How to Change Your Car Engine Oil? | How to add Oil to Car Engine?

An engine is a most vital part of your vehicle. It is known as the heart of the vehicle. The proper maintenance and repair of the engine are very important for the proper operation of the vehicle. The proper supply of oil is very important for the proper operation of the engine. Therefore, you must change your car engine oil on time. This article explains to you how to change engine oil in your car?

What is Engine Oil?

The engine lubricant or engine oil is a combination of different additives and base oils used for the lubrication of moving engine parts. It helps to ensure the proper operation of the engine.

car engine oil

The oil properly lubricates the engine moving parts and ensures their proper operation. It reduces the wear and tear of the moving parts. It helps to lower the engine temperature and prevents it from overheating.

Why Is Engine Oil Important?

The proper supply of engine oil is important because of the following reasons:

  1. This oil properly lubricates the moving parts of the engine.
  2. It reduces the friction, wear and tear between the moving parts of the engine. It makes a thin layer between the moving parts of the engine, stops the full contact between the metal parts, and extends the engine life. If your engine doesn’t have oil, the metal-on-metal contact will destroy your engine.
  3. It prevents the engine from overheating. It extracts the engine heat and transfers this heat to the radiator from where it sends to the heating system.
  4. The engine oil also helps to remove the contamination from the engine.

What are the signs of low or insufficient engine oil?

Following are the signs of low engine oil in your vehicle:

  1. Engine overheating: The engine oil function is to prevent the engine from overheating. As your vehicle doesn’t have oil or has a very low level, the engine temperature starts going up, and it overheats.
  2. Reduction in engine Performance: As the oil level goes down, the engine performance starts going down. This is a clear symptom of low engine oil.
  3. Low oil warning light on the car dashboard: Your car dashboard has a gauge that represents the oil level.
  4. Strange noises: The oil reduces the wear and tear of the moving parts. It prevents the full metal-on-metal connection. Due to insufficient oil, the moving parts start making contact with each other and generate noises.
  5. Engine parts damage: The oil prevents the engine parts from damage. As your parts start damaging, it means your vehicle has an insufficient amount of oil.
  6. Oil pressure warning light: The oil pressure warning light is located on your car dashboard. As your oil level goes down, this light starts trimming.
  7. Excessive Mileage: In case of low oil, the vehicle engine travels up to a low distance than normal.
  8. Engine knocking: There are multiple reasons of engine knocking. The low level of oil may also cause of engine knocking.
  9. Smoke from exhaust pipe: As the oil leaks into the combustor of the engine, it starts burning with an air-fuel mixture. Due to oil burning, your car emits smoke from the exhaust pipe.
  10. High consumption of fuel: As your vehicle doesn’t have sufficient oil, it starts consuming more fuel than usual. This is a clear sign of low oil.
  11. Burning oil smell: If you notice a burning oil smell, immediately stop the car and inspect the system. This means your oil is leaked into the combustion chamber. This oil burns with the air-fuel mixture, which generates an unpleasant smell.
  12. Car Stalling: The oil prevents the engine from stalling issues. As your oil level or oil pressure goes down than the designed level, the engine starts stalling, which may completely destroy the engine.

How to Change the Oil in Your Car?

Oil changing is not a tough job. If you hire labor for this work, they may charge a high amount. Therefore, you must change the oil on your own.

car engine oil change

Follow the below-given steps to change engine oil in your car:

  1. Gather Supplies
  2. Selection of Oil
  3. Discharge the old Oil
  4. Tight the drain Plug
  5. Replace the Oil Filter
  6. Pour in Fresh Oil 
  7. Oil collection

1) Gather Supplies

Before starting maintenance or service work, you must have the necessary supplies. As you will have all the necessary supplies, you can perform your job comfortably.

To change the oil of your car, you must have the following equipment:

  1. To remove the drain plug, you must have a properly sized box-end wrench, usually metric.
  2. Oil filter wrench to remove the oil filter
  3. A funnel to add oil to the car.
  4. Oil drain pan to collect the waste or old oil.
  5. A jack and jack stand for lifting more.
  6. New oil
  7. New oil filter
  8. Gloves

2) Selection of Oil

You must choose the best suitable oil according to the nature of your car. Your oil must have good viscosity. For more information about oil, follow the instructions written on your car manufacturer manual.

3) Discharge the old Oil

You shouldn’t change the oil of your engine when it is hot. If your engine is hot, wait for a few minutes and let it cool. Before starting the process, you need to make sure the exhaust is cool as well.

As the engine cools, start the process and trace the oil drain plug. Sometimes, you need to lift the car through a jack and place it on a jack stand for easy access. If your car has a splash guard, you must remove it.

Now place the drain pan below the drain plug and remove the oil filter cap for an easy drain. Wear gloves, remove the drain plug, and put it into the drain pan.

4) Tight the drain Plug

After full removal of the old oil, it’s time to close the drain plug tightly. Before tightening the plug, clean the drain plug to ensure a tight closure. Install the drain plug to the correct specifications, but you can’t easily find torque requirements in the manufacturer’s manual.

A 3/8″ ratchet is most commonly used to tighten the plug. If you use a larger one, you may over-tight your drain plug.

5) Replace the Oil Filter

Remove the oil filter by using a special wrench. You may do this process over a drain pan because this is a confusing job due to that oil may remain in the filters.

Apply a small amount of new oil to the O-ring of the new filter. To change the filter, follow the below steps:

  • First, rotate the filter.
  • As the O-ring gets in touch, the filter should be three-quarters tight.
  • You shouldn’t overtight the filter. Overtightening may prevent the filter from being removed at the next oil change.

Some vehicle engines have oil filters on the top. In this case, you should replace the filter before draining the old oil. This makes easy drainage of the oil and allows more oil to drain into the oil pan.

6) Pour in Fresh Oil 

After the installation of a new oil filter and drain plug, it’s time to add new oil to the engine. Follow the instruction manual to ensure you are using the correct type and amount of oil.

Use a funnel to introduce fresh oil into the engine oil filter. The funnel makes an easy oil pouring process.

After adding an appropriate amount of oil, reinstall the cap back in its original position and turn on the engine for a few minutes to allow full circulation of the oil.

Turn off the engine and recheck the oil level. If the oil level is lower than the desired level, add more oil. If the car is on a jack, you need to lower the car first to level the floor.

7) Oil Collection

Collect the used oil into a large saucepan and place it in a safe place if you want to reuse it.

Important Tips for Car Oil Change

Follow the below given important tips while you change the oil of your car engine.

  1. Don’t change the engine oil at a very high temperature of the engine. If the engine is very hot, wait at least 15 to 20 minutes to avoid burns. As the engine cools as normal then start the oil changing process.
  2. If your engine is more cold than normal, run the engine for just 4 to 6 minutes to warm up the oil.
  3. Tight the filters by hand. Don’t employ a filter wrench to tighten the oil filter.
  4. Take a correct size box-end wrench (usually metric) to remove the drain plug. Don’t use a socket or adjustable wrench to remove the plug.  
  5. Always use a jack and jack stand to lift the car. You should not work under a vehicle that is lifted solely by a jack.
  6. Place the oil bottles in a line required for filling so that no volume is lost on the way.
  7. Apply new oil to the new oil filter gasket before turning it.

How much does it cost to change car engine oil?

The car engine oil replacement cost depends on many factors, such as the area where you live and the labor cost.

The average cost of car engine oil and filter change is from $30 to $70. If your car uses synthetic oil, then you may need to pay high. The cost of the synthetic oil change is from $55 to $135

If you change the oil yourself, you may need to pay only $20 to $55 for the supplies.

Synthetic oil cost$55 to $135
Average cost$30 to $70
Supply cost$20 to $55

FAQ Section

What is the Function of the Engine oil?

The car engine oil uses to lubricate the various moving parts of the engine. The main function of the engine oil is to reduce wear and friction of the rotating parts, remove the contamination from the engine and prevent the engine from overheating.   

How to Change Oil Filter?

Follow the below-given steps to remove and replace the oil filter of your car:

  1. First of all, remove the old oil from the drain plug to the drain pan.
  2. After full removal of the old oil, use a wrench to remove the oil filter.
  3. Use a piece of clean cloth or rag to remove the contamination and split oil from the engine mounting surface.
  4. Take a new filter and properly lubricate the O-ring of the filter with new oil.
  5. Now, tight the filter by hand but no more than another½ or ¼ turn. Don’t use a filter wrench to tighten the filter.
  6. Don’t overtight the filter. Overtightening may prevent the filter from being removed at the next oil change.

What are the symptoms of low Engine Oil?

Following are the symptoms of low engine oil:

  1. Car Stalling
  2. Engine overheating
  3. Burning oil smell
  4. Reduction in engine Performance
  5. High consumption of fuel
  6. Low oil warning light on the car dashboard
  7. Smoke from exhaust pipe
  8. Strange noises
  9. Engine knocking
  10. Engine parts damage
  11. Excessive Mileage
  12. Oil pressure warning light

How Long Does a Car Oil Change Take?

If you don’t change the oil yourself and take your car to a workshop, you may have to wait for at least 15 minutes for the oil to be changed. However, these specialists change the oil on a daily basis. Therefore, they will change your car engine oil very quickly. In fact, they can change the oil of your car in their sleeping condition.

If you change the oil yourself, it may take longer. If you are changing it the first time, it may take about an hour to learn the details of the process.

As you learn the process, you will perform this process very quickly next time. In general, the oil change process of maximum vehicles doesn’t take more than 30 minutes.

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