How Do I Change my Car Oil?

Many drivers dread having to change their car’s oil. It’s a messy process and one that requires a lot of equipment that you might not have room for in your home. However, once you know what you’re doing, the process is surprisingly simple.

If you’re looking for an oil change in Fresno, it’s often cheaper to go the DIY route, particularly if you’re a high-mileage driver who needs to replace their oil multiple times throughout the year. Let’s take a look at how to DIY your car oil change.

Car Oil Change: Equipment

Before you get started, you’ll need:

  • Manufacturer recommended motor oil
  • A new oil filter
  • An oil drain pan
  • An oil filter wrench
  • A standard wrench
  • Lubricating fluid
  • A funnel
  • A ramp, jack, or wheel chocks to elevate your car
  • Gloves and safety goggles

Car Oil Change: Step by Step

Oil Cap

Step 1: Elevate the front or rear of your vehicle with a ramp, jack, or wheel chocks. Your oil should be warm, but not hot. If you’ve just driven your car, wait for the oil to cool, or run the car for a few minutes if it’s cold outside.

Step 2: Open the hood and remove the oil filler cap. Set the oil drain pan under the oil plug.

Step 3: Use a wrench to remove the oil plug. Inspect your oil plug and gasket; replace it if necessary. Let the oil drain until it slows to a drip.

Step 4: Clean the oil drain plug and re-install it. Be careful not to over-tighten the oil drain plug, as this can cause an oil leak.

Step 5: Place the oil drain pan under the oil filter and remove it. It’s worth noting that oil filters can either be cartridge-style or spin-on, and you’ll need the correct tool to remove it.

Step 6: Make sure the old filter’s gasket is still attached to the old filter, as your new filter will have its own gasket.

Step 7: Wipe down the filter mount and lubricate the new filter. If you have a spin-on filter, lubricate the seal. Lubricate the O-ring on a cartridge filter.

Step 8: Install the new filter, again ensuring that you don’t over-tighten it. This helps to prevent damage to your new filter and an oil leak.

Step 9: Check manufacturer recommendations on how much oil your car needs. Using a funnel, pour this amount of oil into your oil well, being careful not to overfill it.

Step 10: Check your oil levels by removing the dipstick, wiping it clean, dipping it back in the oil well, and removing it again. Replace the dipstick when you’re happy with your oil levels.

oil dip stick

Step 11: Replace the oil cap under the hood and check the drain plug, cap, and oil filter are secure.

Step 12: Start your car outdoors and let it run for a few minutes, then turn off your engine and let it sit until the oil is warm but not hot.

Step 13: Check your oil levels again, topping up if necessary. Check under your car and around your engine for any oil leaks.

Step 14: If your car has one, reset your oil maintenance reminder. Set a reminder on your phone to perform another oil change based on your manufacturer’s recommended oil change intervals.

How Long Does an Oil Change Take?

If you don’t have much experience with changing oil, then set aside at least 2 hours to give yourself enough time to follow these oil change steps. Once you’ve changed your oil a few times and you have the right tools, then you can expect an oil change to take no more than an hour.

If you take your car to a repair shop like Fresno Mazda Or Sanger Chevrolet Buick GMC, they can normally perform an oil change in between 30-45 minutes. While this does cost more than a DIY oil change, your oil will be changed by a professional, so you can be sure that everything will be performed to your manufacturer’s recommendations.

fresno mazdaSanger Chevrolet

Need an Oil Change in Fresno?

When you’re looking for a Fresno oil change, look no further than Fresno Mazda or Sanger Chevrolet Buick GMC. Not only will your oil change be carried out by one of our expert technicians, but we’ll also perform a courtesy inspection of your tires, fluid levels, battery, and lights. If your oil maintenance light starts flashing while you’re driving through Fresno, we’re also happy to schedule walk-in appointments. Our comfortable waiting area offers free coffee and WiFi, so you’re welcome to wait for your oil change to be completed. However, if you’ve got other things to do, don’t worry – they also offer a complimentary shuttle service.

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