How to Change Engine Oil and Filter
Changing the engine oil and filter is an essential maintenance task that helps keep your vehicle running smoothly and prolong its lifespan. Follow these step-by-step instructions to perform this procedure safely and effectively:
Note: Before you begin, make sure you have the necessary tools and materials, including the appropriate engine oil and a new oil filter. Also, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific oil and filter recommendations.
Step 1: Gather Materials and Safety Precautions
- Park your vehicle on a level surface and engage the parking brake.
- Allow the engine to cool down for at least 10-15 minutes to avoid getting burned by hot oil.
- Put on safety goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and skin.
Step 2: Locate the Oil Drain Plug and Oil Filter
- Crawl under your vehicle and locate the oil drain plug, usually on the bottom of the engine’s oil pan.
- Find the oil filter, which is typically located on the side of the engine.
Step 3: Prepare for Oil Drainage
- Position an oil drain pan directly beneath the oil drain plug to catch the used oil.
- Ensure the pan is large enough to hold the entire capacity of the engine oil.
Step 4: Remove the Oil Drain Plug
- Using the appropriate wrench or socket, carefully loosen the oil drain plug in a counterclockwise direction.
- Once loose, carefully unscrew the plug by hand, allowing the used oil to drain into the pan below.
- Be cautious, as the oil may come out quickly.
Step 5: Remove the Old Oil Filter
- Using an oil filter wrench or by hand, loosen and remove the old oil filter in a counterclockwise direction.
- Be prepared for some oil spillage from the filter during removal.
Step 6: Prepare the New Oil Filter
- Before installing the new oil filter, lightly coat the rubber gasket on the filter with fresh engine oil. This will help create a proper seal.
Step 7: Install the New Oil Filter
- Screw on the new oil filter in a clockwise direction, hand-tightening it until snug. Avoid over-tightening, as it can damage the gasket.
Step 8: Replace the Oil Drain Plug
- Once the used oil has fully drained, clean the oil drain plug and replace the crush washer if necessary.
- Carefully thread the oil drain plug back into place and tighten it securely with the appropriate tool.
Step 9: Refill with Fresh Engine Oil
- Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine the appropriate type and amount of engine oil required.
- Remove the oil filler cap on the top of the engine and pour in the new engine oil using a funnel.
- After adding the oil, replace the oil filler cap.
Step 10: Check Oil Level and Clean Up
- Start the engine and let it run for a minute or two to allow the new oil to circulate.
- Turn off the engine and wait a few minutes for the oil to settle.
- Check the oil level using the dipstick and adjust if necessary by adding more oil.
- Dispose of the used oil and old oil filter properly at a recycling center or designated drop-off location.
By following these steps, you can successfully change the engine oil and filter in your vehicle, ensuring its proper functioning and longevity. Regularly scheduled oil changes are crucial for maintaining a healthy engine and optimizing your vehicle’s performance.