How Do You Change the Oil in a Car?

To change the oil in a vehicle, remove the oil plug and allow the oil to drain into an approved container. Replace the oil plug, and install a new oil filter before adding new oil. Changing the oil in a vehicle typically takes about an hour.

  1. Raise the vehicle

    Drive the vehicle onto wheel ramps to raise it, or jack the vehicle up, and secure it with jack stands.

  2. Remove the oil plug

    Before removing the oil plug, position an approved container for the used oil under the oil pan. Use the owner’s manual to locate the oil pan, and remove the bolt attached to the bottom of the pan with a box-end wrench. Allow the used oil to drain into the container.

  3. Replace the oil plug

    If necessary, replace the drain plug gasket with a new one, and then replace the plug.

  4. Change the oil filter

    Locate and remove the oil filter, and replace it with a new filter.

  5. Refill the vehicle with oil

    Add the recommended amount and type of motor oil to the vehicle. Remove the oil fill cap near the engine to add the oil. Replace the oil fill cap, and remove the jack stands, if necessary, and lower the vehicle.

  6. Check the oil levels

    Start the engine, and allow the vehicle to run for at least 30 seconds. Check the vehicle for oil leaks, and check the oil dipstick to ensure the correct amount of oil has been added.