How to Change the Oil In A Car

One of the easiest ways to destroy your car’s engine is to let it run without changing your oil. The proper amount of oil is required to keep your engine running smoothly and to eliminate friction. The recommended time to change your cars oil is every three months, but to be on the safe side you should check your oil at least once a month. When it is time to change the oil in your car, just follow this step by step guide about how to change out old oil, and put new oil in your car yourself.



Warm Up Your Car

Turn on your car and let it heat up a bit to get the oil warm before draining out the old oil. Once your car has been warmed enough, the draining process should be much easier.


Loosen Oil Plug

Locate the oil plug under your vehicle and remove it. Make sure to use a wrench or a well-fitting socket because the bolt may be tight. After this step, locate the drain plug gasket and remove it. Set the gasket aside in a safe place, because when you have finished emptying the oil you will need to replace this.
* a) Locate and loosen the oil cap from the top of the engine. This is the cap you remove when you are adding oil to your engine.
* b) Be sure to have a pan to catch the old oil. Place this container directly under the oil plug. When you remove the plug, oil will spill from the oil pan. If you have nothing to catch the old oil, it will spill onto the ground. Let the oil completely empty from the oil pan into the container.
* c) Next, you will need to replace the drain plug on the oil pan. Make sure to also replace the washers. Make it tight, but not too tight for the next time you need to change your oil.


Find the Filter

The next step is to locate the oil filter, which is different for every car. Make sure to look near the engine first as that is the most common location. After finding it, remove it from the engine. Note that this is usually tightly sealed so it may be difficult to loosen and remove. Make sure to use an oil filter wrench to make this process easier. Be careful not to spill the oil inside the filter when removing it from the engine. Empty the oil from the filter into the container holding the rest of the old oil.


Replace Filter

Now it is time to replace the filter. Make sure to put some oil on the filter to ensure a good fit. Depending on the car, and the make of the filter, there will be instructions on how hard to tighten it. Make sure it is put in tight enough so that it does not fall out. Use a filter wrench if necessary.


Add New Oil

Go to the fill hole which you previously removed the cap from on the engine, and put in new oil. To find out how much oil your particular car needs, look online or in the owner’s manual that came with your car, in the category under "capacities."
* a) The last thing to do when changing your oil is to make sure to replace the oil cap on the engine once all of the oil has been added. This is the cap you previously loosened. If this cap is not replaced and tightened securely, when you run your car oil will spray all over your engine.


Start the Engine

To make sure everything went well, turn on your engine and look at the oil pressure gauge. Make sure it starts up. It may even be a good idea to open the hood on the car while it is running to see if anything is dripping. If oil is dripping chances are the drain plug or oil filter was not tightened enough.

Changing your oil may seem like a scary procedure to do on your own, but if you review these steps carefully the process is much simpler than expected. Oil needs to be changed frequently to ensure that your car is operating as well as it can. Learning how to do this yourself will save you the trip to the mechanic and put a few extra dollars in your pocket. Remember, dirty oil needs to be disposed of properly, not just poured into a container and thrown in a trash can.