Who needs Jiffy Lube? Here’s how to change the oil in your car

When it comes to the integral functions of your car, engine oil is as important to a motor as blood is to our bodies. Without engine oil, none of the internal parts would be properly lubricated for long-term function, which is what enables most cars these days to travel hundreds of thousands of miles without a major problem. Engines house a considerable amount of oil that sits in a sump (or in a separate feeding tank in a dry sump case). It’s then pumped throughout the engine to lubricate everything from the crankshaft to the valvetrain.

Because engine oil is a crucial fluid, it’s important to make sure it’s kept fresh and replaced at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer. Through constant use and time, oil degrades and gets dirty and loses some of its ability to keep things slick.

Generally speaking, you need to change your oil every 7,500 miles or every couple of years (3,000 miles is still valid for older models). The factory sets the precise interval, so browse through your owner’s manual if you’re not sure. How often you should change your oil also depends on the type of driving you do and whether you’re using traditional organic “dino” oil or artificial synthetic oil. Synthetic tends to last longer than “dino” oil and is usually preferred in most cases.

Changing the oil in your can be a grimy task, to say the least. For that very reason, many individuals simply shell out the extra cash and let a mechanic or an oil change shop handle the dirty work for them. Taking on the task yourself, however, can save you plenty of money over the lifetime of your vehicle and it will add to your list of life skills learned.

Ready? Let’s get started. First, you’ll need to buy a sufficient amount of oil, a new oil filter, and some other simple tools if you don’t already have them.

You will need:

  • Car jacks or floor ramps
  • A basic socket wrench set
  • An oil filter wrench
  • A washer for the drain plug
  • A couple of rags or a roll of paper towels
  • Rubber or latex gloves to keep your hands clean
  • An oil drain catch pan
  • A clean funnel

Identify the type of oil required by your engine; this information is typically found in the owner’s manual, though some new cars have it stamped directly on the oil cap. One common type of oil is 10W-30.

You might also like

Comments are closed.