A Step-by-Step Guide to Changing Your Car’s Oil Keeping Your Engine Running Smoothly

how to change the oil in the car


Regularly changing the oil in your car is one of the most crucial maintenance tasks to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your engine. By doing so, you can keep harmful contaminants at bay, enhance fuel efficiency, and prevent expensive repairs in the future. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of changing your car’s oil, helping you become more confident in maintaining your vehicle.

Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

Before you begin, make sure you have all the required tools and materials on hand. You’ll need an oil filter, the appropriate type and amount of motor oil (refer to your vehicle’s manual), an oil filter wrench, a drain pan, a socket wrench set, a funnel, and gloves. Always wear appropriate safety gear to protect yourself during the process.

Park Your Car on Level Ground and Warm Up the Engine

Find a flat and level surface to park your car. Warm up the engine by running it for a few minutes; this will help the oil flow more easily, making the draining process quicker and more efficient.

Locate the Oil Drain Plug and Remove the Oil Filler Cap

Crawl under your car and locate the oil drain plug. It’s usually on the bottom of the engine, near the oil pan. Place the drain pan directly beneath the plug. Using a socket wrench, carefully loosen and remove the plug, allowing the old oil to drain completely. Also, don’t forget to remove the oil filler cap located on the top of the engine to enable proper oil drainage.

Replace the Oil Filter

Once the old oil has drained completely, it’s time to replace the oil filter. Using an oil filter wrench, carefully remove the old filter. Before installing the new one, lubricate the rubber gasket of the new filter with fresh oil. Hand-tighten the new filter to ensure a proper seal.

Refit the Drain Plug and Add Fresh Oil

After replacing the oil filter, clean the area around the drain plug and then reattach it securely. Double-check that everything is tight to prevent leaks. Now, using a funnel, start adding the appropriate type and amount of fresh oil, as recommended by your vehicle’s manual. Once done, replace the oil filler cap.

Check the Oil Level and Quality

After adding the fresh oil, let the engine run for a few minutes to allow the new oil to circulate through the system. Turn off the engine and wait for a couple of minutes to allow the oil to settle. Check the oil level using the dipstick, ensuring it reaches the recommended level on the dipstick.

Properly Dispose of Old Oil and Filter

Remember, you cannot just discard used motor oil and filters with your regular household waste. These are hazardous materials and should be disposed of properly. Many auto parts stores and service centers accept used oil and filters for recycling. You can also inquire about local recycling centers in your area.

Keep a Record of the Oil Change

Maintaining a record of all your oil changes is essential for proper vehicle maintenance. Note down the date, mileage, type of oil used, and any additional maintenance performed during the oil change.


Can I change my car oil yourself?

Oil is the lifeblood of your engine so it’s a good idea to carry out a regular car engine oil check. An oil change is a very simple job that will help keep you safe on the road. You can either ask your local workshop to carry out the oil change for you or do it yourself.

When should I change my car oil?

Despite today’s remarkable advances in oil chemistry and engine technology, replacing oil every 4,500 kilometers (3,000 miles) is still considered necessary. In fact, most carmakers state in their service manuals the interval should be either 11,000 or 15,000 kilometers (7,500 or 10,000 miles).


Regularly changing your car’s oil is a fundamental task in keeping your engine running smoothly and efficiently. By following this step-by-step guide, you can perform this crucial maintenance task confidently. Remember to gather all the necessary tools, park your car on level ground, and dispose of the old oil and filter responsibly. By dedicating a little time and effort to changing your car’s oil, you can significantly extend the life of your engine and enjoy trouble-free driving for years to come.

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