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Oil Change

How To Change Your Own Motor Oil

A lot of do it yourselfers save money by changing their own oil and oil filter.  Here are some tips to help you change your own oil.  If you can’t reach your oil pan/oil pan plug and oil filter, then I recommend taking it to someone who specializes in oil changes.

Always begin by warming your engine up for a few minutes in order for the oil to flow out of the engine more easily. Ideally, you don’t want the engine scorching hot where you can easily burn yourself.  Then, follow these easy steps:


1- Check below your car to find the oil pan plug.

The plug is generally a large nut or plug found below the oil pan, under engine. It’s most ideal to have the vehicle jacked up already.


2- Slide a container under the oil pan plug to catch the drained oil.

Be sure the container is large enough to catch all of the oil

3- Unscrew the oil pan plug.

It’s always a good idea to protect your hand using a rag and be prepared to quickly move your hand out of the way. The oil will drain from your engine into the properly placed container.


4- Once drained, open the cap from the top of the engine’s oil filler hole, then unscrew and remove the oil filter.

Chances are you will need to use a wrench (even though they should be tightened by hand).  The filter needs to be turned counter clockwise. Be careful you do not spill oil when you remove it, as the filter will surely have oil in it. In few cases, parts of the rubber seal from the oil filter you removed may be stuck on the engine.  Be sure to take them off.


5- Drain the oil from the filter into the container that has the old oil.

Be sure to wrap the spent filter in a paper bag or newspaper to drop off with the old oil at your nearest ECO station.


6- Grease the filter gasket.

Once you are ready to

7- Put on the new filter, open a bottle of fresh oil. Using your index finger, dip it into the oil and apply it to the gasket on the new oil filter.


8- Place the new filter in the spot where you removed the old one.

Most filters will have directions written right on the side of them.  By hand, screw it on until it is seated then apply another three quarter turn.  Do not over tighten it.


9- Using a rag, clean the area around the oil pan plug – Only after all of the oil has drained out.

10- With a wrench, place the oil pan plug in its proper location and tighten it.

In the event your oil pan has an oil pan plug gasket, be sure to use a new gasket on the pan before replacing the plug.


11- Using a funnel, pour all but 1 liter of the oil into the engine oil hole (your vehicles owner manual will let you know how many liters of oil your vehicle requires).

Slowly, pour the oil in and allow it time to run down.

12- Screw on the oil filler cap and let the engine run for a minute.

Perform a visual check for any leaks around the oil filter and the oil pan plug.


13- Turn the engine off and wait about 10 minutes for the oil to settle into the pan, then check the oil level.

Pull out the oil dipstick, clean it by wiping it with a paper towel, then put it back in. Pull it out a second time and check the oil level.


14- Continue adding oil, little by little.

Check the dip stick every time you add oil until the oil level reaches ‘Full’ on the dip stick.


15- Pull the used oil container out from under the vehicle. Set aside to be disposed of accordingly. Then take the vehicle for a short drive.


16- Once you’re back and the oil settled again (about 10 minutes), check the dipstick to make sure the oil level is still at ‘Full’.


ALWAYS dispose of old oil by taking it to your local ECO station.  NEVER pour oil down drains or into sewers.


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