S Of Changing Your Oil By Yourself
The first step to changing your oil is to lift the vehicle so that you can move underneath it. Because you will be working underneath a heavy vehicle, changing your oil on your own can be a dangerous task. Take every precaution to ensure that your vehicle is securely raised so that you can move under it without being injured. There are two ways to safely lift your vehicle in order to change your oil. You can either use two jacks positioned on either side of the front of your vehicle or you can use a set of ramps onto which you drive your vehicle. No matter which option you choose, it is important to brace the back wheels of your car with wedges to prevent your car from rolling onto you as you work underneath it. If you are unsure if your car is stable, do not place yourself beneath it.
A man is using a lifting jack to move under the front part of the vehicle
To begin changing your oil, first consult your owners manual to locate your oil pan. Be certain that you have correctly located the engine oil before you loosen any drains. Also locate the oil filter. The oil filter will be a metal cylinder that protrudes from the outside of the engine. Consult your owners manual for the specific location of the oil filter on your vehicle.
The ability to successfully change your oil on a regular basis will save money and ensure that your vehicles engine is properly lubricated.
Jack Up The Car Safely
Jack up your car and make sure you do so safely!
Always use jack stands when you do something under your car. Just using a floor jack is not enough. It can break and you do not want a vehicle to fall on you! Safety first!
Refer to your manual to find out where to place the jack stands and the floor jack to lift your car safely.
If you are not sure how to do this safely, I recommend you watch this good YouTube video first!
Check The Type And Amount Of Oil Needed
Before heading to the auto parts store to buy supplies, consult the owner’s manual to confirm the type and amount of oil that’s required.
The amount is easy. Here, our 2012 Ford Explorer requires 5.7 quarts, so I’ll buy six. Five-quart jugs are tempting because they are cheaper than smaller sizes, but I find them heavy and hard to pour steadily. And a huge container of leftover oil will take up a lot of shelf space.
Make sure to match the oil’s viscosity to your engine. The 2.0-liter Ford EcoBoost requires 5W-30 oil. If I had read the manual carelessly, though, I could easily have brought home 5W-20 instead. That’s the oil specified for the 3.5-liter V6 engine.
Check to see if the manual calls out other specific oil requirements as defined by the by the American Petroleum Institute and the International Lubricant Standardization Approval Committee Sometimes synthetic oil is expressly called for. Sometimes it’s not necessary. And sometimes its use is implied by additional requirements.
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Locate The Oil Pan And Drain Plug
Now that youre under the car, the next step;is to locate;the oil pan and its drain plug.;Below is the location of the oil drain plug at the bottom of the motor on our 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL restoration project. It requires a 14mm hex socket bit in order to be removed. The drain plugs size will vary from car to car.
Place your oil drain pan directly under the drain plug and position it to be ready to catch the oil directly beneath and a few inches ahead of the plug. Remove the engine oil cap from the top of the motor so that the engine can drain its oil easier by displacing the flowing oil with air.
Unscrew The Oil Filter
Unscrew the oil filter, using an inexpensive oil filter wrench. If you use the type pictured, make sure its the right size and configuration. Some wrenches cinch around the filter and turn from the side. Others, like the one shown, fit the bottom of the filter and accept a 3/8-in. drive socket or a wrench. Room to move the tool is the key. Loosen the oil filter by turning counterclockwise. When the filter is loose, use a rag to unscrew it by hand. Be careful! The filter may be full of oil, so place the drain pan under it. Remove the filter and pour any oil into the drain pan. Wipe any old oil or dirt from the filter-mounting surface so the new filter will seal properly, and make sure the old oil filter ring gasket hasnt stuck to the engine.
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Oil Change Frequently Asked Questions
Is it necessary to use a stabilizer or additive with every oil change?
No. Todays engine oils are formulated to fully protect the engine. They dont need extra help.
When should I change my oil?
You should change your oil and filter at or before the end of the oil-change intervals provided by your vehicles manufacturer. These intervals are based on mileage or time. By doing this, you can help keep your engine oil in good condition and provide the best protection for all your components.
How should I dispose of my old oil after an oil change?
Used oil can pollute the environment and should never be poured down the drain. Pennzoil;helps DIYers protect the environment. You can drop off old oil and oil filters at your closest Jiffy Lube®, Walmart Tire & Lube Express, or most oil change centers to be recycled properly.
What are the differences between Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus® Technology and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus Technology?
Tip #: Protective Gear Is Key
When changing your oil at home, it is imperative that you have the correct protective gear and supplies to ensure a safe, clean, and stress-free oil change. It is a good idea to wear rubber gloves and have plenty of clean towels handy to quickly remove any oil you may come in contact with. Also, we recommend using a tarp, old shower curtain, or something similar to lay underneath the oil pan in order to protect your driveway from nasty spills.
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A Few Words Of Caution
If you operate on dirt roads or in dusty or road-salted environments and do lots of cold starts and short runs, the factory oil filter has only so much scrubbing capacity. Further, the longer-range oils can become contaminated by the sheer volume of combustion gases that blow past the worn piston rings of older cars. At some point, the oil is no longer protecting the sliding surfaces within the engine as well as it should. Engine wear accelerates after the oil breaks down or is highly contaminated. And finally, almost no automaker recommends that oil should be left in the crankcase for more than one yearno matter the mileage.
Common Oil Change Questions
How often should you change your oil?
Follow manufacturer recommendations, or change when the oil looks dirty or the level is low.
What happens if you dont change your oil?
Your engine wont be properly lubricating, so overheating and excessive wear is likely. This is just one of the many ways you could inadvertently kill your car.
How much does an oil change cost?
For a professional oil change, expect to pay between $20 and $50, or up to $70 if you want synthetic oil.
How can you reset your oil change light?
This will depend on the specific make and model. Simply check your owners manual for instructions.
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Use A Ramp When Changing Your Oil
Drive your car onto your ramps, or use an inexpensive floor jack along with a set of jack stands . Be sure to set your parking brake. Check the directions that come with the drive-on ramps or jack stands for details, then give the car a good shake from side to side to make sure its solidly supported. If you use ramps, be sure they wont slide as you drive onto them. We used a rubber mat under the front of the stand and a 2 x12 plank to keep the ramps from sliding forward. Have a helper guide you so you dont drive off the ramp.
Log Info Clean Up Recycle Used Oil
Write down your vehicles current mileage and the date. Refer to your vehicles owners manual for the recommended oil change interval , add that number to your vehicles current mileage and change the oil again at the resulting mileage. Carefully dispose of the used oil filter, any used rags, newspaper or paper towels. Put away your tools.
Recycle the used motor oil. Many service stations and quick lubes will accept used motor oil and used oil filters at no charge. Find recycling locations in your area at Earth911.com. Your local government and/or recycling coordinators may be able to tell you which materials can be recycled with your trash pickup.
Ready for your next oil change?
The miles can really add up quickly between oil changes. Bookmark this page and use these step-by-step oil change instructions as general guidelines each time. Refer to your vehicles owners manual for manufacturer-specific oil change instructions, warranty information and more.
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When Should You Change Your Oil
Follow this simple guide to keep your engine humming a happy tune.
You know you need to change your car’s oil at some point, but how often? The answer can be confusing, because it varies based on driving conditions and your driving habits. Let us simplify it for you.
Conservative estimates for oil-change intervals used to be as low as 3000 miles, before significant improvements in fuel-delivery systems, engine materials, manufacturing methods, and oil chemistry. Today, modern engines driven normally stretch intervals to 7500 or even more than 10,000 miles. So what’s the right answer?
The Dirty Truth About How Often You Need Your Oil Changed
By: Cherise Threewitt;|;Updated: Jan 19, 2021
Oil changes are just one of the many minor hassles of car ownership, but they’re crucial to keeping your car in good shape. Of course, if you don’t change your oil on time and with the proper products, it could void your car’s warranty.
However, car experts now say that the standard oil change interval of every three months or every 3,000 miles is old news, and that most cars can travel quite a bit farther before needing the oil replaced. If you’re changing your oil more frequently than necessary, it won’t help your car. It doesn’t harm it either, but you’re wasting money, time and resources. Keep in mind, too, that throwing away oil that’s still usable puts a strain on the environment.
There are four main “recommended” intervals for oil changes based on factors specific to you and your car:
- Every 1,000 miles or every six months
- Every 3,000 miles
- Every 5,000 to 7,500 miles
- Every 10,000 to 15,000 miles or every six months
Let’s take a look at the circumstances for each.
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Tell Me More About Oil Viscosity And Additives
We think oil is fascinating, and knowing a little more about how it works and the different types of motor oil available will help you make good decisions about what to choose. You’ll notice there are two numbers in most engine viscosity labels, like 5W-30 or 10W-40. That’s because modern motor oils are made to flow easily at low temperatures, reaching and protecting critical engine components quickly when you start up the vehicle but don’t get too thin to protect the engine at higher operating temperatures. “Straight” viscosity oils exist, like SAE 10W or 30, for very specific applications and aren’t used in most vehicles.
Oils also contain a number of additives to make them do their job better in the harsh conditions inside an engine. This includes chemicals and minerals that help with lubrication, help prevent the oil from breaking down over time and detergents that help keep various components clean of contaminants. API-certified oils are required to meet certain additive package requirements. An API-certified oil in the right viscosity should meet your engine’s requirements for additives, and your manual will provide more information. Companies do market additional additives that can be added to engine oil, but their efficacy is debatable.
When Your Vehicle Is Out Of Warranty
Once you’re outside the maker’s warranty, determining change intervals requires some common sense and an educated guessunless your vehicle has an aforementioned oil-life monitor. There are often different recommendations for normal and severe driving. Intervals vary widely depending on whom you ask, whether you tow , the time of year, and even where you drive.
Severe conditions include:
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Find Out More By Contacting Your Local Carhop Today
Whether you need to know how to remove scratches,;how to change transmission fluid, or simply how to replace your windshield wipers, were happy to provide DIY car care tips. Visit your nearest location to find out more, or if youre in the market for a new-to-you vehicle, view our extensive inventory of used cars.
Change Every 10000 Miles
If your car’s manufacturer recommends synthetic oil, or if you decide to make the switch, you could go as many as 10,000 miles or more between oil changes. Though synthetic oil is much more expensive than regular oil, it has more benefits. It performs better than regular oil and is better for the environment.
Opinion differs, though, whether upgrading is worth it. While some experts suggest doing it in most circumstances, Consumer Reports said in 2017 that, generally, you shouldn’t switch to synthetic if your car doesn’t need it. If you frequently tow heavy loads, synthetic oil can help ease the extra strain on your car’s engine. If you own a model known to be prone to sludge issues , synthetic oil can help alleviate those problems and prolong the life of your engine.
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Tips For A Successful Oil Change
One of the most common do-it-yourself car maintenance jobs is the classic oil change. A simple process, yes, but it is always important to refresh your memory, so you fully understand what it takes to have a completely successful oil change. And if you have never changed your own oil before, welcome! We hope this guide can become handy in your learning and understanding on how to change your cars oil.
Install The New Oil Filter
Smear a few drops of clean oil on the new filters ring gasket. Carefully spin the new filter on by hand. Be sure you dont pick up any dirt from the frame or other parts on the ring gasket as you position the new filter. Spin the filter on clockwise until the gasket seats against the engine. Then turn the filterby handapproximately a half turn to fully seat the ring gasket. If you cant get your hand around it firmly because space is tight, use your wrench. Dont over-tighten the filteryou may tear the gasket.
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What Does An Oil Filter Do
An oil filter in a vehicle maintains motor oil flow and catches contaminants and metal particles to bar them from circulating through the cars engine.
Without it, dirt and other tiny unwanted bits like metal particles will unobstructedly progress into the engine assembly, which can cause severe damage to the engine due to clogs and other debris. If the damage prevents engine parts from moving, your vehicle wont move either.;
Contaminants can also reduce the oil consumption efficiency of your vehicle.
Note: As a safeguard against a clogged oil filter, newer vehicles oil filters have a bypass valve. The bypass valve regulates oil pressure inside the fuel filter. If your cars oil filter becomes entirely clogged, the bypass valve will open, letting motor oil circulate into your engine.
How Often Do I Need To Change My Car Oil If Not Driven For Twelve Months
If youre asking how often to change the oil when your car wont be driven for a whole year, the answer may surprise you.
If you want to abandon your car in your friends garage for a year while you go backpacking through Europe, theres something you should know it wont be the same old car when you return.
Cars in store require special care.; As motorized machines, they arent designed to sit unused for an extended period of time.
One hack to help with storage is to look at the time-based expiration dates on products listed in the owners manual or on the containers of the liquids.; For example, if something says it can be used for six years or 80,000 miles, then go with the years, not the time.
The mechanics agree that normally, oil changes must be completed once a year.; Bad oil doesnt lubricate oil parts correctly, and that could cause damage down the road.
Other aspects of the car, beyond the oil, must be considered: tire rotations, air pressure in the tires, transmission fluids, engine coolants, and even windshield washing fluid.;;
You have to check the brake fluid, hoses, filters, and bets, too.; In fact, your best bet when planning to choose to store a car is to talk to a mechanic who can prepare the car for storage on your behalf.;
If the car will be better off in the junkyard, you could avoid a real headache by choosing that over storing it.; You can even get paid for the old junk car! Its another option worth considering.
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