Changing the engine oil and oil filter is a crucial part of regular vehicle maintenance. Here’s what you need to know about this process:

1. Importance of Regular Oil Changes:

  • Engine oil lubricates and cools the engine’s moving parts, reducing friction and preventing wear and tear.
  • Over time, engine oil degrades, becomes contaminated, and loses its effectiveness. Regular oil changes are essential to maintain engine performance and longevity.

2. Recommended Oil Change Intervals:

  • The recommended oil change interval varies depending on the vehicle make and model, driving conditions, and the type of oil used. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific guidelines.
  • In general, conventional oil should be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles (4,800 to 8,000 kilometers), while synthetic oil can often last up to 7,500 to 10,000 miles (12,000 to 16,000 kilometers) or more.

3. Gather Necessary Tools and Supplies:

  • To change the engine oil and oil filter, you’ll need the following:
    • New engine oil of the correct type and quantity (consult your owner’s manual).
    • A new oil filter.
    • An oil filter wrench.
    • A drain pan.
    • A socket set or wrench.
    • A funnel.
    • Disposable gloves.
    • Rags or paper towels.

4. Safety Precautions:

  • Make sure the engine is cool before starting. Hot oil can cause burns.
  • Ensure the vehicle is on a level surface.
  • Use safety stands if you need to access the vehicle’s underside.

5. The Oil Change Process:

  • Locate the oil drain plug beneath the engine. Place the drain pan underneath it.
  • Loosen the drain plug using a socket or wrench and let the old oil drain into the pan.
  • Remove the old oil filter using an oil filter wrench, allowing any remaining oil to drain into the pan.
  • Apply a small amount of fresh oil to the rubber gasket of the new oil filter.
  • Screw the new oil filter into place by hand. Tighten it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Replace the drain plug and tighten it securely.
  • Use a funnel to pour the new engine oil into the engine.
  • Check the oil level on the dipstick to ensure it’s at the correct level.
  • Properly dispose of the old oil and oil filter at a recycling center or an auto parts store that accepts used oil.

6. Maintenance Records:

  • Keep records of your oil changes, including the date, mileage, and type of oil used. This helps you track your maintenance schedule and can be valuable when selling your vehicle.

7. Professional Service:

  • If you’re not comfortable performing an oil change yourself, consider taking your vehicle to a qualified mechanic or an oil change service center.

Regular oil and oil filter changes are essential for the health and longevity of your engine. Neglecting this maintenance can lead to reduced engine performance, increased fuel consumption, and potentially costly engine damage. Be sure to follow the recommended oil change intervals for your specific vehicle and use the correct type and quantity of oil.