How to Change Your Oil

How to Change your Oil Graphic

It might be intimidating, but learning how to change your oil is a useful skill!


The pesky oil change makes its way to the top of any car owner’s to-do list at least once a year, but often two or three times a year. While some car owners prefer to take their vehicle in to a dealership or shop, others would prefer to change their vehicle’s oil themselves. Luckily, oil changes are easy for any do-it-yourself car owner to do, whether you hope to save money or just enjoy working on your car yourself.

Here is how it’s done:

Gather your supplies. Start by referencing your user’s manual to make sure you purchase the right type of oil and oil filter (pay particularly close attention to the oil viscosity). If you don’t have your manual, Mobil Oil offers a useful tool to help you find the correct oil and filter for your car. Your manual should also tell you how much oil is needed – be sure to get enough. You’ll also need a car jack, car jack stands, socket wrench, rubber gloves, old towel or blanket, an oil drain pan, a funnel, and paper towels.

Prepare the car. You’ll find that the oil will flow out easier when it’s warm, so allow the car to run for a few minutes before starting. Once you turn the car off, go ahead and raise your car up with the jack, and be sure to use the jack stands for safety.

Drain the oil. Find the oil drain plug on the underside of the car, and place the drain pan right below it to catch the old oil. Make sure to put on a pair of rubber gloves, and then use a socket wrench to remove the drain plug. Allow all of the old oil to drain out before wiping the underside of the car with a paper towel and replacing the drain cap.

Replace the oil filter. Next, remove the oil filter, and install the new one. Follow the directions in your car’s user manual, since there are a number of different types of filters and procedures.

Refill the oil. Remove the oil cap from the top side of your car, and place the funnel inside. Pour the new oil inside the oil compartment until you’ve reached the amount specified by your owner’s manual, and replace the cap. Let your car run for several minutes, and then check your dip stick to make sure the oil is at the level it should be.

Be sure to properly dispose of the old oil, and voila! You’ve changed your car’s oil.

If oil changes just aren’t your thing, make an appointment at Lancaster Nissan, and we’ll help you out!

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