How to Change the Oil in Your Car

change-oilChanging the oil in your car can be one of the single most important things you do to keep your vehicle running smoothly. Weather it’s done every 3,000 miles or every 3 months, this is a must do job to creating longevity with your car. While many people choose to pass this responsibility off to their local garage, changing the oil is a job that can be done at home quite simply. Just following a few simple steps can save you time and the money that would go to someone else. Here are the simple steps to follow:

 

Jack up the Vehicle

This is the first and one of the most important steps. Pull the vehicle to a level ground. After this you may want let the car idle for a few minutes to get the oil warm. From there you want to place the care in park, remove the keys and apply the park brake. Proceed to jack the vehicle up and place the oil pan under the engine.

 

Drain the Oil

Now you are ready to drain the oil. You can begin by removing the oil cap from under the hood. Then under your car, identify the engine drain plug. Make sure this is not the transmission drain plug. Remove the plug and wait several minutes for all of the oil to be removed from the vehicle. You will want to put a new washer on the drain plug and then inspect and clean the drain, plug, and gasket.

 

Replace the Oil Filter

Replacing the oil filter is a key step in this process. They can sometimes be difficult to locate as they be on the front, back or side of the engine depending on the model. You will want to use look closely at your replacement filter to help you locate it. Unscrew the oil filter, by hand if possible. A good idea would be to wrap a plastic bag around the filter to help catch any oil that escapes as you remove it. Prepare the new filter by placing a small amount of oil on it. This will lubricate the gasket and create a good seal for the new filter. Screw on the new filter.

 

Add the New Oil

Now it’s time to add the new oil. Refer to your owners manual for the amount needed. Make sure you’re adding the correct oil. This is ofter on the oil cap that you removed or you can check the owners manual. Replace your cap and start the engine. Make sure the oil pressure light goes off after start-up. Also check under the car to check for any leaks or drips. After the oil has settled for a few minutes, recheck the dipstick to make sure the levels are where they need to be.

 

Dispose the oil

Last you will want to move your old oil to a more permanent container. Options might include old milk jugs, windshield washer-fluid jugs, or other plastic bottles. Find a collection site in your local town. Many stations that do oil changes will also take your used oil.

Follow these simple steps to a great oil change.

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