- If you are wanting to start changing your own oil to save some money, follow these 5 tips to ensure that you’re successful.
- Make sure the oil is the right temperature before you drain the oil pan.
- Purchase a drip pan to catch the oil and prevent any large spills.
- Use the proper grip wrench to remove the oil filter more easily.
- Chose the appropriate oil weight and dispose of the old oil properly.
If you’ve taken your vehicle to a local mechanic when maintenance is needed, you’ve certainly noticed how expensive it can be. It’s not always the price of the tools or the parts that inflate the cost. Rather, it’s the manual labor required to make the repairs.
Perhaps you want to learn how to change your own oil to save some money, but you’re a little intimidated by the intricacies of the car’s engine. Read on to discover 5 tips that can help you be successful during your first oil change.
Tip #1: Allow the Oil to Reach the Right Temperature
You’ll want to make sure you don’t burn your flesh when changing your oil so if the engine has been running, let it sit for 20-30 minutes before changing the oil. If the engine is cold, turn it on and let it run for 2-3 minutes. This will allow the oil to flow more easily without scolding your skin if it touches you.
Make sure you are wearing a pair of rubber gloves and have plenty of towels nearby to clean up any spills. Oil can be very slick and also hard to wipe up if you have an accident.
Tip #2: Make Sure You Have a Dependable Drip Pan
More than likely, you’re going to make a mess if it’s your first time changing your oil. Even if you’ve changed your oil before, accidents happen so it’s best to be prepared. Always use a drip pan to catch the old oil.
One of the best types of drip pans is one that has a funnel top. It guarantees the cleanest oil change as long as you take your time and place it just right. Other cheaper drip pans will do the trick, but oftentimes spending a little extra money makes a huge difference.
Tip #3: Use a Grip Wrench to Remove the Oil Filter
Oil filters can be a pain to remove sometimes. Getting frustrated can certainly discourage you from wanting to change your oil again, so look into buying a grip wrench to help change the oil filter. If you’ll only be changing the oil in one vehicle, you can invest in an end cap wrench for one specific size.
If you’ll be changing the oil in more than one vehicle, look at purchasing the 3-jaw adjustable wrench. It’s very versatile and easy to use regardless of the tight space you may be working in.
Tip #4: Chose the Appropriate Oil Weight
Different vehicles use specific weights of oil for their engines. Most modern vehicles will have their oil weight printed on the top of the oil cap. If yours doesn’t, simply look for a sticker under the hood that displays this information.
It’s very important that you use the correct weight for your vehicle. The engine along with other parts of the engine are manufactured with specific oil weights in mind. If the wrong oil is used, it could cause significant damage. If you live in colder climates, consult your local mechanic to determine what oil weight you may need to use to preserve your engine.
Tip #5: Dispose of Oil Properly
There are specific ways in which you’ll need to dispose of your old oil properly. Getting rid of your oil the right way is not only good for the environment but some states actually have laws regarding how oil is to be disposed of. There are even some services that will come to your house to pick up and recycle your oil for you.