Getting ready to change car oil ➤ How to change engine oil – steps ➤ Get the car ready ✅
How to change engine oil
One of the most basic DIY car maintenance practices is changing the engine oil. The home oil change is the simplest way to save some maintenance cash. The process is amazingly simple and only requires a few tools.
It is important that you connect with your car and understand what lies beneath. Spending some time under it when working on engine oil change can be the best opportunity. There might be a lot of things you don’t know about the car. Check and see if anything else needs your attention.
Getting ready to change car oil
Before you start the process, you need to get ready. This means, you understand what you are gaining as well as what you might be losing. Here are questions to ask.
How much am I saving?
You can save from $25 to $75
How much time do I need?
This is another way to save. Instead of waiting on the line for too long. You can take about 30 minutes on the job. If it goes too far, it cannot extend beyond an hours, unless you just want to go slow.
Which tools do I require?
- You will need a wrench for removing the drain plug
- A wrench for oil filtering
- A pan to drain the oil in
- A funnel
- Latex gloves to keep your hands clean
- Some stands or ramps, preferably jack and jack.
What materials should I bring together?
- The oil
- A filter
- A washer for the replacement plug
How to change engine oil – steps
Know the amount of oil required
Don’t head to the auto shop unless you know exactly what you are going to buy. There are many types of oil in the market. Check the owner’s manual first to determine the type and amount required.
Car oil change is about getting everything right because it will determine how your engine performs. Knowing the amount is easy. If the car requires 5.7 quarts, buy 6 of them instead.
The oil has to march the viscosity of your engine. For instance, a 2.0-liter Ford EcoBoot will consume 5W-30 oil. This is very important to getting the whole process right. If there are any other specifications recommended, you should find it all in the manual. The American Petroleum Institute has laid out clear requirement for car oil.
Get your tools together
Once you get under the car, it will be very hard to keep coming out to search for a certain tool. So after the oil, you will also need to prep an oil filter, wrenches, one to remove the oil filter and the other to remove the drain plug. Get a funnel ad some gloves as well.
In addition, you will have to raise the car a bit higher to get proper access. A floor jack and safety strands are therefore necessary. Do not ever use jack that are flimsy.
If you are wondering what a funnel is, it is just that simple dry water bottle with the end cut off. You should also get a drain pan with a screw-on lid, for easy transportation and recycling of the old oil.
Get the car oil filter from dealership or any auto parts store. And ask if you need a new drain plug washer. Some dealers will make things easy for you by including it if necessary. There are some auto shops that will charge extra. In that case, perhaps you don’t really need the item.
Choose the types oil filter wrench that achieves proper engagement with the serration at the end of the oil filter. Such wrenches are easy to find in stores. The only issue is perhaps knowing the right size. There are many sizes a wrong one will not serve you are you might expect.
These tools have to be as close to your reach as possible. You should be able to get anything you want by simply stretching your hand. Otherwise the whole process will be tiring and take longer than necessary.
Get the car ready
The car engine oil change process is like operating on a patient in a hospital. There are things you are supposed to do as a patient to prepare for the process. The same goes for oil cars.
To start, your car engine and oil should be warm enough, not hot because that will make the process even harder. Allow the car to cool off for while but not to go stone cold. You need an engine that allows you to work with minimal strain.
You should raise the car to get a better access and there is no better time to do it. Use proper safety strands. The last thing you want is the strands loosening because you did not give them enough thought. You may need to remove tires as well, but that is not a must.
Perhaps you need to take off the undercover. This is also the time to get done with. Newer cars are better because they have aerodynamic covers which help on fuel economy while keeping things clean all through. These covers can hide the oil drain plug and the filter. Some of the covers also with access hatches built in and labeled.
For other cars, you may need to completely get out the undercover. But the good news is, most cars don’t come with these covers. So it becomes much easier to follow the procedure. They are found in Explorers though, but there is a four twist release clips to hold it in place. In that case, no tools are required to get them out.
Find the oil filter and the drain plug
It is a must that you locate where these things are. Many of the cars today have a bottom-mount screw on filter.
If so, then the plug and the filter are located in different places and you have to get a better position for the drain pan after draining the oil. Then you can remove the filter, this means you need to make sure the oil is completely drained before removing the filter.
You work will be much easier if these components are closer together. In such case, you only need a bigger drain pan and you can work on them at the same time.
The growing number of new cars come with top top-mount cartridge filter. But these steps still apply for oil drain. . Only the filter change steps will be different.
Get the oil out
Now that you have everything you need to get the work going, it is time to drain the oil out of the engine. The drain pan should be under the drain plug, though not directly. You need to get the pan a few inches to the side of the oil because the plug will make the oil to drain at an angle.
Get the filter cup out. It is important because it will remind you to put in the new oil before starting the engine. Put on your gloves because things are going to get messy.
Close the drain plug
While the rest of the oil is draining, it is the best time to tighten the drain plug. If a new washer is needed, as indicated above, it will be placed here.
In theory, there are torque specifications for tightening the plug. But most are just simple things you can do.
Oil filter replacement
Remove car oil filter and get a new one in place. The filter may seem a bit tight not because it was over tightened but because it swells with time.
At this stage, you cannot avoid making a mess. It is not like plug removal where you can control. Therefore, reposition the drain pan before starting. Then use a rag to clean the oil way. Remove the O-ring on the oil filter and clean it.
Now you can install the new filter. You can take the glove off so you can hold the filter well.
Add the new oil and check the level
Before you add the new oil, reconfirm the drain bolt. You don’t want the oil leaking. Then add about one quart less. Replace the oil cap and hit the ignition. Running the engine for few seconds allow the oil to circulate.
Check the oil level and make sure it comes to the hash marker. You may be surprised if you have to add a little more oil, but that is normal.
This DIY step by step guide is the easiest way to learn car oil change. We hope you can save some cash and time by following it. You can do it!