The Importance of Oil Changes for Cars


Having clean oil keeps a cars engine in good shape. A person should have their oil changed on a regular basis in order to ensure that their cars are properly maintained. People can save some money if they know how to change the oil in their car themselves. Oil changes can cost up to fifty dollars when a person takes it into an oil changing shop. Oil helps to keep the engine parts in a car lubricated. Without oil, the engine or its parts will not work properly. A person can end up having a car that is constantly breaking down. When engine parts are not lubricated enough, they can start to grind together which creates friction. The engine can jam up or just fail altogether. Some engines have even been known to blow up. In order for a person to change their own oil by themselves, they will need a few items first.

What is needed

Clean rag

Oil filter wrench

Oil catch or recycle container

Open end wrench

New oil

New oil filter


Once a person has everything they need in place they can start their own oil change.

First step

The first step in changing oil is to get rid of the old oil. At the very bottom of the engine there is an oil pan that has a plug in it. The plug looks like a big bolt. Place the recycling container underneath the oil pan. Remove the drain plug and let the oil drop into the recycling container. Once the oil drains out, put the plug back in and then tighten it with an open end wrench, but do not tighten the plug too hard. Put the lid back onto the recycling container so that it can be taken to the correct recycling place that accepts used oil. Do not throw the oil down a sink drain or toilet, or do not dispose of it in a garbage can. Full service gas stations will take used oil from a recycled container.

Second step

The old oil filter will have to be carefully removed by using the oil filter wrench. Depending on the type of car, the oil filter will either be located on top of the car inside of the hood, or it will be underneath the car. The oil filter will need to be turned counterclockwise. Once the old oil filter is free, carefully remove it because it still has old oil in it that can spill all over the place.

Third step

The rubber gasket on the new filter will need to be lubricated first with some of the new oil. Once it is lubricated, pour the new oil into the new filter about 2/3 up. It could become a mess if a person pours more than the 2/3 of oil once they put the new filter in, but it should be okay. The new filter should now be screwed into place by holding the filter upright so that the new oil does not spill. The new filter can be screwed on by hand by going clockwise this time instead of counterclockwise. The new filter will need to be screwed in tight enough not to strip its threads, but not loose enough that the oil will leak out.

Fourth step

It is now time to add the new oil. Unscrew the oil cap and place the funnel inside of it. Look at the cars manual to find out how much oil it can take, and then pour three fourths of that amount into the funnel. Five quart oil containers have a guide on the side that let’s a person know how much oil they have put in.

Fifth step

Now it is time to check the oil level to make sure that it has the right amount of oil in it. There could still be oil in the car that was not accounted for before. Take the dip stick out of the oil compartment and wipe it off with a rag. Then, stick the dip stick back into the oil and pull it out. Check the oil level. If it is still not on full, add a little more oil until the dip stick says that it is full. After the dip stick says it is full. Replace the dip stick and then screw the oil cap back on, close the hood, and the car is ready to go.

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