Car Buying Tips Blog: Find reliable car buying tips & information from the auto industry, and use them to your advantage. Also find car buying tools, reviews, insider advice articles, & research new car prices on BuyingAdvice.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

How and When to Change the Engine Oil in your Car Part 2

We talked about the car engine oil and how you should change it in our previous post. We will now discuss the simple procedures on how to change the engine oil in your car.

Before we proceed, you should refer to the owner’s manual of your car. The basic procedure is the same, but the location of important parts such as the oil drain plug and the oil filter will vary depending on the type of engine.

Remember to always use genuine spare parts. Genuine parts were specifically designed to deliver the same kind of performance and longevity as the original part that was installed in your car. If your car is still covered under the factory warranty, you should only use genuine spare parts to prolong the life of your engine.

How to Change the Engine Oil

You will need:

  • New oil filter
  • Fresh engine oil
  • Socket wrench
  • Oil filter wrench
  • Funnel
  • Catch basin or plastic recycle container
  • Cotton rag

Step 1: Park the car in a safe and level area. Open the bonnet and secure it with the bonnet stand.

Step 2: If you are using a commercially-available engine flush, you should pour the engine flush inside the engine before draining the oil. Simply remove the engine oil cap and pour the entire contents of the engine flush. Start the engine and let it idle for 10 minutes. Let it cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

You should always work with a cool engine. NEVER CHANGE THE OIL WHEN THE ENGINE IS HOT!

Step 3: Drain the oil. Look under the engine and locate the drain plug. Place the catch basin under the drain plug. Use a socket wrench to turn the drain plug counterclockwise. Remove the drain plug and drain the dirty oil. Let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 4: Remove the oil filter. The engine oil filter is usually located under the engine, near the drain plug. Check your owner’s manual to be sure. Use the oil filter wrench and turn the oil filter in a counterclockwise direction.

Step 5: Install the new oil filter. Place a small amount of oil on the lip of the new oil filter and install into place. Tighten first by hand, then use the oil filter wrench to secure the filter on the engine. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN!

Step 6: Install the drain plug. Use a socket wrench to re-install the drain plug. Always install the drain plug first before pouring oil inside the engine.

Step 7: Refill the engine with oil. The amount of fresh engine oil will depend on the type of engine. If your car needs 4 quarts of oil, you should put at least 3 1/2 quarts for good measure. Open the oil cap, place the funnel on the hole, and gradually pour the engine oil.

Step 8: Pull out the dipstick, wipe the end with a cotton rag, and re-insert the dipstick to check the oil level. The oil level should be between the “low” and “high” level on the dipstick. Put more engine oil as needed.

Start your car and let it idle for 5 minutes. Check if there are oil leaks on the drain plug and on the oil filter. Close the bonnet.

You are done!

Even new cars will need frequent oil changes. Always adhere to the recommendations in your owner’s manual to prolong the life of your precious investment.