How to change your oil | PEMCO

June 8, 2023 by PEMCO Insurance

GettyImages-1325588832.jpgRegular oil changes are crucial for maintaining the health and performance of your vehicle's engine. By keeping your oil clean and fresh, you can ensure proper lubrication which will, hopefully, extend the lifespan of your engineTo save money, you might be considering changing your oil by yourself for the first time. While it might seem like a daunting task, it’s a relatively easy thing to DIY. 

Our experts have given us an easy, step-by-step process for changing your motor’s oil on your own. 

How often should I change my oil? 

Determining how often to change your oil depends on various factors, including the make and model of your vehicle, your driving habits, and the type of oil you use. As a general guideline, it’s recommended to change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or every three to six months, whichever comes first. However, it is advisable to consult your vehicle's owner's manual for the manufacturer's specific recommendations. 

How to change your oil, step-by-step: 

  1. Gather the necessary tools and materials: 

  • New oil filter 

  • The appropriate type and amount of engine oil 

  • Oil filter wrench 

  • Oil drain pan 

  • Funnel 

  • Gloves 

  • Jack stands or ramps 

  • Wrench or socket set 

  • Shop towels or rags 

  1. Prepare your vehicle: 

  • Park your vehicle on a flat surface and engage the parking brake. 

  • Place jack stands or drive your vehicle onto ramps to elevate it, providing enough space to work comfortably underneath. 

  1. Locate the oil drain plug: 

  • Consult your owner's manual to identify the exact location of the oil drain plug. 

  • Position the oil drain pan beneath the plug. 

  1. Drain the old oil: 

  • Use a wrench or socket set to loosen the oil drain plug in a counterclockwise direction. 

  • Allow the old oil to drain completely into the oil drain pan. 

  • Once drained, tighten the drain plug securely. 

  1. Remove the old oil filter: 

  • Using an oil filter wrench, loosen the old oil filter in a counterclockwise direction. 

  • Unscrew it by hand and allow any remaining oil to drain into the oil drain pan. 

  • Wipe the filter mounting surface clean with a shop towel. 

  1. Install the new oil filter: 

  • Apply a thin layer of new oil to the rubber gasket on the new oil filter. 

  • Screw the new oil filter onto the engine by hand until it's snug. 

  • Use the oil filter wrench to tighten it an additional 3/4 turn. 

  1. Refill with new oil: 

  • Locate the oil filler cap on the top of the engine and remove it. 

  • Place a funnel into the oil filler hole. 

  • Pour the recommended amount and type of new oil into the engine, as specified in your owner's manual. 

  • Allow the oil to settle for a few moments, then check the oil level using the dipstick. Add more oil if necessary. 

  1. Clean up and check for leaks: 

  • Wipe any spilled oil from the engine and surrounding components with a shop towel. 

  • Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes, checking for any signs of leaks around the oil filter and drain plug. 

  • Once you’ve confirmed there’re no leaks, you’re done! Job well done. Pat yourself on the back. 

Changing your oil regularly is a fundamental maintenance task that can significantly impact the performance and longevity of your vehicle's engine (what a great way to worry less and live more!). We hope that this guide allows you to confidently change your oil and help keep your engine running smoothly, just in time for a summer road trip

Remember to consult your owner's manual for specific instructions and recommendations tailored to your vehicle. 

For more vehicle maintenance tips, check out these articles: 

10 DIY car maintenance tasks you can tackle | PEMCO 

What to do if you get a flat tire ( 

Prevent car breakdowns ( 

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