Time for an Oil Change?

Posted by Steph Perine on Aug 03, 2018

Changing Oil in Car

An oil change is something most people are able to do for themselves to save money. Always keep your receipts so that you are able to document the maintenance you did, as vehicles with a maintenance history are known to bring more on resale. Depending on the type of oil you need, you could save over $20 by doing your own oil change. Before starting, consult your vehicle’s maintenance manual for more detailed instructions for your year, make and model.

You Will Need:

  • Jack.
  • Jack stand.
  • Oil drain pan.
  • Oil filter wrench.
  • Shop rag.
  • Ratchet for the oil drain plug. The size varies from model to model.
  • Oil. The amount varies depending on the year, make and model of your vehicle. Your owner’s manual will tell you the type and amount. Most cars and small trucks take 5 quarts while full-size trucks and SUVs take 7 or more quarts.

Changing the Oil

Lift the front of the vehicle with the jack and place a jack stand under the vehicle. Be sure to lift the vehicle on the proper lift points. Slide the oil drain pan under the oil drain plug to catch the dirty oil. Remove the oil drain plug. Allow all of the oil to drain.

Remove the oil filter. Check the filter housing to ensure that the old gasket came off with the old oil filter. Wipe the gasket-mating surface clean and check the housing for leaks. Screw the new oil filter onto the housing by hand. Snug the oil filter in place but do not over tighten it. You should not use tools to install the oil filter as you could get it too tight.

Reinsert the oil drain plug and tighten it snugly. Do not over tighten the drain plug as the threads are easily stripped. Wipe the bottom of the oil pan clean. Add the oil to the engine. Lower the vehicle off the jack and jack stand.

Start the vehicle and watch the oil pressure gauge or the dummy light. If the gauge does not come up to the proper pressure or the light does not go off in a few seconds, shut the vehicle off. You may have an oil leak. Check for leaks. If the oil pressure is normal and the light goes off, you are set.

Finishing Up

Dispose of the oil at an auto parts store or another facility that accepts used oil. Do not dump it on the ground.