Deciding to perform your own car maintenance can seem daunting, but you can cut down on costs by performing straightforward tasks like changing your car’s oil yourself. In fact, changing your car’s oil is a simple process of draining the existing oil from the engine, changing the oil filter, and adding more oil.
You need next to no car or mechanical knowledge to do this so don’t be daunted; all you’ll need is just a basic understanding of the process and to know where your car’s drain plug and oil filler are.
Before you change your car’s oil, check your vehicle’s oil levels to see if they are below the minimum recommended amount. Once you’re sure your oil needs changing, follow these easy step-by-step instructions:
What to do
1. Run your car’s engine for 2-3 minutes to get the oil flowing before turning the ignition back off.
2. Locate your car’s drain plug and place a large bucket underneath.
3. Holding a cloth to protect your hand, unscrew the drain plug and move your hand quickly out of the way so that oil drains into the bucket.
4. Remove the cap from the oil filler and remove the oil filter by twisting anti-clockwise.
5. Empty the oil filter into the bucket, wrap the filter in paper, and set it aside.
6. Unscrew a new bottle of oil, then take your new oil filter and rub the new oil on the gasket to wet it.
7. Screw the new oil filter inside the oil filler by twisting it by hand according to the directions on the filter.
8. After all the oil has drained from the engine, clean around the drain plug with a rag and screw the plug back in securely using a spanner.
9. Using a funnel, slowly pour the new oil into the oil filler, keeping 1L aside.
10. Replace the oil cap and turn the ignition on, letting the engine run for up to 1 minute while checking around both the drain plug and the filter for any leaks.
11. Turn the engine off and wait 5-10 minutes, then check your car’s oil levels using the dipstick.
12. Continue to add oil a little at a time, checking the oil levels after each new addition until the “Full” line on the dipstick is met.
13. Remove the bucket from underneath your vehicle and give your car a quick test drive.
14. Wait another 5-10 minutes before re-checking your car's oil levels – if the dipstick still shows the oil level as “Full” then you’re done.
Changing your oil really is as simple as that. After having done this, be sure to take your old oil and filter to an oil-recycling centre to dispose of them correctly.