Experts say you should change your oil every 3,000 miles, but with
better products and cars operating more efficiently, I think you can get
away with changing it every 5,000 miles. Whichever benchmark you decide
to use, you can save time and money by handling the change
yourself. Before you start, keep in mind these precautions:
change your oil when your engine is hot. Park, wait for it to cool, and
then get started. Driving around the block to heat the car and loosen
the oil can result in a more effective drain, which is good news, but
you must let the engine cool before going to work.
- You’ll have to jack up your car, so make sure you’re comfortable safely handling a jack.
Now that you’ve covered safety first, it’s time to get a little dirty.
- Get under your car and locate the vehicle’s oil pan. It shouldn’t be hard to find.
- Unscrew the drain plug and drain all of the old oil into your oil pan.
- Once all of the oil is drained, replace the drain plug.
back to your engine and remove the old oil filter with your oil filter
wrench. (Be careful, because the oil filter contains some old oil as
- Lubricate the rubber gasket on the new oil filter with some new motor oil.
- Fill the new oil filter about two-thirds of the way with new oil.
- Screw in the new oil filter. Hand-tighten it only.
- Fill the engine with new oil, using your funnel.
- With a dip-stick, double check your oil level to be sure you’ve added enough.
- Discard the old oil filter and recycle the old oil (most gas stations will take it).
your oil is the dirtiest job on the list, but it might be the most
rewarding too. Though you can find plenty of quick-service stations
nearby, when you think about going possibly four times a year, the
expense and time commitment adds up.