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How To Change Your Oil

How To Change Your Oil

Save some money and have fun working on your own car!

In addition to the tools listed below, you will need something to jack your vehicle up such as ramps, or jack and jack stands; and a piece of wood to block off your rear tyres. (Alternatively, you can just drive your vehicle up onto a curb high enough for you to get under the vehicle to drain the oil).


  • Socket Set that has a ratchet and sockets
  • Oil Filter Wrench
  • Rubber Gloves to protect your skin from the oil
  • Paper Towels for cleaning up
  • Oil and Oil Filter (check your owner’s manual for the right products) - Options available here
  • Oil Catch Pan so you can recycle your old oil
  • Funnel
  • A breaker bar, just in case your oil drain bolt is hard to get off
  • Jack Stands

An oil change has 3 basic parts –

  1. You need to drain the old oil: Ensure your automatic car is in “Park” or you manual car is in “first” gear, and the handbrake is on. Place a block of wood behind a rear tyre so the car doesn’t roll. You now need to jack (lift) your car up. (Your owner’s manual will tell you exactly how to jack your car up). Once the car is raised; using ramps, a jack or the curb, you now have plenty of room the get under the car. Once under the car, locate the oil drain plug, which is a bolt attached to the oil drain pan. Before unscrewing the bolt, ensure your oil collection pan is placed ready to catch the draining oil. Once the old oil has drained, replace the bolt and wipe clean the drain area.

  2. You need to change the oil filter: In some vehicles the oil filter is located under the car next to the oil drain plug. Other vehicles the oil filter is located under the bonnet next to the motor. Your owner’s manual will tell you where to locate your oil filter. Remove the old oil filter, either unscrewing by hand (or if it’s a little tight, using a wrench). Once again, ensure the oil collection pan is placed ready to catch the draining oil. Fill the new filter with oil and lubricate the gasket at the top of the filter to prevent leaks, then just reinstall it into the vehicle. Tighten firmly by hand, there is no need to use any tools to tighten the new oil filter.

  3. You refill with correct new oil: Add the new oil while the car is still elevated. That way you are not starting your engine with no oil in it. (The owner’s manual will show you where to locate the oil plug). Clean around the plug to ensure no dirt falls into the cavity when you remove the cap. Refill the engine with brand new oil by pouring through a funnel to ensure no oil spills anywhere on other engine parts. Replace the oil plug, start the engine to ensure no oil lights are on, then lower the car on to level ground. Let the engine cool down again, then check the oil using the dip stick.