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How to Change Oil in Your Car

Your car needs oil to ensure that all the different parts of the engine can move smoothly without generating too much friction. So without sufficient oil levels, your car won’t run as effectively as it should. Indeed, it might not run at all.

We have a detailed guide to checking your oil levels and topping them up.

But you should also replace your car oil completely, from time to time. This will help reduce the build-up of abrasive contaminants that could ultimately corrode your engine.

You can ask for an oil change every time you take your car in for a servicing. But you should also know how to change your car oil yourself. So let’s explore how.

How to Change Oil in Your Car:

  1. Let your car engine run for a minute or two, but no longer. This will warm things up, which will get the oil flowing, making it easier to change it. But don’t run your car for too long, or the engine will get too hot to handle!
  2. Find your car’s oil drain. It should be towards the front of your car, and directly underneath the engine. Put a large bowl under the drain, then use a spanner to unscrew it. This will be much easier if you have a jack to lift your car, and if you’re parked on a flat surface.
  3. Open your hood and find the oil cap. It might be marked with an oil can symbol, or it might have the word “oil” on it. Unscrew the cap. This will increase the flow of air in your system, which will make the oil drain faster out of your car.
  4. Wait. It will take a few minutes for all the oil to drain out of your car. Once it’s done so, securely screen the drain back in place.
  5. Now it’s time to add fresh oil to your car! Pour it slowly into the oil tank, and use the dipstick to check the levels are right.

That’s it! If you’re unsure of any of this, read your car’s user manual.

Once you’ve drained your car’s oil, you’ll have a bowl full of old oil to take care of. Don’t just pour this down the drain. Instead, contact your nearest household waste recycling centre, who’ll help you dispose of this oil safely and responsibly.

What Oil Does My Car Need?

Your car’s user manual will tell you everything you need to know, including the type of oil your car needs, where to find the oil reservoir and the drain, and even how to jack your car.

There are many different types of car oil to choose from. Head here to find our complete guide to the different types of car oil, which will help you determine which is right for your car.

How Issues with Your Oil Can Affect Your Car

If your car won’t start, it may be due to an issue with your oil. Head here to find our guide to diagnosing and fixing why your car won’t start.

In the summer, it can often get too hot for your car’s oil to work like it should. Some drivers switch to using a different sort of oil during the warmer months of the year, one that’s specifically designed to work well at high temperatures.

Cold temperatures can affect the flow of oil, too. Head here to read our guide to ensuring your car’s ready for winter.

It pays to stay on top of your car oil. That way, you can address any potential issues as early as possible, and you’re less likely to suddenly find one morning that your car won’t start.

But if you ever do find yourself stranded due to an issue with your car, optional RAC breakdown cover as part of a comprehensive car insurance policy will help you get on the move again as soon as possible.