Changing the oil on your vehicle is a deceivingly simple task that any do-it-yourself person can do. Even though this chore is incredibly easy and straight forward, there are many people who are guilty of doing it wrong. There is really no need to overpay for an oil change that you can do yourself if you are making sure you do it right. This is the single most crucial due diligence chore that you can do to ensure that your engine lasts.
With costs of living going up on an annual basis, it’s really a benefit to your household if you can learn to do this task yourself. The savings will add up, not to mention the fact that you can avoid the high-pressure sale environment of an automotive shop. You have probably been there; you go for a simple oil change and are being convinced that you need to purchase highly overpriced add-on “necessities” like valves or wiper blades. The following is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to at-home oil changes along with a few tips and tricks that you may not have been aware of;
Tools and Materials Needed for a DIY Oil Change:
In order to perform your own oil change you will require the following items:
- Wrench Set
- Safety Glasses or Goggles
- Rubber Mallet
- Plastic Sheet
- Oil Filter Wrench
- Oil Pan
- Engine Oil
- Oil Filter
- Oil Filter Gasket
- Container for the used oil
Step-by-Step Guide to a DIY Oil Change
The whole process should take you about 20 minutes to finish. To prepare for your oil change, spread a plastic sheet on the ground and then drive your vehicle onto it. Nobody likes to have to clean up an oil spill in their driveway. Jack up your vehicle and set it on jack stands. Make sure that all your tools are within arm’s reach underneath the car and open a new bottle of oil in order to smear it on the new filter’s gasket. You are now ready to begin:
Step 1: Pull the Plug
Unscrew the plug and pill it out. Clean it and install a new gasket if you need to.
Step 2: Remove the Oil Filter
Take off the old filter, ensuring that you remove the rubber gasket as well. Sometimes you need to peel the gasket from the engine.
Step 3: Add Fresh Oil
Put the plug back in and refill the engine using your funnel
Step 4: Recycle Old Oil
Place the used oil into a jug. Fill the engine and run it. Check the dipstick, adding more oil if needed.
DIY Oil Change Tips
- If the engine is hot, make sure you wait at least a half an hour to avoid burns
- If the engine is cold, let your vehicle run for approximately five minutes in order to warm up the oil
- Never use an adjustable socket or wrench on the drain plug, use a box-end wrench that is properly sized (usually metric)
- Never work beneath a car that is not supported by jack stands
- Always make sure you are coating the new filter with new oil before installing it
- Never use a wrench to tighten the oil filter, always hand-tighten