Why Should You Change Your Oil At Home
List Of Tools Needed
- A socket set that has a ratchet in.
- Gloves (so you don’t get the oil on your skin because oils are not good for you)
- Paper towels (to clean up)
- Oil and filter
- Wrench (you might need it or you might not but it’s worth to have just in case)
- An oil catch pan (so you can recycle your old oil)
- A funnel (so you could fill up your engine with new oil)
- A breaker bar (just in case your drain bowl is hard to get off, this will make it really easy)
Besides the tools for the oil change, you will need some tools to lift your car up. You can either use Jack and jack stand or stamps.
How To Choose The Correct Engine Oil And Filter
Synthetic Or Conventional Oil
There is a big difference between synthetic and conventional oil. They all come from the ground, but the ending process is what makes them very different. Synthetic oil gets refined and distilled. This means that all the impurities are removed from the oil. It will keep your engine cleaner because it has been purified from the crude oil. It also performs better on lower temperatures than conventional oil. It takes less time to flow into the critical components. You can always test which oil is best for your car. If you are not satisfied, you can change the type the next time you change the oil.
When To Change The Oil
When To Change The Oil Filter
This depends on who you ask. Some people say that you can reuse the oil filter, some say that you have to change it everytime you change your engine oil. My personal opinion is to replace it everytime you change your oil. Why?
Well, your oil filter can trigger the service engine light to turn on. And we all get scared when that light gets on, thinking that there is something wrong with the engine itself. Then you will take your car and spend a ton of money on diagnostics, and then you will come to a conclusion that your oil filter needed changing.
The oil filter is a critical component for the engine. Its mission is to remove grit and dirt from your oil. Having a faulty oil filter means that you will have dirt and grit running through your engine, which may cause bigger problems. That is why it’s important to change your oil filter everytime you change your car oil.
Lift Your Car Up (With Jack Or Ramps)
- First Method: If you’re not completely sure how to jack your car up, you could check the owner’s manual. It tells you exactly how to jack the car up, to change your spare tire etc. Before you jack the vehicle up, you need to block off the rear tire so the car doesn’t roll. The other thing you want to do is if you have an automatic transmission, make sure it’s in park. If you have a manual, put it in first gear, and also pull the emergency brake which will prevent the car from rolling. So, get your jack and place it underneath the vehicle jacking points. The jacking points have these little indents in them, which makes them easy to find. After you lift your car, put the jack stands.
- Second Method: I prefer this method because it’s easier and safer, and that’s using ramps. Also, the ramps lift the car pretty high, which makes you enough room to go under the car and work on it. Slide two ramps right under the wheels and then you just drive the car up the ramps. It’s that simple. Make sure that you pull the emergency brake and block off the rear tires. Before you go under the car, even when you have the car jacked up, what you want to do is you want to just shake the car with your hands. The car should not move anywhere. You’re just shaking it back and forth as hard as you can and it should be stable.
Drain Your Old Oil
- Before you remove the drain plug, get your oil collection pan and slide it under your car. Loosen up the bolt. On most of the cars, you will need a 14-millimeter socket on your ratchet. If you are unable to loosen it, don’t be discouraged. There’s an easy trick to use, and that trick is to use one of the long breaker bars which will give you much leverage.
- Some people say that you should run your car for 10 minutes so the oil is warm and it flows easier. In reality, it doesn’t matter. If you want to change your oil, with the car sitting there, you just Jack it up and the car is cold. All that oil is gonna be in the oil pan. You’re not gonna risk burning yourself and sometimes it just makes the job easier. Now, if you’re gonna put your car up on the ramps, then you’re starting your car anyway. Just make sure if you run your engine, you let it sit for like five to ten minutes. Let it cool off a little bit so you don’t burn yourself.
- Also, on some oil drain plugs, there’s a gasket to help seal the plug. These gaskets are generally one-time use, so take off the old gasket and replace it with a new one. Some people have reused these gaskets one or two times and never have a problem with leaks and I’m one of those people. But in general, I suggest you replace the gasket.
- Once the oil is completely drained, put the bolt back in place and tighten it.
- Wipe the area around the bolt, so just in case you have a leakage, you will know it.
Now you are ready for the next step.
Replace The Oil Filter
- Place the oil collection pan and place it under your filter. As I said before, the filter is located next to the oil drain pan. The filter is in a cylinder shape. You should be able to remove your oil filter just by hands.
- After you remove your old filter, what you want to do next is fill the new oil filter with oil. The reason why I prefer doing this is that when you start the car, it will automatically have oil in the filter. As you know, it takes time for the oil to come to all the critical components, so this way you are avoiding your car to run without oil.
- After you fill out your oil filter, slide under the car and tighten it back on.
NOTE: On some car models, you won’t be able to fill your oil filter with oil because of the position. On most of the cars, the filter is in a vertical position, but there are some models that have their oil filter in horizontal position.
Add New Oil
- There is a cap with an oil sign on top of it. Don’t take this cap off just yet. You want to clean the area first because you don’t want junk falling into the engine. So, just get your paper towel and clean it well. Now that that’s clean, you can take the cap off.
- Place your funnel so you could fill the engine up with brand new oil. On the side of the bottle, there is a scale that tells you how many quarts or liters you have.
- Go ahead and add the new oil.
- Get the car off the jack stands or the ramp on level ground and check the oil. Since you added oil you can start the car and make sure that there is no oil light on.
- Turn off your car and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Now you need to check our oil levels. Go to the front of the car, pull out your oil dipstick, wipe it with a towel and place it back. Take it out again and see the level of the oil. There are markings on the dipstick with Low and High. Anywhere in between is good. I prefer trying to get it to the high.
- Turn on the car again and take it for a ride.
- You should check the oil levels the next morning again, just to make sure that the bolt from the drain pan isn’t leaking.
Dispose Of The Old Oil
So, you’ve gone through the whole article and you still think that you are not up for the task. That is okay. What I would suggest is to call a friend that knows how to change the oil and just watch him how he does it. If you don’t have a friend that knows how to change the oil than you can call a friend that doesn’t. He will open this article and read the steps while you do them. It’s really not about saving $20-$30. It’s about knowing what oil and oil filter you are putting in your car. Bad oil means a bad engine.