Caring For Your Car: How To Change Your Car’s Oil

Oct 26, 2022 | Auto Detailing, Uncategorized

As a car owner, learning how to change your car’s oil is an easy DIY that can help you save on car maintenance costs. Why pay hundreds of dollars for your mechanic to do something you can do in just a few steps?

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an avid revhead, popping the hood can be daunting. But changing your car’s oil is a beginner-friendly hack that saves you time and money, whilst keeping your car running at its best.

Why does your car need oil?

All cars with combustible engines require oil to run right. The oil acts as a lubricant to stop friction and wear between the engine’s parts moving against each other. Without oil, your engine can lose its fuel efficiency, waste power and degrade the engine.

Car oil has been formulated with certain ingredients to work. Over time, the oil will lose its lubricating properties and need changing.

Each car manual will provide you with what oil to use and how much. Engines are different model to model, so it’s important to check and make sure your oil change is going to help and not harm.

When to change your car oil

On average, most cars need their oil changed every 7,000-15,000 kms, which is likely every three to six months. However, this will be different depending on what car you drive. Your manual (or even a quick search online) will be able to tell you how often is right for your specific car.

There’s a few signs to look out for when your car is running that might tell you it needs an oil change as well. The oil might need changing if your car’s:

  • exhaust pipe is pumping smoke.
  • engine is louder than it has been.
  • running slow.
  • smelling of burnt oil when running.
  • check engine light is on.

All these signs could indicate the oil needs changing, as well as a range of other mechanical problems. If your car is doing any of these things, we’d recommend just checking to see if it’s the oil so you can fix it as soon as possible. Use your dipstick, a simple meter stick that measures your oil level which is accessed in the hood.

How to change car oil

Although navigating the car engine might seem like a major mission, changing car oil requires only a few more steps than topping up your petrol.

Your car stores its oil in the sump – a container that sits in the underside of your car. To change the oil, you’ll need to first start by emptying the old oil in the sump and then refill via the outlet under the hood.

You’ll need a few things to begin doing your own oil changes. These include:

  • ramps to stop the wheels
  • engine flush product
  • stumps and car elevator to jack up the car
  • oil pan
  • gloves
  • car oil
  • funnel

Start by emptying the sump first. You’ll need to:

  1. Stop your car from any chance of moving by putting the handbrake on, in park and chock the wheels with ramps. This guarantees your safety when you go under the car.
  2. Use an engine flush product to clean the oil system in the car. This maintains this part of the engine and removes any sludge or build up. You’ll need to run your car so the oil pipe can be flushed out.
  3. Prepare the car for you to access the sump by lifting your car onto stumps. Elevate the car to an appropriate height so you can safely get under and make the change.
  4. Drain the oil into an oil pan by unplugging the bolt. It’s recommended to use gloves to protect your hands.
  5. Once drained, you’ll want to ensure you safely dispose of the old oil.

Next, you’ll want to add the fresh oil. To do this, you need to:

  1. Pop the hood, and unscrew the oil cap. Your car manual should include a labelled engine photo if you need help finding it.
  2. Add the funnel to the oil opening.
  3. Pour fresh oil in. By using a dipstick you can meter when it is full.
  4. Run the engine to circulate the new oil through the car. 

And just like that, you’re done. This process tends to be finished in less than half an hour but has a huge impact on how your car runs as well as your wallet.

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