Oil Change Tips for Do-It-Yourselfers

Everything You Need to Know to Change Your Oil at Home

Your Step-By-Step Guide

So you want to try changing your vehicle’s motor oil at home and you’re looking for some help. SAF-T Auto Center in Wallingford, Connecticut is always happy to help our customers take their vehicle’s care into their own hands — as long as they are doing it properly and not causing any damages! Our technicians will gladly share all the information you need to safely change your vehicle’s motor oil. Let’s get started!

  1. Pull the car into a drive or garage on level ground. Let the car run to warm the oil for a few minutes before parking and turning it off.
  2. Place wheel blocks on the tires that will remain on the ground, then check your owner’s manual to locate the jacking points and jack up the vehicle on one side. Jack stands can be used on the other points to keep the vehicle safely in place. Always double check that the vehicle is safely secure before continuing!
  3. Put an oil recovery pan underneath the engine and use caution as the engine and/or exhaust could still be hot.
  4. You will need new motor oil, a new oil filter, new drain plug washer, oil filter removal tool, wrench for the drain plug, and rubber gloves to get started. Once you have your supplies, locate and remove the oil cap on top of the engine.
  5. Locate the oil pan underneath the car. It is a flat metal pan located close to the engine, not the transmission. Before removing the drain plug, make sure it is for the engine, not the transmission! Then you can loosen the plug using the wrench. It will take several minutes for the oil to drain completely.
  6. Once the oil is entirely emptied, put the new washer in the drain plug and tighten it back into place.
  7. Next, locate the filter assembly to replace the oil filter. Depending on your specific vehicle, it may be located on the front, back, or side of the engine. Make sure the oil recovery pan is underneath the filter to prevent any spills. Then, unscrew the old oil filter using the oil filter removal tool if you are unable to do it by hand.
  8. Prepare the new filter by rubbing some of the new oil on the gasket ring to lubricate and seal the filter. Then follow instruction on the box to tighten the new filter into place.
  9. Finally, you are ready to add the new oil! Check your owner’s manual to see how much you need to add for your specific vehicle. Make sure you are adding the correct oil for your vehicle! When you are finished, replace the fill cap and turn on the engine to make sure the oil pressure light is not illuminated. Leave the car in park or neutral to check for any leaks. Tighten plugs to prevent leaks.

Of course, if all of this sounds like too much work for you, you can always visit SAF-T Auto Center in Wallingford, Connecticut for a fast and easy oil change! We use the proper oil for your specific vehicle and safely dispose of it, so our customers don’t have to deal with any messes.

Written by SAF-T Auto Centers

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