How to change your car's engine oil

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Oil needs to be changed regularly as without oil, your car’s engine will gradually come to a standstill. This sounds scary but changing your car’s engine oil is easy once you know how. 

Step 1 - Tools needed to change engine oil

Making sure you get the right tools will ensure that changing your car’s engine oil runs smoothly.
• Firstly, check your car’s handbook to see what grade of oil and quantity you need
• The tools you need include:
     o Torch
     o Basin
     o Funnel
     o A box-end wrench or socket
     o Hand wipes
     o Old newspaper
     o Two ramps or jack stands to lift the car safely above a level piece of ground

If this already sounds too scary and you aren’t sure how to raise your car securely, it’s better that you go to a professional mechanic. Oil and filter changes usually start from around £30 although this is often included if you have your car serviced. 

Step 2 – Changing the oil

• Run the engine for 5 minutes or so to warm the oil up
• Raise the car securely using the two ramps or jack stand & lift the bonnet
• Leave the car in first gear (or park if you have an automatic car)
• Line the ground with old newspaper and position the basin below the oil drain plug bolt
• Using the box-end wrench or socket, undo the top oil cap and then loosen drain plug bolt below
• The oil will gradually drain out into the basin once the plug is unscrewed and carefully removed – be careful as it may be hot
• Next, reinstall the plug by hand & tighten up the bolt using the socket or wrench once the flow has finished
• Use the funnel to carefully pour in the replacement oil into the oil cap on top of the engine

Step 3 – Clean up

• Do not put oil from the basin down the drain, it needs to be disposed of at specific locations like recycling/waste depots. You can find out more on your council’s website.
• Insert the funnel into the empty oil bottle & pour the basin contents in & secure the lid
• Place the bottle into a carrier bag or two to ensure no leakages
• Check under the car for any spillages before lowering the jacks
• Before starting the engine check that oil levels are ok.

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