Changing your own oil can save you some money, and this basic car maintenance can also be fun! Here are the basic steps:
Gather the tools that you will need:
Floor jack with jack stands, or a ramp and wheel chocks (if your car is too low to crawl under)
Gloves to protect your hands from the hot oil
Pan to drain the oil in
Plastic container to recycle the oil
Check your owner’s manual to see what kind of filter and the weight of oil you will need. You can also ask at any auto parts store.
Turn your car on for a few minutes until it’s at normal operating temperature. You want your oil warm, but not hot.
Park your car some place that is level. Make sure the parking brake is up and the car is off.
If you car is too low to get under, put it up with a jack or drive it on to ramps (engage the parking break after you drive on the ramp). Use wheel chocks to prevent any rolling. Follow ALL safety instructions with the equipment you use.
Find the oil drain plug under your car, directly under your engine, check your manual to find out exact location.
Loosen the plug with your socket wrench and put the pan underneath.
Remove the plug. Be aware that the oil will be hot and will run out quickly. Be careful.
Clean off the drain plug and the drain.
When the oil has all drained out, replace the drain plug gaskets.
Screw the plug back in. Be sure that it is secure, but not over tightened.
Look in your manual to find the location of the oil filter (usually found on the side of the cars engine).
Put the oil pan under the filter and unscrew the old filter, be careful, it will be full of oil.
Clean off the area where the filter connects to the engine. Be sure that the old rubber seal is off.
Put new oil on the rubber seal of the new filter.
Screw the new filter into place.
Find the oil filter cap on top of the engine and take it off.
Place a funnel in the opening and pour the amount of oil that your manual calls for.
Replace the cap.
Turn your car on and then off, check your dipstick to make sure you have the right amount of oil. Also look at the area near the drain plug and the filter for any leaks. If there are any, tighten the plug and/or filter.
After the oil is cooled, dispose of it properly by recycling it. NEVER dump it down a drain, or onto land. Just a small amount of oil can ruin vast amounts of water.
Be extreamly careful when lifting your car up. Follow all instructions on the equipment you use to raise it.
Oil will be hot, be ready for it!