Car oil, commonly known as motor oil, plays a critical role in maintaining the health and performance of a vehicle’s engine. Car oil functions in lubrication to reduce friction and wear on moving car parts, heat dissipation for temperature regulation, cleaning to remove deposits and contaminants, seal conditioning to prevent leaks, corrosion protection, and suspension of impurities. Properly chosen and regularly changed car oil enhances fuel efficiency and overall engine longevity. Today, we’ll look at a fundamental part of car maintenance: changing the car engine oil. Regular car oil changes are critical for improving your car’s longevity and performance. If you follow this step-by-step instruction, you’ll be ready to take on this work with confidence.
Step 1: Gather the Necessary Materials and Tools
Before getting your hands dirty, make sure you have everything you need:
- Oil filter wrench
- Oil drain pan
- Socket set and ratchet
- Oil filter
- New engine oil (check your car’s manual for the recommended type and quantity specific to your car’s make and model)
- Oil filter drain tool (optional)
- Oil filter disposal bag or container
- Wrench for oil drain plug
Step 2: Choose the Right Oil and Filter
To determine the correct car oil viscosity and capacity, see your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the best oils for your car. Select a high-quality oil filter that meets the standards of your vehicle. Some vehicles may have special specifications, thus it is critical to choose the right oil for your car.
Step 3: Prepare Your Vehicle
- Park on a level surface: To ensure good drainage and accurate oil level readings, park your car on a level surface.
- Warm up the engine: warm your car for a few minutes to warm the oil, which will make it easier to drain. However, avoid getting the engine too hot to prevent burns.
Step 4: Lift the Car
Elevate the front end using a jack if your car has poor ground clearance. Always use jack stands to secure the car and ensure safety while working underneath.
Step 5: Locate the Oil Drain Plug and Oil Filter
Refer to your car’s manual to find the oil drain plug and oil filter location. The drain plug is often located on the bottom of the oil pan, while the oil filter is typically located on the car engine‘s side.
Step 6: Drain the Old Car Oil
- Position the oil drain pan: Place it under the oil pan to receive the draining oil.
- Loosen the drain plug: Use a wrench to loosen the drain plug but don’t remove it completely yet.
- Drain the oil: Once the plug is loose, carefully remove it and let the oil drain completely.
Step 7: Remove the Old Oil Filter
- Use the oil filter wrench to loosen and remove the old oil filter. You can use the oil filter drain tool if necessary. Dispose of the old oil filter properly.
Step 8: Install the New Oil Filter
- Apply oil to the gasket: Dip your finger in the new engine oil and rub it on the new oil filter’s rubber gasket.
- Install the new filter: Screw on the new oil filter hand-tight. Don’t use a wrench to avoid over-tightening.
Step 9: Replace the Oil Drain Plug
- Wipe the drain plug clean and inspect the washer for any damage.
- Reinstall the drain plug: Screw it in with your hands, then tighten it using a wench. Make sure not to overtighten.
Step 10: Add New Car Oil
Add the new oil: Place it in the oil fill cap opening. Pour in the recommended amount of oil for your vehicle.
Step 11: Check the Oil Level
Start the engine and give it a few minutes to warm up. Then, turn it off and use the dipstick to check the oil level. Add more oil if necessary.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully changed your car’s engine oil. Performing this maintenance task regularly will contribute to the overall health and performance of your vehicle. Always dispose of used oil and filters responsibly, and refer to your car’s manual for any specific instructions or recommendations.