How to do an oil change on your car
Changing the oil on my race car was one of the first things my father taught me. I even started practicing my skills on my friends’ personal cars. It’s not complicated at all, but you have to take the time to learn it. It’s basic maintenance that anyone can do, no matter the vehicle.
I will explain how to do it, and will try to answer all your questions. This will save you from going to the garage and paying someone else do do something you can easily do yourself.
You will need…
Engine oil and filter (which you will get from a supplier)
Wrench, filter wrench or wide pliers
Container or emptying station
It is important to use the oil recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. The grade is often written on the cap; if not, it is listed in the manufacturer’s manual. However, if you can’t find the information on the cap or if you don’t have your manual, people who work in the field will be able to provide you with that information, and they’ll even be able to tell you how much you need.
If you use regular oil, you will change your oil every 5,000 to 8,000 km; for those who choose synthetic oil, the change will be recommended every 8,000 to 10,000 km.
Note: for those whose vehicle operates on a regular basis and has a lot of mileage, you may switch to synthetic oil, butt the opposite is not recommended.
Here again, refer to the number provided by your manufacturer or the one your clerk will give you. It is very important to have the right filter. Your vehicle will be equipped with either a metal or cartridge filter. You will have to change it at ALL oil changes.
Securely install your vehicle at a slightly elevated height and prepare your equipment so that you have everything within your reach during the various stages.
Removing the used Oil
The first step is to remove the used oil from the crankcase. Bring your container or oil change station near you so that you can collect your used oil. Using a wrench, remove the plug from the crankcase and allow the oil to drain. When there is no more drainage, put the plug back into place. It is important not to overtighten it, as this can damage the threads and your crankcase.
Remplace the oil filter
We will now replace the oil filter. Remove it with the filter wrench, or simply with your hands. Do not overtighten it to avoid damaging it: very often, you just have to force it slightly. Before moving forward with the installation, I always check if there is compatibility by superimposing the new and the used one, as shown in the following picture.
This allows me to see if I have the right one, i.e. that my gasket is on the new AND the old one; sometimes, the gasket stays stuck when it is removed and, when putting the new one on top, there is a small oil loss.
This leaves a very light layer of oil on the new one, which is desirable. If you don’t use my little trick, I recommend that you nevertheless take the time to put a thin layer of oil on your new filter, at the gasket.
Add the oil
Third, pour the new oil into the engine. To do this, unscrew the cap and insert your funnel. Then, pour the oil into it. Remove your funnel and close the cap tightly.
Finally, start your engine and let it run for about 1 or 2 minutes to allow the oil to circulate. Then stop your vehicle. Check your dipstick to make sure the oil is between the two points.
Very important: make sure there are no leaks in the filter and crankcase.
That’s it, now you can change your oil! I’m sure you can do it.
Don’t forget to take your used oil to the appropriate place near you!