Hey, Tuxlee here. I’ve traveled to tons of Advance stores and automotive events, and one thing people always ask me about is changing their own oil. (My parents say I’ve done so many oil changes since I was a puppy that it turned my fur jet black—it’s a small badge of honor to me actually). I also hang out with some pretty knowledgeable people, and I’ve picked up a few tips over the years that will make your next DIY oil change a breeze, whether it’s your first time or if you’re on your 70th bottle.
My first tip is to buy a good pair of latex or nitrile gloves to keep your
paws hands nice and clean. With the oil type, you have a few options on whether to go conventional, synthetic blend, or full synthetic (there’s also high mileage varations). I suggest you first stick with your car’s recommended oil viscosity—this is usually printed on your engine’s oil cap, or if not then in your owner’s manual—and then go from there. Conventional oil gets the job done, but synthetic oil lasts longer and performs better under heat and cold. I like both types, so you can read more about it here to see what works better for you.
Oil Change Tools and Supplies
Alright, you have your oil. You’ll need a few other supplies, all of which are sold at your local Advance store. P.S. You can get awesome deals on oil filters when you buy one of our oil change specials!
While you’re in the store, grab a free reminder decal to record the date and mileage of your next expected oil change. Or write it down in your car maintenance journal like I do.
(Regular filters go with conventional oil, heavier duty filters pair better with synthetic oil)
•Oil filter wrench
(Some can get by using their hands or an old belt, but this is good to have)
•Oil drain plug gasket or crush washer
(Keeps leaky drips away)
•Oil drain pan
(So your oil doesn’t end up all over the driveway)
•Wrench for drain plug
(Look in your owner’s manual to find the size you need)
(For a smooth, no-mess pour. Trust me you’re going to need this)
(To wipe off old oil and keep things neat)
(I don’t like barking out orders, but safety first!)
(Unless you want to look like a black Yorkipoo)
Oil Change Steps
Now you’re ready to give your car some tender love and oil!
1. Securely raise your vehicle on ramps or jack-stands (use a jack lift for the latter). Makes sure to put blocks behind your tires. If you can safely get under your vehicle without needing to raise it, then go for it.
2. Warm up the engine for a couple minutes to get the oil warm (but not too long or the oil will be hot). Raise your hood and open the oil cap on top of your engine to let the old oil drain faster.
3. Get under the car and position your drain pan under the oil plug (account for the initial stream of oil shooting out further than directly under the plug).
4. Using your wrench, loosen the plug a few turns. Then finish loosening the plug with your hand, quickly pulling it away when the oil is starting to drain out. Be careful of hot motor oil (gloves help in this case).
5. Wipe the drain plug while the oil drains and inspect it for bent or broken threads. Replace the sealing washer if cracked or worn, or use a new metal crush washer if needed.
6. After the oil has drained (give it 10-30 minutes for a good drain if you have the time), wipe away oil residue from the oil pan and put the drain plug back in. Tighten it firmly, but don’t overdo it. Your owner’s manual will have the exact torque required.
Do me (and other animals) a favor, clean up oil leaks and don’t dispose of oil in your yard, streams, or waste-water drains. Your favorite Advance store will safely dispose of your used oil for free! Available at most of our 3,500 stores (unless prohibited by law).
7. Reposition your drain pan by the oil filter and remove it using your oil filter wrench (or hand if it will budge). Some wrenches work from the end, while others wrap around the filter.
8. If your filter still won’t budge, puncture it with a screwdriver at its lowest point to drain, then use the same screwdriver to spin off the filter. A little more oil will come out when you spin off the filter, so have your rags handy.
9. Apply a film of clean oil to the top of the new filter gasket. Then spin the filter on using only your hand. Go ¾ of a turn after you feel the gasket make contact with the engine after spinning it on.
10. Double check the filter and drain plug for tightness, then fill your engine with the recommended viscosity and amount of motor oil. (Again, your owner’s manual will provide this).
11. Determine your oil level using the dipstick, then check for any leaks. Start the engine and check for leaks again. Bring used motor oils to Advance for proper disposal or recycling.
Well, that’s a wrap. You can now safely do your own oil change or you learned some tips. Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?!
Find satisfaction in knowing you’re taking good care of your car. Your car will be sure to return the favor! For more oil change tips and a helpful video, click here.