Changing your car’s engine oil is relatively simple provided you follow a few simple tips. To keep your car in peak performance, we recommend that you change your oil filter every time you change your oil. Changing your oil at the recommended intervals (check your owner’s manual for further information as some makes will vary from this) will ensure that your engine is operating in top condition.
The first step is to drop down to your local Supercheap Auto store and ask one of our team members about the correct oil and the correct oil filter for your application – they will be only too happy to help!
- Jack & axle stands (a set of car ramps may also be suitable)
- Suitable socket or spanner for sump plug
- Drain pan
- Engine oil
- Oil filter
- Oil filter wrench
- Container for old oil
Warm Up The Engine
Run the engine until normal operating temperature is reached & switch off, as warm oil will drain more effectively than cold oil and help to drain out any built up sludge.
Raise & Secure Vehicle
Park your vehicle on a level surface and make sure that the handbrake is on and the wheels are chocked. If necessary, jack the car up off the ground and support with axel stands. Alternatively, car ramps can be used.
Drain Old Oil
Place the drain pan underneath the sump ready to catch the flow. (HOT OIL CAN BURN!)
Once all the oil has completely drained, refit the sump plug (preferably with a new gasket) and tighten firmly but not too tight.
Remove Oil Filter
Using an oil filter removal tool, remove the oil filter.
Install New Oil Filter
The new oil filter is now ready to be installed. Rub some fresh engine oil over the oil filter gasket and then screw it into location. Hand tight is usually adequate though a slight tighten up with the filter wrench may be necessary when hands are a little oily.
Ensure that you know the quantity of oil your car takes before you add any oil to the engine. Never fill exactly the specified quantity of oil immediately as it is good practice to initially fill 80% of the specified capacity. (e.g if your car takes 5 litres put 4 litres in to begin with).
Remove the oil filler cap on the top of the engine. Place a medium sized funnel in the aperture and surround the base with a rag or two to catch any spills. Carefully pour in the new oil SLOWLY. Some engines have a habit of developing airlocks which result in the oil spilling back out the filler hole. Periodically, stop pouring and allow the oil to settle down into the engine sump. Check the dipstick until you have the correct level. Note: the dipstick will often indicate an overfill when the correct quantitiy of oil is added. The level will drop once the oil has circulated to the new filter. Start the engine and make sure the dashboard OIL light goes out or the gauge indicates pressure. If not, stop the engine immediately.
Check Oil Level
Once you are satisfied with your oil level, run your engine for around 1 minute and then shut it off. Check the engine for oil leaks- particularly around the oil filter and sump plug. Re-check oil level.
Dispose Of Old Oil Correctly
Check with local authorities about disposing of used oil. Many communities have collection centres which will see that oil is disposed of safely. Never dump used oil on the ground, into drains or in the rubbish bin.
Re-Check Oil Level
After the first few trips following an oil change it is good practice to check your oil level on the dipstick and also check for any oil leaks.
Change your oil more frequently under adverse driving conditions and during cold weather. It can be advisable to switch to a slightly lower viscosity of oil because cold weather causes oil to thicken. Your local Supercheap Auto store would be more than happy to advise on the best oil for your car.
Please Note: If you’re uncertain about any part of this guide, please see a qualified mechanic.