Do it yourself: Change vehicle oil

Do it yourself: Change vehicle oil

Oil changes at the mechanic’s or at the garages can be somewhat expensive. Here is a set of instructions that will help you save a bit of money by changing the oil yourself.

Step 1 – Be Prepared

You will need:

  1. 5 – 6 quarts of your manufacturer’s recommended oil. Choose a good brand, and try and stay with that brand forever. Also try not to mix regular oil and synthethic oil.
  2. A good quality oil filter. Check you manufacturer’s recommended oil filter or speak to your mechanic
  3. A pan to put under the car to drain the existing oil. Get a good drain pan which can be sealed and disposed off in an environmentally friendly way.
  4. A metal strap wrench to get the oil filter off the engine.

You can find all of the above on our website.

Step 2 – Raise the vehicle

  • Raise your vehicle high enough so that you can get access to the underside of the engine and that you have enough room to manouever the wrench.

Step 3 – Remove the Fill Cap and Oil Pan Plug

  • Open the bonnet and remove the oil cap, i.e the cap where you add oil to the engine. Go underneath the car and locate the oil plug which will be at the lowest end of the oil pan. The plug will normally have a hexagonal head and will be around 1.5cm to 2cm.
  • Place the oil pan directly below the plug and using the wrench, loosen and remove the oil plug. Let all the oil drain off completely

Step 4 – Replace the Drain Plug and Remove the Filter

  • Replace the drain plug on the engine oil pan. Then, place the drain pan under the oil filter. Wrench off the oil filter and drop it into the pan. Some oil will escape too which is normal.

Step 5 – Install the New Filter and Lower the vehicle

  • TIP: Open the new filter. You’ll notice it has a rubber gasket on the base. Coat the rubber gasket in some oil as this will make it a lot easier to remove the filter next time.
  • Screw the new filter into the engine and ensure it sits tight. Use the wrench to tighten.
  • Once the new filter is in, you can lower the vehicle

Step 6 – Add New Oil and Pressurize the System

  • Now add 5 quarts of new engine oil into the engine via the oil fill in the car bonnet. Check the oil levels with the dipstick to ensure that you have the right level of oil (between min & max).
  • Start the engine and let it idle for 5 minutes. The oil warning light will come on briefly but will go out automatically once the oil system is fully pressurised.

Step 7 – Final checks

  • Shut the engine off, check the dipstick which should indicate that the oil levels are full. Also check underneath the car to ensure that there is no oil leak from the engine.

Dispose off the drained oil and oil filter in an environmentally friendly way

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