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And then it happened. The light on the dashboard turned on. “CHANGE. OIL,” it sneered. Time for yet another oil change! I am not a fan of bringing my car to dealerships, sitting around waiting while my kids run wild, and paying an arm and a leg for someone else to touch my car. In our home, we are big proponents of DIY projects because there is just something satisfactory about taking care of things yourself, not to mention saving money and not leaving your possessions in someone else’s hands. I want to share this DIY oil change tutorial with Pennzoil courtesy of a certified engine mechanic…my husband.
We purchased the 5qt size for our 2009 Chrysler Town & Country Minivan. This is the amount most vehicles use. Don’t forget to check your vehicle’s owner manual (or sometimes even on your vehicle’s oil filter neck) to find out the size and grade oil needed for your oil change, then, while you are in the store, check the book provided by the filters to find the right filter for your vehicle’s make and model.
Taking care of your vehicle properly and regularly is important for peak performance, safety, and extending the vehicle life. Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil is great because it delivers complete protection for your vehicle, from cleaner pistons to better fuel economy. You will find it provides up to 40% cleaner pistons (than the toughest industry standards), an extra 500 miles to drive per year (vs. a dirty engine), power loss prevention, protection from friction and wear, great performance in low temperatures and protection from extreme heat. Plus, it is backed by a 10 year/300,000 mile Lubrication Limited Warranty. In fact, BMW has recently switched to Pennzoil and recommends it for its BMW engines.
As I mentioned above, my husband is a certified mechanic. He has been working on vehicles and engines for years, especially oil changes. I am helping him start a new section on my blog, Handyman Hacks, so I asked him to share this simple step-by-step oil change with you all. Our van was in need of an oil change already, so it was perfect timing. This oil change will be simple and in layman’s terms to make it easier for non-mechanics like you and me to understand.
Keep in mind, not all oil changes are alike. For instance, our VW Golf did not use the same oil change techniques as our minivan; however, this oil change is the basic for most vehicles.
Please use standard safety procedures when changing your oil. You should always refer to your own car’s manual before changing your oil.
What You Need
- Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil
- Oil filter meant for your vehicle
- Oil filter wrench
- Standard wrench assortment or socket set with ratchet
- Car jack
- Car jack stands
- Wheel chocks
- Oil drain pan
- Oil funnel
- Mechanic’s gloves (optional, but recommended if you are new to oil changes)
1. Turn on the engine and let it idle for about 5 minutes to get the oil to operating temperature, so the oil is thinner and will flow out faster. Turn the car back off after the 5 minutes.
2. Apply the parking brake and pop the hood.
3. Place wheel chocks behind the back tires to keep the vehicle in place. We just used some pieces of wood.
4. Prop the hood up.
5. One side at a time, find a good place to jack the car up, somewhere near the front tires, but not too close so you have room for the jack stands. Place the jack pad against the “pinch weld” which is the place where two pieces come together and are welded. Many vehicles will have it labelled with a triangle or something like “Lift point.” Pump up the jack enough to comfortably work under the vehicle. Keep in mind that you will need to leave room for the car to rest on the jack stands.
6. Place the jack stand on the same pinch weld near your jacking point and the front tire. Slowly, relieve the car jack pressure and lower the car onto the jack stand. Do the same for the opposite side of the vehicle.
7. Pull out the oil dipstick some (this piece usually has a yellow ring and a picture of the oil light you see on your car dash.) This will allow air to fill the void that the oil is leaving when you drain it, helping the oil drain out faster. Undo the oil cap at this time too.
8. Place the oil drain pan underneath the drain plug below the vehicle. The drain plug is located on a pan-shaped piece on the bottom side of the engine.
9. Here comes the dirty part. You will either want to wear gloves or keep a rag handy. Find a wrench or socket that fits onto the drain plug, then turn it counter clock-wise to remove it. Initially the drain plug will be tight, but once you bring it past the tight feeling you will want to finish removing it with your hands. Be cautious and prepared to move your hand out of the way as the oil will be hot and come out quickly.
10. Use a rag to wipe down the drain plug.
11. After the oil has finished draining into the pan, re-install the drain plug until it’s snug, taking care not to over-tighten.
12. Move the drain pan from under the drain plug to underneath the oil filter. Remove the oil filter by using the oil filter wrench.
13. Wipe off any old oil from the oil filter adapter (what the oil filter screws onto.)
14. Lube up the “O-ring” (the big rubber ring that sits on top of the oil filter) on the new oil filter with new oil and partially fill the filter with some oil. Using a rag and your hand only (as the wrench for this step will break it), install the new filter in place of the old one, half-turn past snug.
15. Place an oil funnel into the oil filler neck (the hole you took the cap off of) and pour your new Pennzoil Platinum in.
16. Replace the oil cap and the dipstick then start your engine. Check for any new oil leaks under the vehicle. If there are none, remove the drain pan.
17. Turn off the engine then lower the car back down onto its wheels (just as we did at the beginning, lift the vehicle with the car jack, remove the jack stands, and slowly lower the vehicle back to the ground, one side at a time.) This will give the oil time to make its way back down into the oil pan.
18. Do a quick oil check using the dipstick to make sure you are on the “full” mark.
19. When your oil change is complete, you need to recycle your oil. A great tip is to pour your old oil into the now empty oil container to store it. Take your old oil and oil filter to most automotive stores and they will recycle it for you for free.
20. Read your owner’s manual to see how often your vehicle needs an oil change with this type of oil (the standard for most vehicles is 3,000 miles for conventional oil and 5,000 miles for synthetic) then make a note of the mileage your car will be at when it requires another oil change. Keep the note near the dashboard or somewhere you can see it.
You’re done, you slick mechanic you. Great job! Bookmark this tutorial for your next oil change and the one after that, until you get the hang of it.
– Have you ever changed your own oil? Will you now, using this tutorial? Let me know in the comments below. Watch the video provided for some more great tips! I will probably videotape my husband talking us through an oil change when we need one next, so subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay tuned.
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