How to Change Oil in a Car

September 21st, 2018 by

oil change

Part of owning a vehicle is performing regular maintenance or scheduling a service appointment to have someone do it for you. One of the easiest things you can take care of in your vehicle is changing the oil. 

First of all, what is oil? Your car, truck, SUV or van needs engine oil to remove contaminants within the engine that build up over time of use. Engine oil also lubricates moving parts in the engine which helps from 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?


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 such as a drip pan
  • A wrench to take the oil plug off
  • Gloves to keep your hands clean
  • A funnel to put in the new oil
  • Paper towels to clean up when finished

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?

How do you know when to change your oil? According to AAA, the average distance most people drive before changing oil is between 5,000 and 7,500 miles. Each vehicle make and model are different, however, so you’ll want to follow manufacturer recommendations or consult your mechanic.

What happens if you don’t change your oil?

If you don’t change your oil, complete engine failure is highly likely, especially if it goes on for far too long without being changed. Your engine won’t be properly lubricating, so overheating and excessive wear is likelyThis 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 $35 and $75 for a standard oil change. If you vehicle takes synthetic oil or if that is what you prefer, an oil change can cost you or upwards of $65-120

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 or find a quick internet video of someone explaining how to do it for your car.


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.