How to Change your Engine Oil and Oil Filter

by Andrew Automoto2. January 2014 15:29

Coolant, water, transmission, brake fluid and gasoline are all important fluids for your vehicle, however no other fluid can cause more negative effects to your vehicle’s engine, than oil if you do not maintain it properly. Overtime the heat of your oil will break down and reduce its lubricating assets, but checking your own engine oil is one of the easiest Automobile maintenance actions you can learn.


Changing your engine oil is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your vehicles performance.

Here are a few steps to ensure your changing your engine oil correctly and safely:


  1.   Before changing your engine oil wait two hours since the vehicle was last running. This will give time for the oil to cool down. Hot oil can burn you badly.
  2.   Gather all the equipment and supplies that you will need for this procedure; Oil pan/container and a socket wrench, but ensure that the socket is a 6 point socket to reduce damaging the plug
  3.   The drain plug is a large nut or plug located under the oil pan at the bottom of the engine, if you are unable to locate it, crawl under it or jack up your vehicle. Be sure to open the hood of the car and remove the oil filter cap on top on the engine as it will help the oil drain easier.
  4.   Place an oil pan below the drain plug and unscrew the plug. Hopefully all the oil will drain into the pan.
  5.   When draining the oil from your vehicle be sure to wear a glove or a cloth as oil drains out as soon as you unscrew the plug.
  6.   Let all the oil drain out then replace the drain plug, onto the underneath of the vehicle
  7.   Now you need to remove your old oil filter. Turn the oil filter anticlockwise until it’s free. Be careful it will be full of oil still.
  8.   Make sure to put the old engine oil aside so you can drop it off at a service station that accepts used oil – Do not put it in your weekly garbage or tip it down the drain. The oil must be disposed of correctly!
  9.   Empty the oil from the filter into a drain pan, after the filter is empty, wrap it in newspaper and set it aside to take it to the recycling centre.
  10.   Before screwing the new filter in, smear the new oil around the gasket ring of the new filter and to be sure the old filter didn’t leave a rubber ring behind as it will not let the new filter seal properly and will leak.
  11.   Fill the oil filter with oil to about 2/3 of the way. It’s okay if there’s more it just means it may spill when you screw the filter back in.
  12.   Screw the new oil filter into place as tight as you can by hand but no more. Don’t use a wrench.
  13.   Now pour your new oil from the top of your engine using a funnel to avoid any spill, slowly pour the rest oil in until you reach the ‘full’ line on the dipstick. This can take some time so as your pour the oil in, take small breaks so the oil can drain through.
  14.   Place the oil filter cap back on and run the engine for 30-60 seconds, and check if there are any leaks from the oil drain plug and around the filter.
  15.   Turn off your engine and wait roughly 5-10 minutes for the oil to settle into the oil pan and then check the oil level, wipe it with a clean rag and place it back in and pull it back out again to check if there is a golden brown colour to it. If so then your oil change has been successful and you are ready to go!



For information on the different types of oil and brands see - Oil Types

For information on when to change your Engine oil see - Oil Services

For information brands on oil filters, and when to change your oil filters see - Oil Filters

If you would like to speak to a licensed mechanic or dealership to make an appointment for an oil change service alternatively go to 


 ‘The information provided in this article is for general advise only.  It is not intended for instructional use.  Use of the information is at your own risk.  We recommend you seek the advice of a trained professional.'