Car Oil Change - Reasons for Oil Change in Cars.

Oil Change

Oil changes are very important for maintaining the life of your engine. By changing the oil you remove contaminants that have become part of the oil. Think of it this way, if I gave you a large lake to drink out of would you want fresh water to flow into it or would you rather drink stagnant smelly water. Now you know how your engine feels.

Checking Oil Level

Park your vehicle on a level piece of road or driveway. Pop open the hood and locate the dipstick.

Checking Oil Level

Have a napkin or cloth in hand as you will need this to wipe the dipstick. Pull the dipstick out, wipe it with the rag/napkin, put it back in all the way and then pull it out. Look at the bottom of the dipstick and you will see makings. Look at where the oil is on the markings and this will let you know if you need to add Oil. If the Oil is between the low and the high mark then you are okay and do not need to add oil.

Checking Oil Level

How to top up oil?

If your oil is low, you will need to add oil. Where to add oil. The amount of oil needed will depend on the size of your engine. Please see your car manufacturer instructions on how much oil to add.

How to change the oil?

You will need either ramps of jack stands to support the vehicle, old rag to soak up stray oil, wrench to undo the oil plug, wrench to undo the oil filter and an oil tray to catch the oil when you drain it.

Find a level piece of solid ground and raise the part of the vehicle with the engine in it (front or back) off the ground by either driving it up the ramps you have or lifting it with a jack and placing the jack stands on part of the frame under the car. With jack stands, lower the jack so that the car rests on the stands and is not supported by the jack.

NEVER go under a car that is supported only by a jack.

When using ramps, be sure to apply the emergency brake after the car is up the ramp and block the wheels that are not on the ramp in such a way that if the car starts to role back down the ramp, the blocks will stop it.

When using jack stands, be sure to apply the emergency brake and block the wheels as for ramp usage.

In all cases, try to shake the car a little before going under it to ensure that it is secure when up in the air.

If the engine has been running for a while, the oil will be hot so be careful.

Put a piece of cardboard under the car and put the oil collection tray on top of that. The cardboard will catch any oil that escapes.

Crawl under the car and locate the drain plug in the Oil Pan.

Position the oil tray so that it will catch the oil as it comes out of the Oil Pan. Note that the oil will not come straight down but come a little way out before it hits the ground.

Loosen the Oil Plug in the Oil Pan and be prepared to adjust the oil tray to catch the oil.

Let the oil drain into the Oil Tray.

While it is draining you can look to find the oil filter. It will be close to the side of the engine.

Oil filters twist off and sometimes can be loosened by hand but usually require a big wrench (like a large pair of pliers).

Depending on where the Oil Filter is, it will most likely be full of oil when it comes off and will also drain some oil down the side of the  engine so be prepared to catch it in the oil tray. 

Putting a new Oil Filter on is done by hand. First wet the seal of the new Oil Filter with some oil on the end of your finger. Then twist until the Oil Filter seal touches the end of the Oil Filter mount - should look like the Oil Filter is all the way on. Then twist the oil filter a final 3/4 of a turn.

Once the oil has finished draining out of the Oil Pan (becomes a slow drip), replace the Oil Pan plug and tighten with your wrench.

Now you need to replace the oil in the engine. To do this, open the hood of the car and locate the Oil Fill cap. Add the amount of oil that is recommended for your engine and then replace the Oil Fill cap.


Lower the car back to the ground either with your jack or rolling back down the ramps.

Run the engine for a minute, turnoff and then check the Oil Dipstick to see if you have enough oil in the engine. Add as needed.

Old oil and sometimes the filter can be recycled at autopart stores.

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