an oil change every 3,ooo miles-and some newer models can go an extraordinarily long time without one. Nevertheless, every combustion engine must have regular oil changes in order to function at peak efficiency. The manner in which an oil change is done varies with some vehicles. Different engines require special equipment that the dealership usually has for pumping the used oil out of the filler neck. However, the oil change basics are the same from manufacturer to manufacturer.


Changing the oil regularly will prolong the life of your engine and help it run more efficiently

Changing the oil regularly will prolong the life of your engine and help it run more efficiently

  1. Gather the necessary tools and equipment before starting.
  2. You will need:
  3. Rags.
  4. A used oil container or drain pan.
  5. The proper size open or combination open/box end wrench or a socket and ratchet.
  6. An oil filter wrench.
  7. The proper weight oil for your engine. You can find this information in the owner’s manual or on the service sticker under the hood. In some models, it may be molded into the top of the oil filler cap.
  8. The proper oil filter. You can usually purchase an oil filter in a number of different grades. One filter supplier sells extra guard, tough guard, extended guard, and high mileage oil filters. The better quality filter you buy, the better the lubrication protection you will have for your engine.
  9. A funnel.

Changing the oil

  1. Raise the hood of your car.
  2. Remove the oil filler cap. Usually, you will find it on top of the engine valve cover.
  3. Lay a tarp or drop cloth on the ground under the engine. On some vehicles, you may have to jack it up slightly or drive it over a low spot to gain enough access to reach the drain plug underneath the engine.
  4. Using the proper tool, remove the drain plug in the bottom of the engine crankcase.
  5. Unscrew the oil filter with the oil filter wrench and place the oil filter upside down in the oil drain pan.
  6. Allow plenty of time for the used oil to drain into the pan.
  7. Wipe the drain plug port on the crankcase with a clean rag.
  8. Also wipe the drain plug off and screw it back into the drain plug hole. If you have the information from a repair manual for your car, tighten the drain plug to the proper torque. If not, tighten the drain plug snugly and wipe it dry once again.
  9. Apply a thin film of new oil to the new oil filter gasket and fill the new oil filter with clean motor oil.
  10. Install the new oil filter and tighten it hand tight.
  11. Using a funnel, pour the proper amount of motor oil in through the oil filler cap.
  12. Check the level of oil on the dipstick.
  13. Check the drain plug and oil filter for leaks.
  14. Start the engine and let it run briefly to allow the oil  pressure to build up.
  15. Shut off the engine, let it sit for a few moments, and recheck the drain plug and oil filter for leaks and the oil level on the dipstick. You may have to add half a quart to a quart to bring the oil up to the proper level.


Drive your car enough to let the engine warm up before you change the oil.

Give the used oil time to drain thoroughly.

Take the used oil to a recycling center.

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