It should go without saying that if you have a car, then you’ll need to change the oil and its oil filter eventually. Periodic oil and oil filters changes are a must to keep an engine running at optimal levels and extend its lifespan. You should know how to replace an oil filter and engine oil every 3000 miles or 3 months, depending on which comes first. This is a fairly straightforward job and you can save the expense of having a mechanic do it by taking the DIY route.
An oil filter change is usually never unaccompanied by an oil change. This should never be performed within 2 hours of the car being used, lest you be scalded by hot engine oil. Likewise, the dipstick may not give you an accurate reading, even if you do know how to replace an oil filter. However, the engine can be run at low speeds for up to 3 minutes before you begin so that the oil is thinned and eases the oil-draining process. The front of the car should be jacked up in order to provide access to the oil drain. For safety, place axle stands under the front axles to support the weight of the car.
Always have a drip cloth ready for any messy eventualities. Wearing gloves also prevents your hands from getting too greasy when you remove the oil pan drain plug. This is done by turning the plug counter-clockwise with the boxed end of a wrench or a socket wrench. Catch the drain plug when it dislodges and inspect its sealing washer. A worn or broken seal should be replaced with a new one. Allow the oil to drain out completely, reinstalling the plug and tightening it by hand before wiping it clean.
The oil filter is usually found around the oil pan of the engine, although this may vary between cars. Use a large locking wrench to remove the filter by turning it counter-clockwise. It is recommended to use safety gloves and eyewear when this is done. The removed filter is allowed to drain while the oil filter seal surface on the mounting flange of the engine block is cleaned and free the old filter’s rubber gasket. The new oil filter is “sealed” with a thin layer of motor oil on its rubber gasket before it is installed and tightened by hand.
To finish, about 4 to 5 quarts of new motor oil is filled in through the fill port. The car is run for about a minute before it is shut off and the engine allowed to stand for 2 minutes to allow for accurate inspection of the new oil level with the dipstick.