How To Change Your Own Oil And Save Money On Car Maintenance Costs

By Subodh / August 3, 2013

Car maintenance can be quite expensive. In fact, it is prudent to set aside a reasonable amount of your monthly budget each month so that you have the funds available when repairs or maintenance of your vehicle is required.

Even if you are putting aside money every month for car repairs and maintenance, it’s a good idea to try and save on maintenance costs wherever possible. One way to achieve this is to learn how to do your own oil changes. Changing your car’s oil is a pretty simple task. Nonetheless, many people do not do it correctly and make a big mess in the process. Alternatively, people often way overpay to have someone else change their oil. If you want to make sure you protect your engine so that it will last, changing the oil, though a simple job when you know how to do it correctly, is one of the most important tasks that will help maintain your vehicle.

One other benefit of learning to change your car’s oil yourself is that you won’t be sucked into buying other overpriced car add-ons and accessories when you go into the shop. These types of items include car deodorizers, chargers for your mobile gadgets and new windshield wipers not to mention an array of items found at the cashier when you pay for your oil change.

Change Your Own Oil

First Things First

Before you attempt to change your own oil, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Wait for a few hours for the engine to cool down before you change the oil. The oil can be very hot and can burn you.
  • Choose a safe area where you can change your oil. See to it, that the ground is level so oil doesn’t spill.

What You Need

The things that you will need for changing your car’s oil are, a container of new car oil and a new car oil filter. You will also need a clean rag as well as a container for the used oil and a funnel. Finally, you are also going to need an oil filter wrench as well as an open-end wrench to do the job.

The Filter

Don’t cut corner when buying a filter. Although the quality difference between economy and quality filters is huge, the price differential is not. If you change your oil frequently then you might be able to get buy with an economy filter. However, if you know that you don’t change your filter regularly or forget to change the filter when you should, it’s much more prudent to go with the better filter.

The Steps

You need to locate the drain plug, which is located in the oil pan underneath the engine. It is hard to miss since it looks like a huge bolt. Now, position the container for the used oil underneath it and, with the wrench, twist the drain plug open. Be careful that you do not spill the used oil on the ground since it is very messy and annoying to clean up. Once the oil is totally drained, replace the drain plug and tighten it.

The next step is to locate the oil filter. Depending upon the type of vehicle, it can be reached from the top or from beneath the engine. Now, with an oil filter wrench, twist the oil filter open. Be gentle though when you remove it since there is still a fair amount of used oil in it.

After removing the old oil filter, the next step is putting the new one in. Before you screw it in place though, lubricate its rubber gasket first with the oil. Once done, pour in the new oil, leaving about 1/3 of it free. Hold the new filter in an upright position to avoid spilling the oil and then gently screw it back into place.

To fill the engine with new oil, remove the oil cap, place the funnel in the hole, and pour in the new oil. Note; only place the manufacture’s recommended oil type into the engine, as stated in your owner’s manual, otherwise you could have problems done the line. After this, check the level of the oil and see to it that it is at the proper level before putting the oil cap back on.

Finally, wipe the excess oil off with the clean rag to prevent oil spray causing a fire.

Changing your own oil is easy and can help you save some money. In fact, you can save about $100 by changing your car’s oil yourself. The money saved can then be set aside to pay for other repairs or maintenance that you may not be able to take care of yourself.

If you are hesitant to do change your own oil or simply do not have the time then go to trusted car maintenance and repair service. Just make sure that the company has a good reputation and that their prices are fair.