How-To Guide: Changing Engine Oil and Oil Filter

Regularly changing your car’s engine oil and oil filter is one of the most crucial maintenance tasks to ensure optimal engine performance and longevity. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of changing the engine oil and oil filter, providing you with essential knowledge and confidence to perform this essential task on your own.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

Before you begin, ensure you have the following tools and materials ready:

– New engine oil (Check your car’s manual for the recommended oil type and quantity)

– New oil filter

Oil drain pan

– Socket wrench with the correct socket size for the oil drain plug

– Oil filter wrench

– Funnel

– Rags or paper towels

– Oil filter gasket or O-ring (if required)

Necessary Tools and Materials For Oil Change

Step 2: Prepare Your Vehicle

Park your car on a level surface and engage the parking brake. Allow the engine to cool for a few minutes to ensure the oil is not too hot to handle. If your vehicle has been running, give it enough time to let the oil settle in the oil pan.

Prepare Your Vehicle

Step 3: Locate the Oil Drain Plug

Underneath your car, locate the oil drain plug, which is usually at the bottom of the engine oil pan. Position the oil drain pan directly beneath the drain plug to catch the old oil.

Locate the Oil Drain Plug

Step 4: Drain the Old Engine Oil

Using the socket wrench, carefully loosen and remove the oil drain plug. Be cautious as the oil may be hot. Allow the old oil to drain completely into the oil drain pan. Once the oil has fully drained, replace the oil drain plug and tighten it securely.

Drain the Old Engine Oil

Step 5: Remove the Old Oil Filter

Locate the oil filter, which is typically on the side of the engine. Use the oil filter wrench to loosen and remove the old oil filter. Allow any remaining oil to drain into the oil drain pan. Before installing the new oil filter, clean the filter mounting surface with a rag.

Remove the Old Oil Filter

Step 6: Install the New Oil Filter

Apply a thin film of new engine oil to the rubber gasket or O-ring of the new oil filter. This will help create a good seal. Hand-tighten the new oil filter onto the engine, making sure not to overtighten it.

Install the New Oil Filter

Step 7: Add New Engine Oil

Using a funnel, pour the recommended amount of new engine oil into the engine oil filler opening. Refer to your car’s manual for the correct oil quantity. Once you’ve added the oil, double-check the oil level using the dipstick to ensure it is within the recommended range.

Add New Engine Oil

Step 8: Check for Leaks

Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes to circulate the new oil. Check for any signs of leaks around the oil drain plug and oil filter. If you detect any leaks, stop the engine immediately and recheck the installation of the drain plug and oil filter.

Step 9: Properly Dispose of the Used Oil

Transfer the used oil from the oil drain pan into a suitable container for recycling. Do not dispose of the used oil in the trash or pour it down the drain. Many auto parts stores or recycling centers accept used oil for proper disposal.


Changing your car’s engine oil and oil filter is a straightforward task that contributes significantly to your vehicle’s health and performance. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to perform this essential maintenance confidently, ensuring a smoother and more efficient driving experience. Always remember to consult your car’s manual for specific instructions and adhere to recommended maintenance intervals for the best results.