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Oil Change

How to Change Your Oil

You don’t need to be a mechanic to learn how to change your oil – it simply takes being able to identify certain parts of the car and acquiring the right equipment to do the job. From a top-level view, the oil change process involves a few procedures including draining the existing oil out of your engine, replacing certain equipment (i.e. – oil filter), adding oil, ensuring there are no leaks, and quality testing.

The drain plug is a large nut or plug located under the oil pan at the bottom of the engine. If you can’t reach your oil drain plug easily, you’ll have to either crawl under your car to reach it or jack up the car.

You want this container to catch the oil, so make sure it’s big enough. Protect your hand with a rag or some paper towels, and be ready to move your hand out of the way. The oil now drains out of your engine into the container.

To unscrew the filter, twist it counterclockwise. The filter will have oil in it, so be careful not to spill it when you remove it. If any remnants of the filter’s rubber seal remain on your engine, remove them. After the filter is empty, wrap it in the newspaper and set it aside to take to a recycling center with your old oil.

Use the oil to moisten the gasket on the top of the new oil filter. Follow directions on the filter, or turn it gently by hand until it “seats” and then give it another three-quarter turn. Wipe around the place where the oil drain plug goes. If your vehicle uses an oil drain plug gasket, make sure the old one has been removed and lay a new gasket on the pan before you replace the plug.

Pour slowly to allow the oil time to run down. Check for leaks from the oil drain plug and around the filter. Remove the oil dipstick, wipe it with a clean, lint-free rag, and shove it back in. Pull it out again and check it.

Check the stick after each addition until you reach the “Full” line on the dipstick. Go around the block a couple of times. If it’s still at “Full,” you’re good to go!

You have successfully learned how to change your oil! As a final step, dispose of the old oil by taking it to an auto parts store or another oil-recycling center.