One of the most important procedures you must perform regularly to keep your car in top shape is to change the engine oil and filter. The oil in your car works in the same way as the blood in our body – through its circulation in the engine, the whole system functions smoothly and efficiently. Timely oil and filter change is a guarantee of long life of your car engine and its uninterrupted operation.
When it is time to change engine oil (the recommended interval between changes is specified in the instruction manual for the car), you have two options: contact a specialist, for example, service stations to change the oil yourself using this manual.
The equipment you will need in the process:
- Motor oil. Use our engine oil selection tool to find out which engine oil you need. Be sure to check your vehicle’s owner’s manual, which contains the manufacturer’s recommended specifications, viscosity grade and filling volume.
- New oil filter.
- Removal of the oil filter.
- Sealing washer (ring) under the filter.
- A socket wrench of the appropriate size.
- Wrench for oil filters.
- Tank for old used oil, e.g. pallet.
- Protective gloves and goggles.
Step 1: Prepare the vehicle for the replacement process.
Before draining the oil, start the car and leave the engine running for 1-2 minutes to allow the oil to warm up a little so that it can be drained more easily. Replace the engine at a suitable location. For heavy or light commercial vehicles, inspection pits or overpasses are usually used. In the case of light vehicles, a garage or driveway will be suitable. It is very important that the car stands on a flat, stable surface.
If you have a passenger car, you can use a jack to lift it. Remember, however, never lie under a car that only holds the jack, be sure to use a lifting support and observe safety regulations.
Step 2: Drain the old engine oil.
It is recommended to remove the oil filler cap, which will make it easier to drain oil from the engine at a later date.
Find the oil drain plug. To do so, inspect the car from below. It is usually located at the bottom of the crankcase oil sump. If the crankcase guard is fitted to your vehicle and there is no special maintenance opening on it, it must be removed. Place a container for used oil under the oil drain plug. Loosen the drain plug with the Allen key by turning it counterclockwise. Then gently remove the plug and allow the oil to escape.
Proceed with care, as engine oil can be hot.
When the oil has leaked out, wrap the plug in place manually and then tighten it a quarter turn with the key.
Step 3. Replace the oil filter.
Leave a container for old oil under the machine and find an oil filter. Loosen the oil filter with the key by turning it counterclockwise. Remove the filter manually.
Before installing a new one, apply some engine oil to the new gasket (check your car’s owner’s manual) so that it does not stick and crack and is a good protection against oil leaks.
Install and secure the new filter manually.
Step 4: Fill in the engine oil
When the oil filler cap is removed, pour oil through the oil filler cap into the engine. Use a funnel to avoid spillage of oil. After filling, close the cover and wipe off oil leaks from the surface. Start the engine and let it run for about a minute to allow oil to circulate.
Step 5: Checking the oil level
Turn off the car engine, pull out and wipe the dipstick. Load it up and pull it out to make sure the oil level is normal. If necessary, top up the oil to the correct level.
Step 6. Cleaning and Disposal
Once you have carried out the replacement work, it is essential to clean up. Pour the oil from the container into an old container or any other suitable container and put the used filter in a plastic bag.
The best way to get rid of old engine oil is to dispose of it. Never dispose of used oil and used oil filter in household waste bins. Often service stations will accept old oil and oil filters free of charge.
Step 7: Write down the oil change date and mileage.
To know when to perform the procedure next time, be sure to record this data and remember to change the oil regularly.
Usually engine oil is changed every 10,000 km of mileage* and at least once a year. The oil filter should be changed every time the oil is changed.
*Always check the vehicle’s owner’s manual for recommended oil change intervals according to the vehicle’s operating conditions.
(Optional) Several stories:
A person bought a foreign car (I won’t specify which one. Maybe it’s not even a foreign car at all.) Driving to a dealer is expensive, the service does not allow pride. But you have to change the oil. We ran ten thousand kilometers, it’s time to roll up our sleeves. Theoretically, everything is simple, I leaked the old one, flooded the new one.
In practice, the owner of the car still came to service, only with another problem: the gearbox is humming. Listen, make sure – it’s humming. The first thing was to check the oil level in it. The gearbox turned out to be “dry”. The service asked: what were you doing with the car? Nothing, the owner answers, but he changed the engine oil. He did it himself. With his own hands. With these, dudes, gold hands.
Yeah, I got a clue. They started checking the engine oil. Anyway, the picture is clear: the drain plug turned the boxes out of the crankcase and the oil was added to the engine. Three liters. Why check his level with a feeler gauge? That’s right, don’t! It says three liters in the manual, I measured it and poured it in. Bottom line: the box is empty, the engine has six litres of oil. The box was saved, the oil was poured, the rumble passed. And the engine was lucky, the oil seals didn’t squeeze out. They poured six liters of cocktails of old and new oil, filled the new one.
Attention, a question: how it is possible to do so, if during replacement it was necessary to unscrew the filter (oil still a little bit, but it leaked out) and to check at least twice oil level on a probe? That’s what I don’t know.
Well, it’s a much more prosaic picture. I have a comrade who heard a knock in the engine a few kilometers after replacement. He did everything right, but forgot to wrap the drain plug and check the level after replacement. The price of inattention was higher here.
Such consequences (let’s say – rare) can turn out, if you do not pay due attention to the operation. Therefore, the wizard from the service is right in something: if the impulsive nature does not allow you to approach the work with proper attention or you confuse the gearbox crankcase with the crankcase internal combustion engine, it is better to go to the service. You’re not convinced? Then let’s move on.