Can I do an oil change myself?
Why do I need to change engine oil? Whether you’re new to working on your own vehicles, or you’ve been doing it for years; everyone has wondered this at some point. The fact is, engine oil is designed to be replaced and ensure a long life for the engine. It lubricates and cools the engine, and removes the minute particles shed during normal wear and tear.
With the help of a service manual and our wesbite, you can find the right oil and parts for your vehicle by using the My Garage tab at the top of this web page. All you need to do is punch in your rego and state or search by make, model and year. Once this is completed you will be suggested the right products to suit/fit your vehicle while searching our site.
Also, either purchase a workshop manual, or find a reliable source of information for your vehicle. Some modern vehicles may suffer engine failure if procedures are not followed.
Step 1 - Setup
Put vehicle in park or in gear, apply the handbrake, and chock the wheels. This must be on a firm, level surface. Grass is not stable.
Step 2 - Add engine flush
Before breaking out the tools, open the oil filler cap and empty the contents of the engine oil flush into the motor.
Now run the engine for the time recommended by the engine oil flush. Once the motor is turned off, you may wish to allow it to cool just a little before commencing.
Step 3 - Lift the car onto stands
Using a trolley jack and axle stands, raise the vehicle to a comfortable working height and place the axle stands under the chassis supports as per manufactuer requirements.
Then lower the car onto the axle stand to support the weight. Check the car is stable and not on the trolley jack before going underneath the vehicle.
Remove any splash guards that may be in the way - and locate the engine oil sump plug. Certain vehicles have the sump plug and transmission drain plug very near to each other, so check which is which against a workshop manual if necessary.
Step 4 - Drain oil
Fit a pair of gloves to protect your hands against engine heat and oil, and position a drain pan underneath the plug.
Loosen it off with the appropriate size socket or spanner and quickly remove the plug with your fingers and try not to drop it into the drain pan.
While you allow the engine oil to drain, clean up the sump plug and fit a new washer. This may be fibre or copper depending on your vehicle.
Step 5 - Oil filter removal
If you have a second drain pan, you can also remove the oil filter while the engine oil drains. The oil filter may be easily accessible from underneath the vehicle, or through the engine bay.
Make sure you’re ready to catch the substantial amount of oil which may spill from around here. Make sure the old O ring has come off with your old oil filter.
Step 6 - Installing filter & sump plug
Apply a touch of clean engine oil to the oil filter o ring. This is to prevent it binding up on application. Wipe the area around the filter housing clean of old engine oil.
Install the new oil filter on as per filter requirements. Your final step underneath the vehicle is replacing the sump plug. Tighten this to specification and replace any splash guards removed – then the vehicle may be lowered back down.
Step 7 - Top up with oil
Position a funnel and fill the sump until the oil level registers “full” on the dipstick. Replace the oil cap, start the engine and allow it to run for about one minute.
This will fill the oil filter and circulate around the engine. Now you need to check the oil level again - but allow the engine to sit for a couple of minutes to achieve an accurate measure. Top up the oil if needed - and keep checking until the oil level sits on the “full” mark.
That’s it! The old engine oil can be poured into the empty bottle which your new oil came in; and be disposed of at any Supercheap Auto store featuring an oil recycling bin. Give yourself a pat on the back, and have a read through some more DIY articles for further inspiration.
*Important information* - Click here to read more about our How-To terms and conditions.