If you're planning to change your own vehicle oil, consider these 12 tools needed to change your oil:
- Your vehicle's owner’s manual
- Ratcheting wrenches
- An oil pan
- A flashlight
- An oil funnel
- A wrench for the oil filter
- A set of special sockets
- Certain pumps (optional)
- A Jack and Jack stand
- Motor oil
- An oil filter
An oil change is one of the most critical maintenance that you must do all the time. Ignoring an oil change leads to catastrophic outcomes that might cost you the entire engine. Therefore, you must follow what's indicated in your vehicle's owner’s manual to prevent these breakdowns.
Since the oil change is regular maintenance, many drivers prefer to do the top themselves to save on labor costs and save on waiting time. However, without the right tools needed, the process can get a bit challenging and might take longer than expected.
This article provides you with a list of 12 tools needed to change your oil. Once you have these tools, the process should run very smoothly, and you'll be an expert in oil change in no time.
12 tools needed to change your oil
Oil change doesn't require complicated tools, and most tools listed below are not very expensive. Thus, it's worth the investment in getting these small tools to help your process and achieve the best oil change experience.
Let's take a closer look at what you'll need when changing your vehicles:
1- Your vehicle's owner’s manual
Although many mechanics do not consider the user’s manual as a tool, it is critical to change your vehicle's oil. It will provide you with detailed guidance on where the drain plug is located and where to pour the amount of oil.
Thus, if you're not an expert in changing the oil before, you'll need to go through the vehicle's owner’s manual to get a better idea. However, if you've done this before and things seem to work properly for you, you might not necessarily need the manual all the time.
One of the first and most important tools you'll need to change your vehicle's oil is a combination of wrenches. First, you'll need the 13-millimeter and 15-millimeter standard wrenches. These wrenches have two events: the closed-end, which takes out the range, and the open end, which is used to stripe the nuts corners.
Experts recommend investing in these tools standard wrenches because they're needed for most car maintenance in general, not only for oil changes.
You'll still need an impact wrench and a torque wrench as part of your oil change toolsets with the standard wrenches.
3- Ratcheting wrenches
Aside from the normal wrenches, experts recommend having ratcheting wrenches. These branches are more flexible because they allow you to change the wrench position halfway through the turn. Those, it will be much easier to work with.
4- An oil pan
As you might already know, when changing your vehicle's oil, you will need to collect the old oil somehow. That's why you need to have a specific plan to collect the waste and another type of sludge that you'll, from the oil reservoir in your engine.
There are two common types of oil pans in the market, including one with a spout and the other one with a deep saucer. If you don't want to purchase any oil pan, you can create one by cutting a small coolant jug and replacing it.
The whole idea of the oil pan is to collect all the waste without causing any spills or messes on yourself and the surrounding area. Typically, oil is a contaminating fluid, which means that you don't want to let it come to the ground or get to the soil.
5- A flashlight
Since you'll be working underneath the vehicle, you'll see that the area will get darker. That's why it is recommended to have a good quality flashlight. Experts recommend purchasing the AutoAlert LED flashlight because it doesn't require much charge and provides a strong flashlight with a wider angle. This way, you can work comfortably without needing to hold the flashlight all the time.
The good thing about the AutoAlert LED lights is that you can use them as emergency lights, especially if you're working on your vehicle on the highways where you need to alert other drivers.
6- An oil funnel
Once you finish draining the oil, you'll need to add the new fresh oil to the oil reservoir. Pouring the oil directly from the bottle is not going to work. That's why you'll have to purchase any funnel to allow the oil to get inside the reservoir without any problem or masses.
7- A wrench for the oil filter
During the oil change process, experts recommend removing the oil filter to achieve the best out of your new oil. However, removing the oil filter can be challenging because it can be well tightened to the housing, making it hard to take it out. Things get more complicated if the filter is soaked with oil, which means that if you try to take it out, it will slip out of your hands. In some instances, people might break the oil filter inside the housing.
Therefore, you'll need to purchase a specific tool called the oil filter wrench remover. There are two common types of filter wrench removers, including the band wrenches and the filter cups.
The band branches are the cheaper ones, and they typically come as a band that you loosely fit around the oil filter and then tighten it before grabbing the oil filter out. Unfortunately, this tool might not work all the time properly unless you know how to use it. That's why people switched to purchasing the cup filters removers.
On the other hand, the cup filter remover is a more flexible tool to fit around the filter and take it out easily without any issue. However, there are some drawbacks to using this oil filter. First, you'll need a specific filter size for every vehicle, which means that you can't use one filter remover for another vehicle unless it has the same folder size. Furthermore, this cup filter wrench removal is more expensive, which means that not every driver can't afford it.
8- A set of special sockets
If you're driving a more modern vehicle, you might have to deal with splash guards. These guards protect elements covering the bottom of your engine to prevent any water or other debris from getting to the engine compartment.
Therefore, you'll have to use certain tools to get this guard out of the engine bottom because you will need to reach the drain plug, which is typically located underneath the vehicle.
Removing these guards requires certain tools that vary significantly depending on your vehicle's type. Typically, you'll have to buy specialized sockets matching your vehicle's brand. You can search online for your vehicle's make model and get an accurate idea about what type of sockets you'll need. Your vehicles owner’s manual could be another important resource that might provide you with some hints about what else is needed.
9- Certain pumps (optional)
Some vehicles require specific pumps to vacuum out any old oil and pump inside the new oil. Thus, for example, if you're driving
10- A Jack and Jack stand
Of course, changing your vehicle's oil is something you have to do from beneath the car. Therefore, your vehicle needs to be raised slightly to get access to the drain plug.
Thus, to perform the job, you'll need a good quality Jack and Jack stand. In addition, you must learn how to raise your car without causing properly and its safety issues. That's why we recommend that you go through specific step-by-step guidance on how to Jack up your car without any problem.
11- Motor oil
As you might already know, before changing your vehicle's oil, you'll have to purchase the required amount of oil that your vehicle needs. Unfortunately, oils are not the same, which means that you'll have to decide whether you want to go with conventional, synthetic, synthetic blends, or high mileage engine oil.
Every oil has its characteristics and requires certain changes frequencies and obviously will come with different prices.
Thus, with your comment that you go through the vehicle's owner’s manual to decide on the type of oil your vehicle can accept and understand the exact amount of oil you can pour inside the engine without causing damages of overfilling the engine oil.
12- An oil filter
Finally, you'll still have to replace the old oil filter when changing your vehicle's oil, as we indicated earlier. Thus, you need to understand exactly what type of filter you can purchase and what type is compatible with your vehicle's brand. Again, your manual should have accurate guidance on what's needed, but you can also go through some YouTube videos or other articles focusing on your specific vehicle's brand.
Is changing your oil cheaper?
Surprisingly, no. Changing your oil will not save you any money. On the contrary, if not will cost you much more money. This is because the process of changing your oil will require understanding how to do the job, which might take much more time than having a professional do it.
Many independent shops perform the oil change cheaper and do the job fast. In addition, some locations provide some discounts, making the process much more convenient to get it done at an independent shop.
However, experts still recommend that you learn how to change your own oil to get an idea about how things are done and expand your knowledge about your vehicle's required maintenance.
Tools Needed To Change Oil: Final Thoughts
Learning about changing your oil is an extremely useful skillset if you plan to save on labor costs and waiting time at dealerships or repair shops. However, knowing how to do this is not always necessary because you'll need certain tools to make the process much easier.
This article provided you will you with a list of 12 tools needed to change your oil. Investing in these tools is worth it because they're not very expensive, and you'll find them either online or in many auto shops.
Although maintaining the right oil change frequencies will help extend the lifetime of your engine, you might get to the point of time where you're dealing with major breakdowns due to a variety of reasons. Therefore, when this happens, it's not the end of the world because you can always sell this car that is giving you a hard time and use its money to purchase a better vehicle worth the investment in oil change tools.
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