How to change your vehicle’s oil

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQs, Tips & Tricks on Friday, January 11th, 2019 at 3:54 pm
Oil being poured into vehicle engine

Plenty of fluids are essential for the upkeep of your current model, but all in all, oil is the true lifeblood of your engine and drivetrain. It helps to keep all your moving parts lubricated and working properly in all conditions, which is why it’s so important to make sure that you have fresh and functional oil reserves inside your model at all times. Oil changes at a service center can get costly though, so if you’re looking to conduct a little Do-It-Yourself project, our Carville’s Auto Mart team will show you how to change your vehicle’s oil today; have fun and be safe!  

Materials needed to conduct a Do-It-Yourself oil change 

Before you begin your oil change, you’ll first want to make sure that you have the following items and materials handy, besides a new bottle of oil and filter:  

  • Container or Oil Pan: Since oil changes involve draining fluid out of your engine, you can expect them to get messy if you don’t have a receptacle for the oil to spill into.  
  • Car Jack: If you can’t reach your engine when your vehicle is on the ground, you’ll need to be able to jack it up so you can get some more leeway.  
  • Wrench: To get to your oil reserves, you’ll need to unscrew plenty of bolts. Theoretically, this can be done by hand, but having a wrench or screwdriver is a good option too.  
  • Microfiber rag or Towel: Oil changes can be quite the dirty job, so it’s always nice to have a rag or towel by your side throughout the process.  

Ready to go? Let’s get started changing your oil!  

Oil draining into receptacle during oil change

Mechanic tightening oil filter wrench inside shop

Read More: How to tell if your vehicle is leaking oil

Steps required to change your vehicle’s oil 

You might not think it but changing and replacing your model’s oil is a pretty simple process. Before you begin, turn on your engine and have it run for a couple minutes before shutting it back off– this will help your oil liquefy so it can drain faster. Here’s how to get it done!  

  1. Locate your engine’s oil drain plug – this is usually a nut or plug underneath the oil pan at the bottom of your engine. Place a container under it and unscrew the drain plug. Oil should now be draining into the container.  
  2. At the top of your engine lies an oil filler cap. Remove it, then unscrew the oil filter. It will still have some oil in it, so be sure not to spill! Then, empty the filter oil into a drain pan or container. 
  3. Open a new bottle of oil and use some to moisten the gasket above your new oil filter. Next, screw your new filter in the engine where your old one used to be.  
  4. After all oil has drained out, wipe around the area around the drain plug.  
  5. Replace your drain plug and use your wrench to tighten it. This will help you avoid it coming loose when you drive.  
  6. Using a funnel, pour all but a quart of your new oil into the filler hole. Make sure to go slow so it has time to collect.  
  7. Replace the filler cap then turn your engine on for 30 to 60 seconds, checking for leaks around the drain plug. Then, turn your engine off.  
  8. Wait around five to ten minutes, checking your oil after it has settled into the pan. Keep adding a little more oil time after time until your dipstick reads “Full.”  
  9. Remove your drain pan from under your car and take it around the block for a bit, letting your new oil get accustomed to usage.  
  10. Once you get back, turn off the engine and let your oil settle again. Then recheck the dipstick. If it still has a “Full” reading, you’re all set! 

Congrats! You’ve just changed your oil! Be sure to next come into Carville’s Auto Mart to recycle your engine oil and filter – we’d be happy to take care of it!

More Service Tips: How often should you be checking your vehicle’s oil?