Giving Your Car An At-Home Oil Change

Changing your oil is vital to keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape, especially when it comes to the health of your engine. Regular routine oil changes will help your car stay at the top of its game long after other vehicles have been driven into the ground. However, shelling out money for an oil change every three months isn’t very fun. However, giving your car an at-home oil change can save you a lot of money and make all the difference in keeping your vehicle healthy and functional.

In terms of what you need, you should have:

  • Motor oil – the amount and viscosity depends on the car, so make sure to check the owner’s manual
  • An oil filter
  • A drain plug socket wrench and an oil filter wrench
  • A large drain pan
  • Gloves
  • Rags
  • A funnel
  • Ramps or jack stands

First, you should obviously prepare by raising your vehicle off the ground, whether you’re doing this with the aforementioned ramps or jack stands. If you want to spread a plastic sheet underneath your vehicle before you do this to make disposing of the mess afterwards easier, you can, but it’s not a requirement. Place the drain pan underneath the oil drain plug, but don’t open the drain plug until after removing the oil filler cap, because this would create a vacuum that prevents the oil from draining more quickly and freely.

While that’s happening, it’s time to replace the oil filter. All you have to do is remove the old filter by loosening it first with the wrench, then removing it the rest of the way by hand. Then, screw the new filter onto the threaded oil line, making sure it fits snugly. Don’t tighten with the oil filter wrench! After that’s done and all the old oil has been drained, pop the oil plug back on and get ready to pour in some new, clean oil.

To finish up your at-home oil change, all you have to do is use the funnel and pour the recommended amount of oil into the filler hole on top of the engine. Be careful not to spill. Double-check the dipstick to ensure you’ve added a good amount, then replace the oil filler cap. Then, you’re done!

Before undertaking a DYI oil change, check your owner’s manual for any specific instructions for your vehicle. If you are in any way uncomfortable with the process, come see the service department at Glen Toyota.