Vehicle Maintenance

Easy Steps to Change Your Car’s Oil and Filter at Home

Self Car Maintenance

One of the most common and frequent car maintenance jobs is changing the oil on your own. It will save you time and money and it seems like you are in control of your vehicle all the time. Changing oil is not that hard to master, all you need is the right type of oils and tools to make it happen. Your car’s engine is a feat of engineering and it needs regular maintenance. To keep it lubricated for optimum results there are few steps you should take to change the oil yourself.

List of required tools and oils accessories: 

Necessary tools:

  • Drain plug remover wrench
  • Oil filter wrench
  • Oil drain pan
  • Funnel
  • Latex gloves
  • Reliable jack/ramp (optional, depends on ground clearance)

Other material required:

  • The right amount of oil
  • The right type of oil
  • Oil filter
  • Air Filter
  • Plug washer

The following are ten easy steps to Change Your Car’s Oil and Filter at Home

Step 1:

First thing first, please check out your car’s producer manual for proper recommendations. Changing oil mainly depends on which part of the world you are using your car. What is the average temperature and how often you should change your oil? The environment plays a role in this type of operation. Plus manual can help you organize other parts of the operations like the right amount and type of oil and proper tools etc.

Step 2:

By driving all these years, you might be familiar with the chemistry of oil. It is thick, dense and directly related to the surrounding temperature. When cold, it sticks with the body part and even absorbs metal particles. Therefore, you start your engine first to warm the oil so that it can be drained out. Start your car’s engine and leave it for 5-10 minutes. This will raise the temperature and the oil will be liquefied to the degree where it is easy for total removal. Be careful not to raise the temperature more than a certain level. Because it will decompose the used oil into vapors which is must harder to remove in the later phase. 

Step 3:

Position your car before the actual oil change to even, stable and park-mode. If your car is manual then set it to neutral. The car should be raised to the right height through jacks. Always use two jacks instead of one, because it is risky to rely on one. In addition to this, it will give you enough room and confidence to operate freely below the car. Engage parking brake/handbrake too, this will add more to the stability of the car.

Step 4:

If your vehicle is guarded by splash guard from the bottom then you have to remove it to gain access to the sump plug. Place the oil pan directly under the sump plug before removing it. Wait for a few minutes so that oil is drained. In the meanwhile, you can use oil extractor too, if you don’t want to get your hands dirty. Wait until the oil is cleared totally.

Step 5:

Now remove the oil filter. You can use a bear hand or using some kind of grip increasing glove. Use this occasion to clean the compartment of the filter properly. There are two possibilities if you are removing the filter. First, you drain the oil and then remove the filter or the other way around.

Step 6: 

Now change the oil filter and install the new one. It is often expected that every time you change the oil, you change the filter too. To perfectly seal the filter, lubricate the O-rings with the same oil you are going to pour it in the filter. Tighten the caps neatly and insert the filter hands-on.

Step 7:

Now make sure you read manual before deciding on the quantity of oil in the car’s engine. Use the funnel to pour oil in the filter. A dipstick is used to find the optimum level of oil range. Don’t overfill your engine with so much oil, no matter what. Always leave some room as it may cause a problem in the future. Never forget to tighten the cap properly. If not it can cause the problem to the health of the engine in the long run.

Step 8:

Start the car over again. This is for another purpose this time, as it allows newly fed oil to circulate entirely in all parts of the engine. Another advantage is to look out for any leakages in other parts of the engine. You can turn off the engine afterward letting it cool down again.

Step 9:

The last but not the least step is to take the reading and set the odometer of your car. This way you will be able to keep track of the oil-changing process and its history. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend a change in oil or filter after 3000 miles or every 3-4 months. Keeping track of mileage will give a rough idea of when you should start checking your engine oil again.


It takes less than an hour to change engine oil in your car. After a few attempts, the time will reduce and you will feel comfortable changing it. Changing oil is important yet easily. With the right tools and proper guidance, anyone can change it in a short amount of time. 



saeed rana

I was the executive vice president of the General Insurance Company. With that I also mentor students to help them find and apply for international scholarships each year, Due to extensive practice in vehicle insurance, their claims, and all sorts of interest in vehicles; today it became my passion to write research articles on vehicles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button