When and How to Change the Oil in Your Car

When and How to Change the Oil in Your Car

Changing your engine oil is part of your routine car maintenance but you don’t need to change the oil every month. Every engine is built differently and the right interval of oil change varies with every car. Some people will tell you that the engine oil needs to be changed every three months or five months, while some will tell you that it needs to be changed after every 3,000 miles or 5,000 miles.

To find the standard interval of an oil change, check your car’s manual. The car manufacturer puts in all required information about your vehicle care in the car’s owner manual so you won’t need to look elsewhere. However, that is not enough as a lot depends on other factors as well like short commutes, hard driving and the environment. Here are few signs that indicate that it might be time for an oil change.

Oil is Black and Dirty

New engine oil is amber in color and its color changes with time. If the oil looks dark black, it needs some inspection as a black color is not a true indication of an oil change. Take some oil between your fingers to see if it feels coarse or if you can feel dirt particles mixed in with the oil. If the answer is yes, it is the right time to change the oil.

Engine is Noisier

When the oil is in good condition, it lubricates the moving parts of the engine more effectively and the result is less friction and less noise. If the car engine is noisy or knocking, you need to check the condition of the oil. If the engine oil is thick and black in color, it means it cannot provide adequate lubrication to engine parts so you need to change the oil as soon as possible.

How to Change the Engine Oil

You need to make some preparations before changing your engine oil. Here are some things you will need:

  • New engine oil. You need to buy only the recommended engine oil type and have adequate refill quantity on hand.

  • Engine oil filter. You need to buy the right type of oil filter. Information about the right type of oil, oil filter and refill quantity is given in the owner’s manual.

  • A wrench set and oil filter removal tool

  • An empty tray

If the engine has been idle for a long time, start the engine for a few minutes and then shut down the engine. Make sure the engine is warm and not too hot. This is done specifically to warm up the engine oil inside to facilitate draining

  • Jack up the car and locate the oil drain plug

  • Place the empty tray below the oil drain plug

  • Use the proper size wrench to loosen the oil drain plug and remove it completely

  • Let the oil drain completely and then fit the oil drain plug in its place

  • Loosen the oil filter and remove it

  • Take a new oil filter, fill it with new oil and then drain the oil

  • Fit the new oil filter in place

  • Remove the oil cap located above the engine and pour the new engine oil in until the oil level inside the tank is at the recommended specification

  • Close the oil cap and you’re done