So it's been 6 months since my last oil change, and i checked it on the weekend and it's nearing the min mark.
I don't want to pay someone to do the change, so I was going to do it myself. But i've NEVER done an oil change before
So is it easy enough to do it myself?
Just because the oil is on the min mark doesn’t mean the oil needs changing, you need to keep it topped up to the max at all times.
Anyhow, if it is due a change:
You’ll need: a new filter, 5 litres of decent oil (semi or fully synthetic), a new sump plug washer (copper, from your dealer) an 8mm allen key (or perhaps a torx ftting, depends how old your car is), a filter wrench (or strong hands) loads of rags, an old washing up bowl. Use barrier cream on your hands as old oil is carcinogenic.
1. Take the car for a blast, warm the oil up thoroughly.
2. Park the car so that you can reach the sump-plug, it’s a nut at the back of the sump, under the engine. You may need ramps or at least some bits of wood to park on. Do not attempt to crawl under the car using a jack to hold it up.
3. Take off the engine oil filler cap. (prevents a vacuum effect)
4. Undo the sump plug and let the oil drain out into your washing up bowl (ask the Mrs first) You’ll need your rags at this point!
5. While it drains, stick the kettle on and make a brew
6. Undo the oil filter (at front of engine, best accessed from underneath) You need rags again as it is full of old oil. It should only be hand tight. As a (messy) last resort you can stick a screwdriver through it to act as a lever.
7. When the oil’s stopped dripping from the sump and you’ve drank your tea, mop up old oil from around that area, stick a new copper washer on the sump plug and replace the plug. Not too tight or you’ll strip the thread.
8. Clean up round the filter mounting with your rag, stick you new filter on by hand only (don’t use any tools to tighten it) Make sure you oil the rubber seal with fresh oil first. Follow the instructions on the box.
9. Give all surfaces underneath a good clean with your rag, so you can detect any leaks on step 11.
10. OK, it is all oil-tight. Fill up the car with new oil (mine is 4.5 litres). You may find it easier to do it a litre at a time. When you’ve put the full amount in, replace the filler cap. Start the engine, the oil warning light/error message should go out after a bit. Run the engine for a few minutes.
11. Switch off, crawl underneath and check the sump-plug and filter are still tight and there are no leaks. Check the oil level (car on flat surface) and top if necessary.
12. Check levels again after a quick drive and every week thereafter. Do not let it get to the min mark.
13. Wash up and dispose of old oil correctly, not down the drain.
14. There you go, you can bask in the knowledge that you’ve saved a few quid and done a decent job properly yourself.