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Change Engine Oil

  • Start the vehicle: Let the engine run for a few minutes so that the oil gets warm and will drain out smoothly. Conversely, if the engine is already hot, let it cool down for a while to avoid getting burned.
  • Jack it up: Use jack stands to raise the vehicle before you even consider sliding under it. Leaving it on just the jack can get dangerous.
  • Drain the oil: Locate the drain plug at the bottom of the engine and position a drain pan underneath it. Unscrew the plug (using a box or socket wrench if needed). Used lubricant will start flowing out into the pan immediately. Meanwhile, clean the plug and replace the washers or gaskets if needed. Screw the drain plug back into the drain hole once the oil has drained out completely. Be very careful not to tighten the plug too hard, as you could possibly strip the threads.
  • Replace the oil filter: You should also change the filter while you are at it. Position the drain pan beneath the filter and use a filter wrench to loosen it slightly. Be careful as oil will flow out. Take the new filter and lubricate it by dipping a finger in the new engine oil and smearing it along the rubber seal that runs around the rim of the filter. Wipe away any lubricant deposits before gently screwing on the new filter by hand. Ensure that it seats properly before giving the filter a final quarter turn.
  • Add new oil: Remove the cap and use a funnel to slowly pour the specified amount of fresh oil into the engine. It is advisable to initially pour in 1 quart less than the recommended amount. Screw on the oil cap and run the engine for a minute. This will allow the oil to circulate through the engine and you can check for leaks, if any. Lower the vehicle and wait for a few minutes before pouring in the remaining oil. Check the dipstick to ensure that the oil is at the proper level.
  • Proper disposal: Your freshly-oiled vehicle is ready to go. Do ensure that you properly dispose of the used oil and filter at a recycling center or other approved facility.