A Step-by-Step Guide On How To Change Your Car Oil

In this detailed article by Wapo Labs, we will instruct you on how to change your car’s oil, providing you with a step-by-step roadmap to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your vehicle. Regular oil changes are essential maintenance tasks that can greatly impact your car’s engine health. By following these instructions, you’ll be equipped to tackle this crucial task with confidence.

Changing Car’s Oil – What is it?

how to change car oil

Changing your vehicle’s oil is an essential maintenance method that each automobile proprietor needs to be acquainted with. Properly preserving your automobile’s engine oil can enlarge its lifespan, enhance fuel performance, and enhance overall efficiency. We will break down the oil change process into easy-to-follow steps, empowering you to take control of your car’s maintenance.

Why Regular Oil Changes Matter

Regular oil changes are a critical cornerstone of maintaining a healthy and efficient engine. Over time, engine oil accumulates contaminants that impede proper lubrication and increase friction. By replacing used oil with fresh oil, you ensure smooth engine component movement, reduce wear and tear, and prevent costly damage. This preventive measure is essential for promoting engine longevity and optimal performance.

In addition to lubrication, engine oil plays a vital role in heat dispersion and cleaning. Fresh oil efficiently carries away debris and particles, preventing them from settling and causing blockages. By embracing regular oil changes, you effectively maintain an engine environment that promotes longevity, reduces the risk of overheating, and contributes to the overall health and efficiency of your vehicle.

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How Often Should I Change My Car’s Oil?

How often should I change my car's oil?

Maintaining the optimal health of your vehicle’s engine hinges on the frequency of oil changes, a variable contingent upon factors such as your car’s make and model. Automotive manufacturers curate specific guidelines delineating intervals for oil changes, meticulously calibrated to harmonize with the intricate architecture and performance dynamics of the engine. To align with the most judicious regimen for your particular vehicle, it is paramount to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual, an authoritative repository housing the manufacturer’s counsel on oil change timing.

The manual artfully integrates an array of considerations including engine classification, driving conditions, and climatic nuances. Complying with these directives engenders a symphony of benefits, with your engine humming at its zenith, embracing efficiency and curtailing the specter of untimely wear and potential complexities. Furthermore, for a tangible benchmark, it is prudent to engage in an oil change ritual every 10,000 miles, 15,000 kilometers, or annually, the first of these milestones taking precedence. This adherence ensures a harmonious concordance between your vehicle’s operational constitution and the exigencies of the road, perpetuating its longevity and pristine functionality.

Can I Use any Type of Engine Oil?

The type and viscosity of engine oil you use have a direct impact on your vehicle’s performance and durability. To ensure optimal engine health, it’s imperative to adhere to the oil specifications outlined in your owner’s manual. This manual is a comprehensive guide provided by the manufacturer, tailored to your vehicle’s unique design and operational requirements. Following these recommendations guarantees proper lubrication, minimizes friction-related wear, and upholds your engine’s efficiency and longevity. Using the specified oil type is a proactive step toward preserving your vehicle’s integrity and maximizing its performance potential.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Tools and Materials You'll Need

Before you begin, gather the necessary tools and materials:

  • Jack or Car ramps
  • Wrenches (usually 15mm)
  • Oil filter wrench
  • Oil drain pan
  • New oil filter
  • New engine oil (check your owner’s manual for specifications)
  • Funnel
  • Gloves and safety glasses

How to Change Car Oil: A Step-by-Step Guide

Regularly changing your car’s oil is a fundamental aspect of responsible vehicle ownership and proper maintenance. Not only does it contribute to optimal engine performance and longevity, but it also plays a crucial role in preventing potential complications and costly repairs down the road. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a newcomer to automotive maintenance, following these detailed steps will empower you to confidently carry out an effective oil change at home:

Step 1: Elevate and Secure Your Vehicle

Elevate and Secure Your Vehicle

The process begins with selecting a suitable and level surface for your vehicle. Engage the parking brake to ensure that the car remains stationary throughout the oil change procedure. Prioritize safety by allowing the engine to cool down to a safe temperature before you commence any work. Next, employ a reliable and appropriately rated jack or ramps to carefully elevate the front of your car. Complement this with the use of sturdy jack stands, which act as a secondary support to provide added stability. Ensuring that the vehicle is securely positioned is paramount to creating a safe and controlled working environment.

Step 2: Drain the Old Oil

Drain the Old Oil

With your vehicle securely elevated, it’s time to proceed to the actual oil change. Locate the oil drain plug positioned beneath the engine and prepare an oil drain pan strategically positioned to catch the used oil. Gently but firmly loosen the drain plug using the appropriate wrench, taking care to avoid any excessive force that could lead to damage. Allow the old oil to drain completely from the engine, ensuring that the flow is unhindered. This step is essential to facilitate the removal of contaminants and residues that accumulate over time.

Step 3: Replace the Oil Filter

Replace the Oil Filter

As the old oil drains, turn your attention to the oil filter. Using an oil filter wrench, carefully detach the existing oil filter. Before proceeding to install the new filter, take a moment to apply a thin and uniform layer of fresh oil to the rubber gasket of the new filter. This small yet crucial detail ensures a proper and secure seal, effectively preventing potential oil leaks. Properly sealing the oil filter is integral to maintaining consistent oil flow and preserving engine lubrication.

Step 4: Install the New Oil Filter and Drain Plug

Install the New Oil Filter and Drain Plug

With the oil filter replaced, it’s time to focus on the drain plug. Reattach the drain plug, paying careful attention to the level of tightness. It’s important to strike a balance here—tighten the plug sufficiently to ensure a secure seal, but avoid over-tightening, which can lead to threading issues or damage to the oil pan. Some vehicle models may require the replacement of a washer behind the drain plug; consulting your owner’s manual will provide clarity on this matter. With the drain plug secured, proceed to install the new oil filter. Apply a light coating of oil to the rubber gasket, as this facilitates proper sealing when you hand-tighten the filter into place.

Step 5: Replenish with Fresh Oil

Replenish with Fresh Oil

Having completed the crucial tasks beneath the vehicle, it’s time to focus on replenishing the engine with fresh oil. Begin by lowering the car back to the ground and reattaching any components that were removed, ensuring a tidy and organized workspace. With the hood open, locate the oil cap featuring the familiar oil-can symbol and carefully remove it. Using a funnel to avoid spillage, gradually pour in the manufacturer’s recommended volume of fresh oil. Precision is key here, and your owner’s manual serves as an indispensable resource for accurate specifications based on your specific vehicle model.

Step 6: Check Oil Level and Verify for Leak

Check Oil Level and Verify for Leaks

With the fresh oil added, allow a brief interval for it to settle within the engine. This pause enables an accurate measurement of the oil level. Utilize the dipstick—a simple yet effective tool—to gauge the oil level accurately. Begin by pulling out the dipstick from its tube, then wipe away any residual oil using a clean paper towel. Reinsert the dipstick fully, then withdraw it again to observe the oil level. The oil should ideally align with the full marking on the tip of the dipstick, indicating that the level is within the appropriate range. Furthermore, ensure that the dipstick is reinserted securely to prevent any potential oil leaks.

Before concluding the oil change process, initiate the engine and allow it to idle for a few minutes. This step facilitates the circulation of fresh oil throughout the engine, ensuring that all components receive proper lubrication. During this idle period, take the opportunity to carefully inspect the area beneath the vehicle and around the oil filter for any signs of oil leaks. Vigilance at this stage is essential to detect and address any potential issues promptly.


In short, changing your car’s oil might consider a daunting task, but with the right instruction and interest in detail, it becomes accessible and rewarding. By following these comprehensive steps, you not only make contributions to the health and performance of your automobile’s engine but also gain a sense of accomplishment and self-reliance. Regular oil changes are an investment in the longevity of your vehicle, making sure smooth operation, improved fuel efficiency, and minimized wear and tear.