How to change your engine / motor oil and oil
The engine / motor oil in your vehicle must
be changed at least every 7,500 miles / six months of regular vehicle
use (in any event, be sure to check with your vehicle manufacturer,
such as consulting its issued owner's manual, to confirm the
oil-change period to maintain your specific warranty). An oil
filter should be changed at least during every other oil change.
Caution: When dealing with anything that may be
potentially hot (in this case, hot oil), make sure you take precautions
to avoid contact with it. Additionally, make sure your vehicle
is securely supported when working underneath it.
To change the engine / motor oil and oil filter
in your vehicle, do the following:
Run your vehicle
for about 15 minutes. This is important to do because the
warmth generated as a result of the engine's running will cause
the oil to be drained to drain faster than otherwise would be
the case with "cold" oil.
Drive the vehicle
into your work area (be it a garage or what have you), and
safely drive over and park on a vehicle ramp so as to provide
you with more access underneath the vehicle, particularly where
the oil will be drained, etc. While the front portion of
the vehicle is on the vehicle ramp, be sure to correctly push in
a wheel chock behind each rear tire; refer to the instructions
of the wheel chock manufacturer as necessary.
briefly consult your owner's manual for the location of your
oil-drain plug of your engine so that you will have a general
understanding of where it will be when underneath your vehicle.
As you see fit,
place rags/newspapers/a work blanket/tarp underneath the front
portion of the vehicle, especially in the area underneath the
oil-drain plug, where work will be performed as a proactive
measure to mitigate any oil spill, and have a large pan (to capture running/draining oil)
ready for use.
Once the vehicle
is securely and safely supported by the vehicle ramp and wheel
chocks, and your rags/newspapers/a work blanket/tarp
is in place, position yourself underneath the vehicle.
oil-drain plug underneath the engine and then, before
attempting to loosen it, put your large pan directly underneath
With the pan
already positioned to collect all the oil that will be drained
from the hole that will be "unplugged," use a socket wrench to
loosen the oil-drain plug.
knowing that relatively hot oil is about to be drained out, take
corresponding necessary actions to protect yourself from
unnecessary exposure to this hot oil, including positioning
yourself just enough to just use your hand to actually remove
the plug for the oil to begin draining, all the while not
blocking the drain flow from the engine drain hole to the pan
you previously directly positioned underneath with any part of
your body. As may be necessary, move the pan to ensure
that you capture all of the draining oil as is possible.
Once the draining
of the oil slows to a trickle and finally comes to an end, use a
rag to wipe off any old oil remnants found around the edges of
the oil-drain hole and on the oil-drain plug itself.
putting it back in, coat the oil-drain plug's gasket with new
oil appropriate for your vehicle.
Put the plug back in the oil-drain hole, screwing the plug back
on by hand and then carefully using a socket/wrench to
tighten as necessary.
Now, find the existing oil filter to be replaced. Such a
filter is most often found to be installed on the side of the
engine. (However, in some circumstances, of course, you
may have noticed if it is applicable to you, the oil filter may
be found in the actual oil-drain hole you just "plugged up" with
the oil-drain plug; in that case, removal of the oil filter is
done with a pair of pliers--at which time you should make sure to
remove the O-ring that is a part of the oil filter in the event
it separates from the oil filter itself, too, and then the new oil
filter replacement is inserted by hand in the hole, just after
first coating the ring edge of the new filter with new oil
appropriate for your vehicle.)
Make sure your oil pan is positioned under the existing filter
to collect any oil remnants if you have not already done so.
Now, use your adjustable oil filter wrench to unscrew and remove
the existing oil filter.
Use a rag to wipe off any old oil remnants found around the
edges of the engine that previously came into contact with the
old oil filter before it was removed. Also, while it
rarely happens, make sure the rubber stripping of the old filter
is not stubbornly attached to that part of the engine area; if
so, rip this old rubber off.
Just before screwing on the new oil filter, first coat the
rubber stripping of the new oil filter with new oil appropriate
for your vehicle.
Then, screw the new oil filter into place where the old filter
used to be by hand,
making sure not to over-tighten since it can
be relatively easy to inadvertently damage the relatively
delicate surface of the engine to which the filter is most often
attached to--aluminum. Just be sure it is tightened enough to
prevent oil leaks and nothing more than that. You should
never use a an oil filter wrench to tighten, except in rare
circumstances. For example, if after you hand-tighten the new
filter and turn on your engine only to see the filter spring a
oil leak, then you can use a filter wrench to carefully tighten
Upon securely attaching the filter in place, now look to the top
of the engine to find and remove the oil filler cap.
Upon the removal of the cap, take your funnel and insert it in
the hole that appears from the removal of the cap.
Pour approximately 5 litres (or 4 quarts) of the new oil
appropriate for your vehicle into the funnel for your engine's
use. (Check with your owner's manual to confirm whether 4
quarts of new oil is sufficient; also refer to the section on
how to choose the right engine / motor oil for your vehicle if
you have not already done so.)
Once you have finished pouring the new oil appropriate for your
vehicle, put the oil filler cap back into place to seal the hole
on top of the engine.
a test, turn on your vehicle so that your engine can run for
about 2 minutes to see if any oil leaks from the oil filter or
Use the dipstick to check the oil to see if more is actually
needed. (Please refer to the section on checking oil and using
the dipstick for this process.) If the dipstick shows there is
sufficient oil, then you're done with the task of pouring more
a housekeeping chore, make sure to clean up all oil remnants
with a rag, and to properly secure the old oil collected in a
pan by pouring it in a closable container of some sort and then
to properly dispose of it by dropping it off with a local
recycling agency, a hazardous waste agency or even a local
mechanic shop (if there is a shop that accepts such).
Incidentally, it would be a good time to check on the condition
of your four constant velocity (CV) joints, each one of which is
found at the ends of the two shafts that start at the
differential and extend to the wheels: Inspect for any
cracks in the boots of the CV joints, which is often accompanied
by lubrication being expelled from such crevices; if they are
cracked, replace them immediately.
basically the routine of helping to keep your vehicle's engine
humming. Make sure to keep up with this routine in order to
keep your vehicle properly maintained.