Changing a car’s oil and oil filter is not difficult.
If you’ve read the owner’s manual, you can do the job yourself and, in South Africa, save R800 or more.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to changing your car’s oil and oil filter like a mechanic.
What you need
As well as the replacement oil and oil filter, you’ll need a socket wrench, funnel, an old bucket or container and a few clean rags.
1. Prep for the job
Park the car on a flat surface, engage the brake and run the engine for two to three minutes. This ensures that the oil is warm and easier to drain.
Locate the sump plug underneath the car and place the bucket directly beneath it. The owner’s manual should have a diagram indicating the position of the sump and sump plug.
The sump plug is a bolt at the base of the sump pan that is unscrewed to allow oil to be drained.
2. Drain the old oil
Carefully loosen the plug by turning the socket wrench in a counter clockwise direction. Use your hand to remove the plug. Do it quickly or it will get covered in oil.
You can speed up the sump drainage process by opening the oil cap located on the top of the engine, under the bonnet.
3. Replace the oil filter
While the oil is draining, place a few sheets of newspaper under the oil filter and slowly unscrew it by hand.
As the filter is usually filled with oil, you can expect a fair bit of spillage – hence the need to protect the garage floor or driveway.
Remove the oil filter, together with the old gasket, and clean the mounting surface with a rag.
Lightly coat the rubber seal on the new filter with fresh motor oil to ensure it seals properly.
Screw the new oil filter in by hand and tighten it with a partial twist.
When the sump is completely drained, remove the bucket or pan containing the old oil from underneath the car. Replace the oil sump plug and tighten it with the socket wrench.
4. Add the fresh oil
Use the funnel to pour the recommended amount of oil into the engine and screw on the cap.
Start the car and let it run for a few seconds or until the oil light goes off.
Allow the oil to settle and then check the level on the dipstick. It should be on, but not over, the “full” indicator. Top up the oil level, if required.
5. Check for leaks
Let your car run in a stationary position for a minute or two and then check for leaks.
If there’s oil underneath the car, you can easily identify where the leak is coming from based on the position of the oil on the floor.
All that’s required is to tighten either the oil filter or the sump plug by hand or with the socket wrench – and your car is good to go.
Masterparts – for the best quality oil and oil filters
Masterparts is the foremost supplier of high-quality automotive parts and components in South Africa.
Our consultants are available to give you all the technical help you may require, either telephonically or at one of our conveniently located Masterparts branches.
Alternatively, we offer a branch-by-branch online ordering system that allows you to track your order remotely. Call us on 021 657 5757 and get your DIY motor vehicle maintenance onto the right track.