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Changing Your Oil

Updated on June 18, 2006

Hope you like getting messy

    First things first is you have to go to your local automotive parts store and get your oil, and oil filter. Be sure to have your vehicle information such as the year, model, and engine size. Once you get your parts all you have to do is raise the front of your vehicle up by lifting it with the proper tools, or parking the front tires on something a little higher then the back tires so that you can crawl underneath. Locate the oil drain plug by looking for the bottom of the engine finding the lowest point, there should be a plug there so that all the oil comes out. Make sure you have a proper dish to put your used oil in. 

    Once you're ready to drain it, find the proper size of socket to remove the plug. If you have a Ford, it will usually be a 13mm, 15mm, 16mm, or 19mm (diesel). If you drive a foreign car it usually is a 17mm, 19mm, or 14mm. Now that you have the right socket, remove the plug by turning it counter clockwise, it may be hard break loose because when bolts sit for a while, they lock up. After you remove the plug, just wait 5 to 10 minutes for the oil to completely drain. After it is does reinstall the drain plug by first screwing it in by hand then once you get it started you should use your socket or wrench. Be sure to start it by hand first because if you do not, you may cross-thread the drain plug and damage the seal, this can cause oil leaks and engine damage. 

    Once the oil pan is all plugged up, remove the oil filter by using your hand and turning counter clockwise or an oil filter wrench if you have one. You can buy these at most hardware and large superstores such as K-mart and Wal-mart. When removing the oil filter watch out for oil that is in the filter, it can drip in different directions by the way you tilt the filter. After the old filter is off you then need to put a thin later of oil around the seal of the new filter. By doing this it creates a seal against the engine so that no oil will leak. Be sure that the old seal is not still stuck to the engine. Tighten the oil filter by hand until nice and snug.

    You're almost done, all you need to do now is add oil to your vehicle. If you arent sure how much oil to add, put in one quart at a time and check on the oil dip stick if it is marked yet. If it is not then keep adding oil. Once the oil reaches the full mark on the dip stick, start the vehicle and let it run for about a minute then turn it off. Wait another minute and check the oil again and add if needed.

    And thats it, be sure to dispose of your used oil and filter in the appropriate waste areas.  Always use caution when under a vehicle there is a risk of the vehicle falling or being very hot. If you have been driving for a long time then you should wait 20-30 minutes before draining the oil because the oil can be hot and cause burns. Changing your oil every 3000 miles is a very good rule to go by. 

Ford's Oil and Oil Filter
Ford's Oil and Oil Filter


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    • Misha profile image

      Misha 10 years ago from DC Area

      Great info, as usual. I always service my cars myself, unless there is something that requires very special tools/equipment. At some point I considered the amount of dirty work involved with oil change, and compared this to $12-15 job price tag in my area. I stopped doing oil changes for good...

    • kpfingaz profile image

      kpfingaz 10 years ago from ~~~

      Good solid info. Cool hub. Nice graphics too.


    • profile image

      wajay_47 11 years ago

      You've got a very well written set of instructions for oil changes and the graphics are nice. Good hub.

    • jamestedmondson profile image

      jamestedmondson 11 years ago from San Francisco

      You should listen guys, he's in Auto.