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How to Change Your Engine’s Oil? A Step-by-Step Procedure

How to Change Your Engine’s Oil? A Step-by-Step Procedure

To learn about “how to change your engine’s oil?” Follow these simple steps:

1-    Prepare the necessary material

2-    Choose the right working place

3-    Jack up your vehicle

4-    Drain the old oil

5-    Remove the old oil filter

6-    Close the drain plug

7-    Lower the vehicle and add oil

An oil change is one of the very critical scheduled maintenance that you never want to skip. An oil change will improve the vehicles' overall performance and prevent major damage, including engine overheating and self-destruction.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

Although oil change is not a complicated job and won't cost a lot of money, many drivers prefer to learn how to change their own engine oil to save in the long run.

This article provides you with a step-by-step procedure on “how to change your engine oil?” It highlights the main equipment and tools you'll need along the process, and it also highlights some tips and tricks to prevent oil change mistakes.

What is the purpose of engine oil?

Your engine's oil is one of the most critical fluids your vehicle relies on to maintain the engine's health. This oil is responsible for lubricating the internal moving components and preventing internal friction that could generate a lot of heat, resulting in engine overheating and self-destruction.

Every vehicle needs a certain amount of engine oil to achieve the right engine lubrication. Aside from the engine oil, this oil needs to be changed once every certain threshold depends on the type of oil and the driving experience.

The reason for oil changes is that over time of use, the oil collects many contaminants and debris as it runs around the engine. Thus, it gets dirtier, and when it has some foreign objects like these contaminants, it doesn't do the proper job and can impact the capability of reducing the engine temperature.

Therefore, you will notice immediately when it's the right time to change the engine's oil by noticing some signs of engine overheating or production in the engine's overall performance.

The mechanic or the person who changed the last oil for you should provide you with a certain sticker with a due date indicating when it's the time for the next oil change. Typically, the oil change is required on a certain mileage threshold. But, of course, if you did not use your vehicle for a long time, you will still need to perform an old change because it gets older as it sits down, and its characteristics are also changing when it's not flowing around the engine.

How to change your engine’s oil?

Although oil change is not a labor-intensive or expensive task, many drivers prefer to learn how to change their engines all by themselves so they can save down the road. The good news is that changing the oil is something simple that you can do at home, and once you learn at one time, you can do it every time without any problem.

It is important, though, that you follow a certain procedure to prevent causing issues by mistakes. Unfortunately, many mistakes can be made, and the oil change could result in catastrophic outcomes costing you valuable components.

1-    Prepare the necessary material

Before we move on, you must prepare all necessary material for the oil change, so you don't waste your time going back and forth buying the objects and material while performing the job.

Typically, an oil change requires the following:

  • Tools to Jack up the vehicle
  • The right oil filters
  • The right amount and type of oil
  • A bucket to drain the old oil
  • A pair of gloves and safety goggles
  • Your vehicle's owner’s manual (optional for guidance)

2-    Choose the right working place

Changing the oil is not something that will cause a lot of mess or a lot of noise. However, it needs to be performed in the right location because it will need to Jack up the vehicle, and you will most likely brain old contaminant oil that shouldn't be dumped into the environment and shouldn't be touched by kids or other people.

Typically, your garage would be a good choice or probably the driveway as long as no one is around and the working area is flat to prevent slipping the vehicle downhills.

3-    Jack up your vehicle

Usually, the reservoir oil containing the oil is located underneath the vehicle; therefore, the first step is “how to change your engine's oil?” Next is to Jack up the vehicle using certain toolsets like Jack stands or ramps or whatever option that works best for you and does not cause safety issues.

You must follow a certain procedure to Jack up your vehicle safely because this step is almost the most dangerous among the rest on this list, and once you do it right, he should be good to go.

4-    Drain the old oil

Once the vehicle is securely jacked up, the next step is to drain the old oil in a specific container. You can do so by locating the oil reservoir under the vehicle and finding the plug. If you can't find it, you can always refer to your vehicle's owner’s manual, which should have detailed instructions about where things are.

Before taking out the drain plug, it is important that you placed the bucket underneath the reservoir to make sure that no oil gets to the ground and therefore harms the environment. A bucket about 5 gallons in size would be a good choice to collect all the oil without any mess.

5-    Remove the old oil filter

Many inexperienced mechanics forget about removing the old oil filter, and this step might cause a lot of significant issues in the engine. Therefore, once you drain out all the old oil, the next step would be to remove the old oil filter.

Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual to get an idea of where the oil filter is located and how it looks. Once you take the old filter out, compare it to the new one you just purchased, and make sure it matches it perfectly. Keep in mind that some oil filters might require using a wrench to loosen out, and you should turn it counterclockwise to get it out if it's stuck.

When you're ready to install the new oil filter, make sure that you apply a small coat of oil to allow it to slide properly in the designated location without any issues. To make the job harder in the next oil change, it is never recommended to overtighten the oil filter.

6-    Close the drain plug

After cleaning the old oil and changing the oil filter, you can go ahead and close the drain plug. First, look at their drain plug and check if it's in good condition. Many times mechanics recommend replacing the oil drain plug if it's not in the best shape.

When you put the drain plug back, remember not to overtighten it because this might cause some damages and might make it a little harder in the future to take it out. But, at the same time, you don't want to keep it loose because it will result in engine oil leaks under the vehicle that you might or might not notice, which results in significant engine damages.

Depending on your vehicle type, you might also need to replace the washer typically located behind the drain plug. Again, review your manual and see if this step is necessary for you.

7-    Lower the vehicle and add oil

After draining the oil and changing the oil filter, you're now ready to lower the vehicle down once the drain plug is closed securely.

Follow the safety procedure to lower the vehicle and refer to your vehicle's manual to get an idea about how much oil you'll need for your vehicle. Then, after pouring the right amount of oil into the oil reservoir, you can go ahead and check the oil level.

Check the oil level and inspect for any oil leaks

Using the dipstick, perform a quick oil check and see if it's at the right optimum level. Once everything is perfect, look at areas where the oil runs and ensure no signs of oil leaks.

An oil leak might be due to a loose drain plug or some cracks. Therefore, it's important if you notice any signs of leaks to fixed deal faulty components and involve the mechanic if the situation requires.

Is it really cheaper to change your oil?

If we're thinking about oil change from a financial perspective, it's not that big of a difference to have your oil changed by yourself or a professional.

Some experts recommend that you have a professional perform the old change if you don't have the right experience level because I was mostly not working the first time. Also, if your vehicle is expensive, it might not be worth experiencing in this vehicle.

So, if it's the first time you're running an oil change, it might be more expensive for you, and there's a very high chance that there were some damages that could cost you a lot of money if not taken care of immediately.

Can I add oil to my car?

No, that's not how oil changes goals. As we indicated earlier, to perform the right oil change and not introduce some damage to your vehicle, you must first drain the old oil and then add the new oil.

When you only add oil to the vehicle, you caused several issues, including:

  • Overtopping their vehicles with the engine could be as bad as running the vehicle with very low engine oil.
  • Not achieving the best results because when the new oil is mixed with an old one, the mixture will not have the right characteristics you're looking for to prevent the engine from overheating. Thus, when topping off the engine oil with more oil, it's not helping, and you want to see a big difference.
  • When topping off the engine's oil, it doesn't mean that you made it to the oil change due date. You will still be at risk of causing engine overheating and significant and damages in no time. Therefore, taking a shortcut and adding more oil is not worth it because it will cost you a lot of money if not damaging the entire vehicle.


Performing oil change at the right time is necessary for every driver to prevent engine damage due to overheating. Oil change doesn't cost a lot of money at most locations, but if you want to save down the road, it is very helpful to learn “how to change your engine’s oil?”

This article highlighted a step-by-step procedure for changing your engine oil, and it stated some of the common mistakes that you need to avoid when performing an oil change. This way, you achieve the savings you're looking for while not introducing major damages that could happen in any DIY project.

If your vehicle has major problems, it may not be worth investing your time learning and applying how to change the engine soil. Instead, you’d better sell this vehicle and use the money towards a better car that doesn't have any major problems. Cash Cars Buyer is willing to purchase any vehicle you have matter what's its time or condition.

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