How to Change Your Oil

It’s important to change your oil every few months or every few thousand kilometres (depending on your vehicle). Learn how to change your oil in five easy steps.

Oil Changes 101

Your vehicle’s motor oil helps to keep your engine purring and your car running efficiently. Over time, the oil becomes contaminated and stops working as well as it needs to, so it’s important to change your oil regularly to keep your car running smoothly. Remember: each car is different, so you should always refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions and precautions, and you should always use extreme caution when lifting or jacking. 

How to Change Your Oil


You’ll Need:

• Vehicle jack and jack stands, or driveway ramps
• Wheel chocks (to prevent your vehicle from rolling)
• Oil filter wrench
• 6-pt socket wrench (to remove the drain plug)
• Torque wrench
• New motor oil (see your owner’s manual for recommended oil grade, specification and amount)
• New oil filter
• Oil catch pan (plastic or metal) that can hold at least 2 gallons of oil
• 1–2 plastic containers (such as gallon milk cartons)
• Funnel
• Safety glasses
• Old rags and/or paper towels
• Rubber gloves (recommended)

Step 1: Prepare your vehicle

First, park your vehicle on a level surface or ramp, engage the parking brake and turn off the engine. If you haven’t parked on a ramp, raise the front of the vehicle by jacking it up and supporting it with jack stands, and set your wheel chocks in place. Next, pop the hood and remove the dipstick to help the oil drain.

Step 2: Drain the oil

Once your vehicle is safely and securely supported, put on safety glasses and crawl under to find the engine’s oil pan. Never get under a vehicle supported only by a jack.
Look for the oil drain plug, which is a long bolt head at the bottom of the pan. Position a container, like an approved oil catch pan, under the plug, and drain the oil. 
Tip: make sure your catch pan is big enough to hold all the oil. 

Step 3: Change the oil filter

Before you change the filter, position the catch pan underneath the filter to catch any residual oil remaining inside. Then use the wrench to loosen the oil filter or the oil filter cap, and allow the oil to drain from the filter. Next, remove the oil filter, and make sure the gasket comes off too. If it’s still clinging to the engine mounting plate, remove it as well as any remaining residue. Use some of the new oil to coat the gasket so it will install smoothly onto the engine.

Step 4: Change your oil

Make sure the drain plug is securely in place, then remove the oil fill cap and pour the oil in with a funnel. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended grade, specification and amount of oil to use. Once you change your oil, replace oil fill cap.

Step 5: Check the oil

Start the engine and let your car run at idle for minimum of 30 seconds. Carefully inspect under the vehicle for any oil leaks (especially by the oil drain plug and the oil filter). If you see any leaks, shut off engine immediately and repair them.
Next, with the engine off allow 30 seconds for the oil to settle. Carefully check the area beneath the vehicle for oil leaks. If there are no leaks, safely lower your vehicle to level ground. Lastly, check the dipstick for proper oil level, and add more oil if necessary.

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This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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