One of the easiest maintenance tasks you can do for your own car is to change its oil. We don’t want to put ourselves out of a job, but once you learn how to do it, you might never pay someone else to do it again.
Follow these steps for a simple DIY oil change.
Gather Your Tools and Materials
Socket or box end wrench
Oil filter wrench
Oil drain pan
Jack and jack stands or ramps
New oil filter
New drain plug washer (depends on vehicle)
Prepare Your Vehicle
Check your owner’s manual to make sure you get the right kind and the right amount of oil for your vehicle. Buy the oil and new oil filter.
Make sure your engine is warm, but not too hot. You want the oil to flow easily but not burn you. Gather all the necessary tools and raise your car, if needed.
Locate the oil filter and drain plug. The oil filter may be bottom-mounted near the oil plug or it could be top-mounted in the engine. Place your oil drain pan under the drain plug leaving room for the oil to stream out at an angle.Remove the oil filler cap (this is in the engine) to allow faster oil flow.
Put on your gloves and remove the oil drain plug slowly and try to keep your hands away from the oil stream. Also, try not to drop the plug into the oil pan. If you need a new drain plug washer, this is when you would put it on the drain plug.
Cleaning Up Your Mess
Once the oil has finished draining, replace the drain plug and tighten it with your wrench. If you tighten it as much as you can just using your wrench, it should be tight enough.
Move the oil drain pain under the oil filter and remove the oil filter using the filter wrench. You will make a mess at this point. Pour the excess oil out of the filter into the drain pan.
Use a clean rag or paper towel to clean any oil from the filter sealing surface.
Dab a small amount of new oil onto the new filter’s o-ring and install the new filter. You can take your gloves off for extra grip. You may be able to tighten it enough without using any tools.
Using your funnel, slowly pour the new oil into the engine. Add one quart less than recommended at first. Then start the engine and look for any leaks. If everything looks good, lower your car, if needed.
Check the oil level and add more, if needed.
Many auto parts store will accept used oil at no charge.
There you have, you can now change your own oil. It's a messy job, but somebody has to do it! If you’re more of a visual learner, watch this video from Edmunds.com to see an oil change in action. If nothing else, bring your vehicle into Nissan of Clinton, and we'll do all of the dirty work for you!