Oil change service centers are a huge rip off and often charge over $100 to change your synthetic oil. There are some quick DIY oil change procedures that you should know in order to save money on oil change. We show you the best tricks to change your oil quicker and for $80 cheaper than the oil change places.
How to do a Quick DIY Oil Change to Save You Time and 80%?
- Gather your oil, filter, oil wrench
- Get your wheel chocks, oil extractors, oil pan/mat
- Setup: park the car, chock the wheels
- Set the brake, don’t jack up the car
- Check the oil before removing, set the pan
- Remove oil: Use the oil extractor vacuum
- Remove the oil filter, replace with new
- Add new oil: check oil level on dipstick
- Replace cap, check for leaks
- Dispose of oil: clean up
Get your supplies.
Oil & Filter
I get my oil from Walmart and I save double what I would pay at some of the import auto care “zones”. You can buy it online or get it in the store.
But what kind of oil do I need? Good question.
- Check your car’s owner manual to see what they require. This is important so you use the correct oil and don’t use an inferior kind. By going with Mobile 1 you are choosing a premium synthetic brand that is much cheaper than regular oil – which won’t last as long as synthetic oil.
- Buy online or in the store – check their inventory before you go. Walmart’s or Amazon carry the oil. Check both for price. Note that some online delivery times have slowed due to COVID-19. So take that into consideration.
Pro tip: Buy enough oil and oil filters for 3 oil changes. This should last you a year and will save you time from going back for more supplies every few months.
Does Walmart carry oil filters? Yes. You can also get them from other stores but you will save time if you can pick the oil and oil filter up at the same store.
Equipment to get:
Before starting the oil change, you should make sure you have all the other supplies that are necessary to change your oil – without making a mess!
Here is the list of equipment & supplies that you should use to change your oil DIY:
- Safety glasses
- Rubber mallet
- Wrench set
- Engine oil
- Container for used oil
- Oil pan
- Wrench for oil filter
Step by step process:
Pull into your driveway. It is best to change your oil in your driveway. That way your crazy neighbors down the street won’t hit your car as they are texting while driving. This happened to us 5 years ago. Luckily we were not working on our car at the moment but the neighbor kid wasn’t paying attention and smashed into our car – pushing it forward 10 feet. If I was under the car at the time, I would be seriously injured.
1. Set the brakes! Set the parking brake.
2. Chock the tires as well.
When working on an incline, park your car with the front end positioned on the uphill part of the slope and turn off the engine. Then, let it sit for about five minutes to let the hot oil drip down.
3. Don’t forget to set your emergency brake.
If your brakes fail – the car will roll downhill away from you. If you backed the car into the driveway and were at the bottom of the driveway, you would be risking the car rolling over you in the event that the brakes failed.
4. Don’t jack up your car. It is already on an incline.
During a normal oil change on level ground, you would traditionally jack the front of your car up during this step because the work is done from the front end.
5. Don’t use ramps either.
It is very dangerous to lift your car onto ramps while it rests on a slope because the additional weight transferred to the rear wheels can cause them to slide backward.
6. Check the oil before.
7. Oil vacuum extractor –
- Using an oil vacuum extractor is great for a quick oil change and offers the safest option when operating on an incline.
- Use the small vacuum hose attachment.
- Extractor pumps often come with capabilities to extract fluids other than oil and can also be used on vehicles like boats and lawnmowers. For this reason, they often include multiple attachments. When it comes to changing the oil on your car, use the small attachment.
- Remove the dipstick, set aside.
- Remove it and set it aside so you have the means to feed in the extraction hose – feed it all the way to the bottom of the engine.
- To ensure you move all the used material out of your engine, feed the hose into the tube until you feel the bottom. Typically, slight leftover oil from an extractor is insignificant in determining performance quality.
- Begin pumping. Pump several times to begin the suction and remove the oil.
- Oil vacuum extractors require a little manual labor to get them going. The mechanism operates through your use of a hand pump, which moves the old oil through the hose.
- Remove the small hose.
8. Remove the oil filter:
During this step, it is useful to have oil mat on the driveway. While in general pumping leaves less mess than draining, there are occasional spills when it comes to removing the oil filter.
Different types of filter wrenches work properly for different cars.
- After locating the oil filter and drain the plug, it is time to get into the real business. You need to do the draining oil procedure. It needs a little bit of preparation and anticipation as well. You must wear rubber gloves in your hands while working with dirty oil. Apart from this, you can also put the cardboard beneath the oil drain or catch pan. This can prevent the oil stain as well.
- Attach a new oil filter. Make sure you dip your finger in oil and spread it on the rubber seal of the new oil filter. This will allow the seal to be properly lubricated so it does not dry out and makes a tight snug fit – as you make your final turns with the wrench.
9. Add the new oil
- After you pump all the old oil out of your car’s engine, it is time to prepare for replacing it with the fresh oil you purchased from the auto store.
- Remove oil cap, add new oil.
- Now remove the oil cap, slowly pour your new oil into the opening.
Avoid overfilling your oil, which can cause problems for your engine like wear from inconsistent pressure and the need to change your spark plugs more often.
10. Return dipstick to its tube. Remove to check the oil level.
- Don’t forget about the dipstick you removed in the beginning. To finish everything up, replace it in its original spot.
- An easy way to make sure you did not overfill your oil is checking your levels. This is best done when your car is on even ground. Move it off the driveway and onto your level street to provide a more accurate read.
- To check, put your dipstick all the way into the tube and then pull it out again. Do this a second time and then look at how much oil is left on the stick. The oil should not extend more than an inch above max level.
- If you accidentally forget this step or do visit a specialty shop for an oil change, leaking oil, foul smells and black exhaust can signal over filling.
11. Screw oil cap back on.
- It’s also important to screw your oil cap back on. Similar to the cap on your gas tank, an oil cap seals the fluids in your engine. Running your car
12. Dispose of old oil
There are only a few option you have for disposing your own oil.
- Don’t throw it away!
- Recycle at local landfill. Most landfills accept used motor oil from homeowners. At our local landfill they have designated areas for paint, oil and other chemicals. It is usually free (paid for with your taxes). You pull up, tell them what you have, they tell you where to dispose of the oil and how to do it. You drive up and pour the old oil in the metal bin…and you are done.
- Take it to an oil change shop. They may charge you so this would be your last resort but it is an option.
- Take it to your local auto store. Your local Auto Zone or Advanced Auto Parts both accept used motor oil for free.
One pint of oil can produce a slick of approximately one acre of water. EPA.gov
Q. How do you know when to change your oil?
A. But in modern cars, the oil needs to be changed every 5000 to 7500 miles. There are so many signs from which you will get to know it is the time to change the oil of your car. You need to check the engine and if you notice the oil change light in your car, then this is the time.
Also, you need to change the oil while the engine is making noise and knocking.
Q. Can I change my oil at Autozone?
A. You can buy oil at Autozone but they won’t change it for your. If you decide to change it in the parking lot, it would be a hard job to do. You would have to take up at least 2 parking spaces and have to deal with customers coming in and out of the store. It wouldn’t be very safe or easy to do. You would be better to change it at your house or apartment.
Q. Can I just add oil to my engine instead of changing it?
A. No, you should remove or drain the old oil before adding the new one. If you just add more oil you will overfill the amount of oil that your engine requires. This will lead to several mechanical problems and could eventually cause engine failure.
Q. How long does it take to DIY at your home?
A. It will take 30-50 minutes or so to do the DIY procedure. You will 1st need to get the supplies and equipment which will take 30 minutes or so. However, once you have the equipment you can quickly change your own oil cheaper and quicker than you ever could at a oil change center. With drive time, they typically take at least an hour. You could change your own oil at your house in under 20 minutes.
Q. Should I get regular or synthetic oil?
A. It will depend on the type of vehicle you have. But synthetic oil is better to prevent the thermal breakdown and is comparable with regular motor oil. You can buy synthetic motor oil and change it DIY much cheaper than if you went to an oil change service center and had them do a regular oil change.
Q. How long between oil changes?
A. It depends on the age, condition and type of the vehicle. With synthetic Mobile 1 you can change your oil every 5,000 miles up to 7,500 miles depending on your vehicle.
Q. What should I do if my oil change light comes on? Can I fix it at home?
A. Yes, you can fix it at home. You should follow your owner’s manual. You can also check out YouTube with your made, model and car year to get the specfic answer.
Q. What if I don’t change my oil filter?
A. You can go 1 oil change without changing the filter if you use an oil extraction pump. It does a great job of removing the sudge and oil gunk buildup. You oil filter won’t however, be able to screen the new oil, so it will break down quicker.
You should change your oil and oil filter on a regular basis.
Q. Should I bring my vehicle to a dealership to get an oil change?
A. No, you will pay $80-100+ dollars more if you go to a dealership. They charge outrageous amounts. You can do the quick DIY oil change and save a lot of money and time. You do not need to take it to the dealership or JiffyLube or oil change center.
Q. What are the cheapest oil change places near me?
A. You can check it online as per your location and vary the price as well. Walmart has some of the best prices for Mobile 1 and for taking your car into their service center. Call ahead of time to check if they still change oil in your area.