Changing your oil when needed ensures your vehicle will live a long and healthy life. It not only helps the engine works exactly as it should, but it also prevents possible damage under your hood in the future. And best of all, you can do it right from your own home. To help drivers in the Philadelphia, Doylestown, and Mechanicsburg area, Fred Beans is here with our handy oil change guide. Below, you’ll find when to change your oil based on your vehicle, as well as a step-by-step how-to guide on changing your oil from home.
How Often Do I Need to Change My Oil?
Oil change intervals differ depending on what engine you have, what oil is used in your vehicle, and many other factors including your environment and driving habits. However, we have provided a strong estimate of when you need to change your oil in our graph below.
|Vehicles with Turbocharged Engines||Every 3,000 Miles|
|Vehicles Using Conventional Oil||Every 3,000 to 5,000 Miles|
|Vehicles Using Synthetic Oil||Every 7,500 to 10,000 Miles|
|Vehicles with Diesel Engines||Every 10,000 to 15,000 Miles|
To ensure your car’s oil is being changed when it needs to, you can refer to your owner’s manual for your specific manufacturer’s recommendation. Additionally, checking your oil level and consistency once a month is a good idea to make sure everything is healthy under your hood.
What You’ll Need for a DIY Oil Change
To change the oil in your vehicle properly, you’ll need some tools. Luckily enough, all of these items can be found in your garage or at your local auto parts store. Along with clean rags, work gloves, safety glasses, and cleaning solution for afterward, you will also need to obtain the following:
- Oil Filter Wrench Set
- Oil Catch/Recycle Container
- New Oil & Filter
- Car Jack & Jack Stands
How to Change Your Oil in 10 Easy Steps
Step 1 – Prepare Your Car
The first step to change your oil is ensuring it is in a safe and flat space, making it easy to work for you. Nest, park your vehicle, put on the e-brake, and run your engine for five minutes. This will warm up the oil and make it easier to drain. Now, turn off your vehicle.
Step 2 – Jack Your Car Up
Once your car is jacked up, make sure to place it on sturdy jack stands, as the jack alone will not safely support the full weight of your car. You also want to make sure that you place these stands under the strongest part of your frame for added security.
Step 3 – Find Your Drain Plug
The oil drain plug is typically near the front center of the engine, but be careful, because some vehicles have more than one. Once you find it, place your oil pan underneath and loosen it using your wrench. Make sure your pan is positioned properly, as the oil drains at an angle.
Step 4 – Unscrew the Plug & Drain the Oil
Next, fully remove the plug by hand. While unscrewing it, push it back towards the pan to prevent the oil from rushing out. Once you’re ready, remove the plug from the hole completely to drain the oil. To speed things up, you can remove the filter cap that is found on the top of your engine.
Step 5 – Replace the Oil Plug
Once the oil is drained, tighten the plug back on using your hand then finish up with your wrench to ensure it is secure. Make sure to always use a new drain plug gasket and don’t over-tighten the plug.
Step 6 – Remove the Old Filter
Move your oil pan under where oil filter to catch any oil that may remain there and unscrew it using a filter wrench. Then, take a clean rag and clean the mounting surface, making sure the o-ring and the old filter are not stuck to it or the engine.
Step 7 – Install the New Oil Filter
Using your hand, screw in the new filter and lightly coat the rubber seal with fresh oil. Next, lower your car off the jack and jack stands.
Step 8 – Add in the New Oil
With your car lowered, it’s to clean your oil filter neck and pour in some fresh oil using a funnel. Check with our owner’s manual or a professional to see exactly how much new oil your car will need. To make sure you don’t experience an overflow, fill up to three-quarters and replace the cap.
Step 9 – Run the Engine
When your car is running, check the area around the oil drain plug and the filter to see if there are any leaks. If you spot one, turn off the engine right away and fix it. After any issues have been resolved, take out your oil dipstick and see if you need to add any more oil into your vehicle.
Step 10 – Dispose of the Used Oil
The old oil in your pan can’t be disposed of just anywhere. Bring it to a recycling center or to an auto parts store to take care of it for you, as these are the only legal methods available.
Important Oil Changing Tips:
- Read your owner’s manual to ensure you are using the correct type of oil and filter.
- Record the date and mileage after you change the oil somewhere easily visible in your vehicle. This will let you know when your car is due for its next oil change.
- Handle hot motor oil with extreme caution.
Skip the Work – Get Your Oil Changed at Fred Beans Today!
Whether you do not have the right tools, are worried about properly changing your oil, or just want a professional to take care of it for you, we have you covered. To schedule an appointment at our authorized service center, contact us today! We proudly serve Philadelphia, Doylestown, Mechanicsburg, and nearby areas.