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» How to Change Your Oil

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How to change the oil in your car.
How to change the oil in your car.
Car care can cost a bundle, but there are some relatively simple tasks that you can take on yourself to save some money.

By performing your own oil changes, topping off fluid levels, and checking your tires periodically, you can maintain peak performance and make the most out of your gas mileage.

Follow these tips to learn how to change the oil in your car and avoid another trip to your maintenance mechanic.

Get all of your materials together first. One of the most important things you may not realize you need is a pair of jack stands. These help to stabilize the car before you get underneath. It’s not safe to get under a car that’s only supported by a jack, so don’t do it!

You’ll need the following materials:

  • About 6 quarts of oil (check your manual for the correct amount)
  • A replacement oil filter
  • A wrench
  • Something to drain the oil into. Yes, you can use an old bucket or pan, but consider what you’re going to do with the oil once it’s drained. You can buy oil drainage pans that will seal so that you can properly discard the oil.
  • A rag
  • A funnel

Instructions for changing your car’s oil:

  1. Run the car for at least ten minutes to get the oil hot and ensure better drainage.
  2. Locate the oil drain plug. It’s usually found right at the front of the car, on the bottom of the engine. Put down your oil receptacle and remove the plug. Remember that the oil that comes out is going to be hot. Clean off the plug and the plug opening, and then replace the plug.
  3. Locate the oil filter. It’s usually right on the side of the engine. Put your oil receptacle under the filter to catch any oil still remaining in the system, and then remove the filter. Clean off the exposed area where the filter attaches. Use a little oil to lubricate the rubber seal on the new filter, and then screw it into place.
  4. Locate the oil filler cap, which should be right on top of the engine. Open it and put your funnel into the opening. Pour in your new oil and replace the cap.
  5. Turn the car on and let it run for a minute or so. Turn it off, remove the keys just to be safe, and check the oil level with the dipstick. Add more oil if necessary. Check the plug and filter to make sure that there are no leaks and adjust them if necessary.
  6. Clean up. Use a rag to wipe away any oil that may have spilled and make sure to discard the old oil safely at your local recycling center; never dump oil in the sewage drain!

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