Changing your own engine oil and filter can save you a lot of money, and it’s a super simple task. This guide will help you complete the job correctly and safely.
What you'll need
Alongside some basic garage equipment and hand tools, you will require an oil filter, oil filter removal tool, engine oil flush, sump plug washer, and of course; the correct grade and amount of oil for your vehicle.
A Supercheap Auto team member can help you select all of this.
A firm, level surface is essential to complete this job safely. Put the vehicle in park or in gear, apply the handbrake - and chock the wheels.
Before breaking out the tools, open the oil filler cap and empty the contents of the engine oil flush into the motor.
Now run the engine for the time recommended by the engine oil flush. Once the motor is turned off, you may wish to allow it to cool just a little before commencing.
Using a trolley jack and axle stands, raise the vehicle to a comfortable working height.
Remove any splash guards that may be in the way - and locate the engine oil sump plug.
Certain vehicles have the sump plug and transmission drain plug very near to each other, so check which is which against a workshop manual if necessary.
Before going any further, consult a workshop manual for any instructions specific to your vehicle – as modern vehicles may suffer engine failure if strict procedures are not followed.
Step 1 - Drain Oil
Fit a pair of gloves to protect against engine heat and oil, and position a drain pan underneath the plug.
Loosen it off with the appropriate size socket or spanner and quickly remove the plug with your fingers and try not to drop it into the drain pan.
While you allow the engine oil to drain, clean up the sump plug and fit a new washer. This may be fibre or copper depending on your vehicle.
Step 2 - Oil Filter Removal
If you have a second drain pan, you can also remove the oil filter while the engine oil drains.
The oil filter may be easily accessible from underneath the vehicle, or through the engine bay.
Make sure you’re ready to catch the substantial amount of oil which may spill from around here.
Step 3 - Installing Filter & Sump Plug
Apply a touch of clean engine oil to the oil filter o ring. This is to prevent it binding up on application. Wipe the area clean of old engine oil, and thread the new filter on.
Your final step underneath the vehicle is replacing the sump plug. Tighten this to specification and replace any splash guards removed – then the vehicle may be lowered back down.
Position a funnel and fill the sump until the oil level registers “full” on the dipstick. Replace the oil cap, start the engine and allow it to run for about one minute.
This will fill the oil filter and circulate around the engine. Now you need to check the oil level again - but allow the engine to sit for a couple of minutes to achieve an accurate measure. Top up the oil if needed - and keep checking until the oil level sits on the “full” mark.
Your old engine oil can be disposed of at most Supercheap Auto stores featuring an oil recycle bin.
You have now completed your own basic service and can rest easy with the knowledge of a job well done.
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