Step by Step: Oil Changes

November 9, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Step 1: Get a jack from an auto store to raise your car all the way up. You don't want to use the kind that you use to change a flat tire because it could come tumbling down.

Step 2: The oil cap is usually on top of the valve cover. Take it off. You need to put the right weight of oil inside the vehicle. Then pull out the dipstick. Check the level of the oil in there and wipe it down. On the dipstick, there are markings to indicate the oil level.

Step 3: Find the drain plug right underneath the engine. It is close to all the belts, close to the engine parts. It looks a lot like the transmission drain plug. If you confuse the two, you could be in a lot of trouble, so look for the engine drain plug. Loosen it up and then get the drain pan and let it all drain out. You'll want an oil filter tool.

Step 4: When you take off the oil filter, you have to make sure that the rubber gasket is still on. If it's not, it will be easy to slide off. It just sticks to it because of heat. Take it off. Make sure it is off. Look up there with a flashlight and make sure the surface is clean.

Step 5: It always helps to put on a new oil filter. You have to have the right number, also. Put a little oil around the gasket so the next time you do the oil change it's not stuck on there.

Step 6: Get a funnel so you don't pour oil all over your engine. Pour. Make sure you know how much ioil your car needs and what type.

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