Oil Change: DIY Guidance

Save on the cost of a visit to the mechanic by learning to do an oil change yourself.

1: Warm engine and oil

Run engine until normal operating temperature is reached and then switch off. Warm oil will drain more effectively and help remove built-up sludge.

2: Raise and secure car

Raise and secure vehicle on a level surface using either the jack and stands or the ramps. Ensure that the handbrake is on and the wheels are chocked.

3: Drain old oil

Place a drain pan beneath sump. Note that the oil will spout away from the sump plug and that the hot oil can burn you. Use the correct-size socket to remove sump plug. Allow oil to completely drain from the car. Replace plug; tighten firmly, but not too tight.

4: Remove oil filter

Place the drain pan under the filter. Using the oil-filter-removal tool, remove the oil filter. Allow oil to drain from filter hole.

5: Install new oil filter

Rub a smear of new oil over the oil-filter gasket and then screw into the location. Hand-tighten, then give a small tweak with the oil-filter tool.

6: Refill oil

Check owner’s manual for the quantity of oil required. Remove oil-filler cap, and, using a funnel, slowly pour in three-quarters of the oil. Stop periodically to allow oil to settle and air to escape. When three-quarters of the oil has been poured, check the dipstick. Repeat until the dipstick indicates the correct level.

7: Check oil level

Run engine for 1 minute, wait for 5 minutes, then check the dipstick. If required, add oil until the top level is reached on the stick. Don’t overfill. Run the engine and check dipstick again. If satisfactory, check engine for leaks or spills.

8: Dispose of old oil

Carefully pour used oil into appropriate container and seal. Check with your local authorities about the disposal of used oil. Most waste-recycling centres will accept it.

9: Recheck oil level.

Regularly check the oil level on the dipstick to ensure optimum engine protection.


  • Sufficient quantity of the appropriate engine oil.
  • New oil filter.
  • Oil drain pan.
  • Medium-size funnel.
  • Container for used engine oil.
  • Tool to remove the oil filter.
  • Socket to loosen sump plug.
  • Car jack and axle stands or car ramps.
  • Rag.

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