How to Change Oil in a Car

September 21st, 2018 by

oil change
Your car needs engine oil to remove contaminants, lubricate moving parts, and prevent overheating. As a result, drivers often end up asking:

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  • How do you change a car’s oil?
  • How often should you change your oil?
  • What happens if you don’t change your oil?
  • How much does an oil change cost?
  • How can you reset your oil change light?

Read on for the answers to all your burning oil change questions!


How to Change Your Oil in Less than 5 Minutes

Beyond the new oil and oil filter, you’ll need:

  • Something to catch the oil
  • A ratchet to take the oil plug off
  • Gloves to keep your hands clean
  • A funnel to put the new oil in
  • Paper towels to clean everything up

Now simply follow these steps:

  1. Find the oil plug at the bottom of the oil pan.
  2. Check your owner’s manual to find the oil filter.
  3. Unscrew the oil fill plug to let air in and force the oil out quicker.
  4. Slide your oil catch container under the oil plug, then unscrew the plug.
  5. Let it drain.
  6. Get the oil filter off. Rub oil from the old filter around the O-ring of the new filter.
  7. Hand tighten the new filter.
  8. Put the drain plug back in.
  9. Refill with new oil using your funnel.
  10. Put the oil cap on, and then check the oil level. Top off if necessary.

When you start the engine, the oil pressure gauge should go up. You’re now good to go!

4 Common Oil Change Questions

How often should you change your oil?

Follow manufacturer recommendations, or change when the oil looks dirty or the level is low.

What happens if you don’t change your oil?

Your engine won’t be properly lubricating, so overheating and excessive wear is likely. This is just one of the many ways you could inadvertently kill your car.

How much does an oil change cost?

For a professional oil change, expect to pay between $20 and $50, or up to $70 if you want synthetic oil.

How can you reset your oil change light?

This will depend on the specific make and model. Simply check your owner’s manual for instructions.


Find Out More by Contacting Your Local CarHop Today

Whether you need to know how to remove scratches, how to change transmission fluid, or simply how to replace your windshield wipers, we’re happy to provide DIY car care tips. Visit your nearest location to find out more, or if you’re in the market for a new-to-you vehicle, view our extensive inventory of used cars.