How to Change Engine Oil

Changing your car’s engine oil is one of the most important maintenance tasks to keep your car running smoothly in the long term. It may seem difficult, but changing your oil at home is easy if you have the right tools and patience. This guide will show you step by step how to do this.

What you need: Tools and materials

Get the tools and items you need before you start:

Engine oil: Your owner’s manual will tell you which type to use and how much.

Oil filter: Make sure the oil filter fits your car.

Wrench: Oil filter wrench and socket sets and wrenches.

Oil drain pan: This is where the old oil goes.

Funnel: The new oil is placed here.

Gloves: Wear gloves to keep your hands clean and avoid contact with hot oil.

Jacks and jack stands: Raise your car safely.

Rags or paper towels: Use a cloth or paper towel to wipe up spills.

New oil drain plug washer: You don’t need to buy a new drain plug gasket, but if you want to stop leaks, you should.

Process Step by Step:

1. Prepare Your Car

First, park your car on a level surface and apply the handbrake. When changing the engine oil, it is best to do this when the engine is just warm. This is because hot oil is lost more quickly. After driving for a while, turn off the engine and let it cool enough that you can touch it.

2. Raise the Car

If necessary, raise the front of the car with a jack and use jack stands to hold the car in place. Before you get under your car, make sure it is stable.

3. Locate the Plug that Drains the Oil

Find a plug that will allow the oil to drain from under the car. There is a large nut or plug on the bottom of the oil pan that does this. To collect the old oil, place the collection container directly under the plug.

4. Pour Out the Old Oil

To loosen the drain plug, wear gloves and use a socket wrench. Once loosened, carefully remove it by hand. Be prepared for the oil to flow out quickly. This may take a few minutes, but let the oil drain completely into the pan.

5. Remove the Oil Filter

Locate the oil filter when you drain the oil. It is usually a cylindrical part attached to the engine block. Use an oil filter wrench to open and remove the old filter. Be careful, it may contain oil. Set the old filter aside until you need to dispose of it.

6. Install the New Oil Filter in Place

A little new oil should be applied to the rubber cap on top of the filter before installing it in place. This helps create a good seal and allows for easy removal when you need to change the oil. Install the new filter by hand until it fits snugly, then rotate it a quarter turn.

7. Return the Oil Drain Plug to Its Original Position

Once all the old oil is gone, clean the area around the drain plug hole with a rag. Prepare a new drain plug gasket and place it over the plug. Then screw the plug back into place by hand. Use a socket wrench to tighten it, but be careful not to over-tighten and damage the threads.

8. Add Fresh Oil

Locate the oil cap on top of the engine and remove it. Using a sieve, slowly pour new oil through the holes. You will find the correct amount of oil for your engine in the owner’s manual. It’s best to start with a little less than you think you need and then add more as needed.

9. Make Sure there is Enough Oil

After adding new oil, replace the filler cap and run the engine for a few minutes. Leave the engine off for a while to allow the oil to settle. Then check the oil level with the dipstick. There should be oil between the “low” and “full” marks on the tester. When the oil level becomes low, slowly add more oil until you reach the correct amount.

10. Remove and Clean Up Old Oil

Use paper towels or rags to clean up spills. Make sure you dispose of old oil and oil filters properly. Most auto parts stores and gas stations can recycle used oil and filters.

More Tips:

  • Scheduled Maintenance: Change your engine oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, or as directed by the vehicle manufacturer. It is very important to change the oil in your engine regularly.
  • Buy Quality Products: Spend money on quality oil and filters. Although they cost a little more, they protect and work better.
  • Check for Leaks: After changing the oil, regularly check under your car for signs of leaks. A leaking drain plug or oil filter can cause serious damage to your engine if not repaired immediately.
  • Record the Date and Mileage: Remember when you changed your oil and how many miles you’ve driven since then. This can help you remember when to change your oil in the future, which can be useful knowledge if you decide to sell your car.


Changing the oil in your car’s engine is a simple job that can save you money and help you learn more about your car. Doing these things can help keep your engine well lubricated and ensure it runs smoothly. Changing your car’s oil regularly is an important part of your car’s maintenance and helps extend its life. With some practice, you will be confident that you can perform this important task.


1. How often should I change my car’s engine oil?

Most car manufacturers say you should change your motor oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, but you should check your owner’s manual to see how often they say the oil should be changed. How you drive and the type of oil you use can also determine how often you need to change your oil.

2. Can the oil drain plug washer be reused after changing the engine oil?

In most cases, a new drain plug gasket should be installed every time the oil is changed. Gaskets stop leaks and ensure a good seal. Because oil leakage can occur if an old or damaged gasket is reused, it is best to purchase a new one.

3. Does the new oil filter need to be filled with oil first?

Before installing the new oil filter, it is a good idea to put oil in it first. This reduces the time it takes for the oil to reach the engine parts after the engine has been started, preventing them from wearing out too quickly. Just add a little oil to the filter and lubricate the rubber seal before putting it in place.

4. Can different brands or types of motor oil be mixed?

Mixing different brands or types of motor oil is not a good idea as it can reduce the oil’s performance or even damage the engine. For best results, use the same type and brand of motor oil as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

5. What to do with old engine oil and oil filter?

To keep the environment clean, used engine oil and oil filters must be disposed of properly. Reusing oil and filters is easy at many auto parts stores, gas stations and recycling centers. For exact instructions on how to properly dispose of these items, please contact your local recycling center or dump site.