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How To Change Your Car’s Oil

By Stewart Manning

Changing your own engine oil is a task that most owners can easily do themselves. It is important not to attempt to change your oil until your vehicle has had a chance to cool down. If you have driven your vehicle wait at least 2 hours before attempting to change your oil.

Park your vehicle on a hard, flat surface and jack it up using the correct jacking points. Always place axle stands under the vehicle, so that should the vehicle slip off its jacks you will not be crushed by it.
Open the vehicle’s bonnet and remove the oil-filter cap. The cap has vents in it, if they are clogged fit a new one.

Put newspaper under the car and place a large bucket under the sump nut to catch the oil with. Slowly unscrew the sump nut with the appropriate spanner. Remember to keep your face out of the way of the sump nut, because oil will spurt out as soon as you loosen the nut. Remove the nut and wait for all the oil to drain into the bucket. Pour the used oil into a screw top container with the aid of a funnel and take it to a local garage for disposal.

It is a good idea to change your oil filter at the same time as changing your oil. Unscrew the oil filter anti-clockwise, you may need to use a chain wrench to do this. Have some rags to hand to mop up any oil that escapes. Wipe a thin layer of oil around the rubber seal and screw the new filter into place with your hand.

Once all the oil has drained and you have replaced your oil filter replace the sump nut. Remove the axle stands and jack the car down. Pour in the new oil gradually, stop after each litre, wait 30 seconds and check the level of the oil using the dipstick. Once you have enough new oil in the car, make sure it is not leaking out through the filter or sump. Then replace the cap and close the bonnet. Start the engine and check that the oil warning light goes out. Run the engine for 2 or 3 minutes and check again for leaks.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Manning, Stewart "How To Change Your Car’s Oil." How To Change Your Car’s Oil. 7 Oct. 2010. 30 Apr 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Manning, S (2010, October 7). How To Change Your Car’s Oil. Retrieved April 30, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Manning, Stewart "How To Change Your Car’s Oil"

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