Regularly changing your vehicle's oil is one of the easiest ways to keep your vehicle running smoothly for a long time. Bringing it in to a mechanic for its routine oil change, though, can be expensive. Luckily, changing your own oil is both easy and inexpensive. Here are the steps you need to take to change your own oil.


Step 1: Jack up your car

In order to change your oil, you need to access the area underneath your car. Because of this, it's important that you first jack up your car. When your car has cooled off a bit, locate the jacking points of your vehicle, which are noted in the owner's manual. Then, jack up the vehicle and place jack stands at your jacking points. Make sure that the vehicle is properly restrained. After doing so, it is time to start your oil change.


Step 2: Drain the oil

Before you can replace the old oil, you need to drain it. Place the drain pan under your vehicle's engine. Then, remove the oil cap, which is on top of your engine. Next, find the oil pan. This should look like a flat metal plan that is near the engine. Once you identify this, remove the oil plug with a socket or crescent wrench. The oil will then begin to drain, falling into the drain pan.


Step 3: Change the oil filter

Locate the filter, which is typically a white, blue, or black cylinder located on the engine. Unscrew the filter by hand after making sure the drain pan is underneath the filter. Prepare the new filter by dipping your finger in the replacement oil and smearing it on the gasket ring. This will lubricate the gasket and create a good seal on the filter. Finally, carefully screw the filter back on using the specifications on the box to know how much you should tighten it.


Step 4: Add new oil

Once you have changed the oil filter and replaced the oil plug, it is time to add new oil. Simply pour the amount needed into the fill hole. The recommended amount is typically stated in the owner's manual. Replace the fill cap and check over your work to ensure you haven't missed any loose parts. Then, start your engine to make sure it is working properly.

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