• How to Change Your Motor Oil (and How Often)

    To save money on car servicing you can learn to change motor oil yourself. It is a vitally important process to the continued good health of your vehicle. Read the owner’s manual for your vehicle and check for tips about how often your oil needs changing. Changing your own motor oil is not difficult but it can get messy. Most vehicles suggest that oil changes should be done between 3,000 and 7,000 miles, but it does vary between manufacturers.

    Tools and Materials Needed:

    • Gloves
    • Adjustable wrench
    • Hydraulic jack
    • A bucket or bowl
    • Fresh oil
    • New oil filter
    • Newspaper
    • A filter
    • A bottle with a lid

    Step 1: Jack the Car Up

    Before you get going on your oil change project you will have to use the hydraulic jack to raise the front of your car. You will need access to the front underside to get to the oil sump (oil tank). Once the car is raised up, lay some clean cloths or use a slider board to get easy access. You will need to reach underneath the oil sump and loosen the drain plug. Keep in mind that you should also hold the bucket or bowl underneath it. Don’t lie directly under the drain plug, otherwise the oil can drip straight onto your face.

    Step 2: Drain the Oil

    Let the oil flow out from the sump and into the bucket or bowl. Leave it to drain completely because the system needs totally flushing. You might still get some dripping for a few minutes.

    Step 3: Remove Old Filter

    When the oil has completely drained you can remove the oil filter. It will usually screw on and fit tight into place. Turn the filter counter-clockwise and take it off. Be careful of any spillage from the filter. It will likely contain oil. Place the old filter on top of some thick layers of newspaper to stop from staining the ground and then wrap it up for correct disposal.

    Step 4: Attach New Filter

    Take the new filter out of the box and remove any packaging that is attached. You will then need to attach the new filter. Screw it on clockwise and tighten it securely. Don’t over tighten it because you can ruin the thread or break the filter casing.

    Step 5: Replace Drain Plug

    Once the new filter is attached, check back underneath the car and make sure all the oil has stopped dripping. Wipe the drain plug hole and clean around it, getting rid of any excess oil. Replace the drain plug nut tightly. Remove the bucket from underneath and lower the car back to the ground.

    Step 6: Fill with New Oil

    Depending on the size of your engine you will need the right amount of synthetic motor oil (or other suitable oil) to refill the engine. Buy the correct multi-grade oil for your car. Open the oil cap under the hood and pour in the correct amount of oil into the engine. Try to not spill it on the engine. You can employ a funnel if you need to. Use the dipstick to see how much oil has passed into the system. When you finish filling it, close and tighten the oil cap down. When you change used motor oil you should store the used oil and dispose of it correctly.