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5 Steps To Changing Your Car's Oil

Aug 18, 2007
Offered at the local garage, auto repair shop, and dealership for between $15 and $70, the oil change is considered one of the most common do-it-yourself automotive tasks. Once you begin to take matters into your own hands, you face the potential to save a lot of money in the long run. Before you begin the task of changing your car's oil, a few tools and supplies are needed - ratchet (or open end wrench), oil filter wrench, oil catch (recycle container), funnel, new oil filter, new oil, and clean rag.

Before changing your oil, the engine of your car should be cool, which increases safety. Next, designate a spot where you will change the oil that is level and on solid ground. Most people select the inside of their garage or driveway. Laying a piece of plywood or cardboard underneath the engine will work against damaging oil leaks. Once you have all of the supplies and tools, you may begin the oil change.

1) Drain the Old Oil

First, you will remove the drain plug, which resembles a large bolt at the bottom of the oil pan. This allows the oil to drain out of the oil pan at the bottom of your engine. Before you complete this step, you will place a recycling container underneath the oil drain. Once you remove the drain plug, the oil will drop into the top of the recycling container. When all of the oil is drained out, you will replace the plug and tighten it. Seal the oil-recycling container, which is later dropped off at a site that accepts used oil (usually a full-service gas station).

2) Remove the Old Oil Filter

During an oil change, the oil filter is also replaced. With an oil filter wrench, turn the filter counterclockwise until it becomes dislodged. You should proceed with caution because it still possesses a great deal of oil and can make a mess. Depending on your car model, you might be able to reach the filter from the top of the car, but most often, this is a job that is performed from underneath.

3) Preparing the New Oil Filter

Once the old oil filter is removed, you need to prep the new filter by lubricating the rubber gasket located on the end of the filter with new oil. Next, the new filter should be filled with oil until it is about 2/3 full.

4) Installing the New Oil Filter

With care, screw the new oil filter into place, holding it upright and turning clockwise. A wrench is not needed to install a new filter. Once the new filter is screwed on tight (until one hand cannot screw it any longer), you need to refill the engine oil.

5) Refilling the Engine Oil

Unscrew the oil fill cap and insert a funnel. After double-checking how much oil your engine can hold, pour a little more than 3/4 of that amount into the engine. Check the oil level to make sure how much more you need to add to make it at the appropriate level. Once completed, make sure to place the oil cap back on.
About the Author
Michael Murray is an author of automotive articles and owner of a blog all about how to beat a speeding ticket.
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