Changing Oil is a Snap!

Have you ever walked away aggravated after paying someone to change the oil in your car? Learning to change your oil is simple and vital for any car owner. With a few dollars spent and a little time, your car will run like new.

Materials Required

4299545598_b01a022f28_z  Changing oil requires a few parts and tools. First thing to do would be to figure out what kind of oil and oil filter needed. You can find this information as well as purchase them out at any AutoZone or automotive parts store. Next, you will need a jack, something to keep the front end elevated (preferably jack stands), something to let the oil drain into, an oil filter wrench, and a wrench that fits the drain plug. Remember that once you start draining oil, it does not stop until it is finished, so find a bucket or container large enough to hold all of the liquid. This can be a messy job, so gloves and a rag may also be useful but are not required.


1.     The first step is to gather all of the necessary tools needed for this job. When under a vehicle, there isn’t much space for rummaging around for the right tools.


2.     Step two consists of warming up the oil. To do this, run the vehicle around the block or down the street for about 10 minutes. This will help the oil drain smoothly and quickly. A few miles will not be the end of your vehicle, so do not worry about running the bad oil for a little bit.


3.       Jack up the vehicle properly. After making sure it is steady and will not move, place the jack stands in their proper places. This will angle the front end up in order to completely drain the oil as well as give you space to move around under the vehicle. If you need information on how to do this step, you can find links at the end of the article or by searching “How to jack up a car” and “Where to place jack stands” on the internet.6107802358_0c64fee384_z


4.      Look underneath the vehicle. Locate the drain plug and ready your bucket under (and a little forward) the plug. Take your wrench and slowly unscrew the bolt. Make sure to hold the bold as it comes closer and closer to falling off. When the bolt is fully off, the oil will shoot out, so make sure to hold onto the bolt and do not let it fall into the bucket. Also, just let the oil drain until it stops.


5.     921978331_fb8eb927bc_z    Once the oil stops dripping, locate the oil filter. They are can be on the front, back or side of engines and change depending on the vehicle. The easiest way to find the filter is to look at the new one, then look for a similar looking object underneath the car. Once found, move the bucket beneath the old oil filter and take an oil wrench and unscrew it (for help using an oil filter wrench, please note the link at the end of the post). A little more oil will drip out, which is normal. Make sure that the rubber gasket also came off with the old filter, for the new one will not screw on correctly if the old gasket does not come off.


6.     Screw the drain plug back into its hole. Start by using your hands to screw it on, then finish with the wrench. Make sure not to cross the threads.


7.     Dip your finger in the oil, and lightly coat the new rubber gasket (on the new filter) with the oil. Screw in the new filter until the gasket touches. Look at the filter box, and finish tightening it for however much it says. U can still use a filter wrench for the process. Move the bucket out from underneath the car when finished.


8.     Add the new oil into the fill hole. The fill hole should be labeled OIL and located somewhere near the engine under the hood. Double check to see how many quarts your car holds, and make sure to pour in that exact amount.   


9.     Screw back on the cap on the fill hole and close the hood. Also jack the car off the jack stands, remove the jack, then lower the car to the ground.


10.  Turn on the car, leave it in park, make sure no oil is dripping out, and that’s it!

That wasn’t too hard now was it? Now you don’t have to pay those pesky mechanics to change your own oil, and you learned a little more about your car. For more information on changing oil, filter wrenches and how to use them, and jacking up a car please refer to the links below.

Emerson V.

Changing oil:

Oil filter wrench:

Jacking up a car:



4 thoughts on “Changing Oil is a Snap!

  1. emersonv,
    This seems like a very helpful post for many people who don’t have a background in this area. It is easy when you just know the proper way of doing an oil change. Many people who don’t have the extra money to pay for an oil change could take advantage of this post as well. Having this information available is important for a reference as well. Great post!

    • goistboy95,
      Thank you for your comments and response. Changing oil is easy like you said, and much cheaper for most car owners. With some of the newer cars though, you can’t change your own oil. This means a trip to the dealership and of course a hefty price tag. Hopefully more people will start realizing the savings and change their oil. Thanks again!

  2. Your post was easy to follow while you still got into enough detail to describe whats going on in the process. One question I do have is in step #4; the car is on jacks and about to drain and you say to move the bucket forward a little? Why wouldn’t you move in backwards a little since the car is raised in the front?

    • smitkev17,
      Thank you for the response to my post. You are correct, I should have written “backward” instead of “forward” for that exact reason. Pushing the bucket backwards will catch all the oil and minimize the amount of spillage or mess that could be made when the drain plug is pulled out. Is there anything else you might think a reader would need to know about changing oil? Again, thank you for your response.

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