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changing oil?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Don't laugh, but I want to start changing my own oil because my place costs $30 for crappy oil and a crappy filter which should only cost like $6 if I did it myself. So I got the idea that instead of going to a place and spending $30 for junk, I'm gonna but quality stuff and just do it myself. But I seem to have forgotten about spiders and creepy crawlies and the possibility of getting oil stained hands--ewww.

However I am willing to take it all in stride and am planning on changing it for the first time in my life by myself today. I learned how to in driver's ed when I was around 16 so I sort of know HOW to do it, and have read stuff on the net about it, plus I have watched several of my male friends do it, so I'm assuming I am able to actually perform the oil change, but my confidence level is down so I need some encouragement..

Any women on here change their own oil?? Is it easy? Any tips/troubleshooting?? What kind of oil do you use? I'm thinking Mobil 1 but it's like $5/quart and I don't drive a racecar so I don't know if it's worth it. I went out and bought one of those pure one filters but i don't even know where it goes lol.!
post #2 of 30
years ago I took a college class Auto Mechanics for Women. It was fun and I learned a lot. I do minor repairs on my vehicle- changing the oil, spark plugs, but I don't get into the brakes and other heavy work. That I leave up to either Mike or someone else. Two of the gals in my class went on to partnering up and opening up a garage in Southern California- they called it Babes in Oil- LOL
post #3 of 30
eHow to Change Your Motor Oil

Getting Ready
1. \tGather necessary tools and materials (refer to Necessary Items list). If you plan to change your oil regularly, consider investing in jack stands, a socket set and an oil drain pan.

2. \tRun the car's engine for 10 minutes before you drain the oil. Warm oil drains faster than cold oil.

3. \tPark the car on a level surface, engage the parking brake and turn off the engine. If your car has a low clearance, raise it by driving it onto a ramp or by jacking it up and supporting it securely.

4. \tOpen the hood and place the new oil and funnel on top of the engine to ensure that you won't forget to add oil afterwards (an expensive mistake that many do-it-yourselfers make!).

\tConsult your owner's manual or an automotive parts specialist to find out the weight of oil and type of oil filter your car needs.

\tYou'll need the year, make, model and mileage of your car if you go to an auto parts store.

\tMake sure the car is securely supported before you crawl underneath.

\tYou will need two jack stands to support the front of your car after jacking it up. Never get under a car that is supported only by a jack! A pair of jack stands costs less than $20.

Draining the Oil and Changing the Oil Filter
1. \tCrawl under the car once it is securely supported.

2. \tLocate the oil drain plug on the underside of the engine, usually near the front center of the car. Consult your owner's manual for the exact location.

3. \tPlace the oil drain pan under the plug and loosen the plug with a socket wrench. Remember: turn counterclockwise to remove bolts.

4. \tRemove the plug by hand. Be prepared for the rush of hot oil!

5. \tLet the oil drain into the pan. Hold onto the plug.

6. \tReposition the pan, if necessary, to catch all the dripping oil.

7. \tWipe off the drain plug and the plug opening when the oil finishes draining.

8. \tReplace the drain plug gasket.

9. \tReinstall the plug. Always start threading any bolts or screws by hand to prevent cross threading.

10. \tTighten with a wrench or socket. Be careful not to overtighten the plug.

11. \tLocate the existing oil filter. Oil filters are usually on the side of the engine.

12. \tPosition the oil pan underneath the filter to catch any remaining oil.

13. \tUse an adjustable oil filter wrench to unscrew the old oil filter.

14. \tUse a rag to wipe the area where the filter mounts to the engine. Make sure the rubber seal of the old filter is not stuck to the engine.

15. \tUse some new oil to lightly coat the rubber seal of the new filter.

16. \tScrew the new filter into place by hand. It's usually not necessary to tighten the oil filter with the oil filter wrench, but have it at the ready if you're grip's not strong (or large) enough.

\t \t
\tWear gloves to remove the plug if it's hot.

\tIt's always best to replace the oil drain plug gasket.

\tUse the right size wrench or socket. Don't use an adjustable wrench: you can strip the bolt.

\tHandle hot automotive oil with extreme care.

\tBe careful when removing the old oil filter. It's full of oil.

Installing New Oil and Cleaning Up
1. \tLocate the oil filler cap on top of the engine. Remove it.

2. \tPlace the funnel in the opening and pour in the new oil. Typically, you will use 4 to 5 quarts of oil. Check your manual for the correct oil capacity.

3. \tReplace the cap when you're finished.

4. \tRun the engine for a minute, then check the dipstick. Add more oil if necessary.

5. \tCheck the area around the oil drain plug and the filter for oil leaks. Tighten the plug or oil filter if you find leakage.

6. \tUse rags and newspapers to wipe away excess oil.

7. \tPour the used oil into a plastic container after the used oil cools.

8. \tDispose the used oil properly: either bring it to a recycling center or an auto repair shop that can recycle it for you. Don't pour it down the sewer!

\tRecord the date and mileage after you change the oil so you will know when your car is due for another oil change. It helps to put a small sticker on your windshield to remind you.

\tHandle hot motor oil with extreme caution.

\tOnly dispose of used motor oil and filters at authorized locations.
post #4 of 30
When I get my car back I'm going to learn how to change my own oil too. As far as oily hands, how about buying gloves? You can get gloves like the ones used in hospitals and doctor offices now and those conform pretty well to your hand so you have good dexterity and so on.
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thanks I actually have a lot of gloves for hair dying, duh, I should have thought of that. I've been saying I'm going to do this for days now and I am very close to my 3k limit so I am hoping I will grow some cahonies and do it today..
post #6 of 30
I used to change my own oil, but it was just such a pain in the butt I got lazy and now I just pay the $30 to have a drive through do it.
post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 
Oh trust me, as soon as I get an income again I'll be back at the 10 minute quick lube, but for now I just can't do it.. I'm cutting corners in every way possible!!
post #8 of 30
I used to change it myself, but now my husband does it for me - yay!

The first time was a little intimidating for me b/c I was afraid to mess anything up, but after that it was a breeze - it only takes a little while, and you do save some Just use a long pair of dishwashing gloves to protect your hands - dirty oil will stain them.
post #9 of 30
My Dad used to help me but now hubby does it. I like the oil filter wrench and they always told me to prep the filter with grease (not oil). We changed the oil every 2000 miles.

I also change the air filters and check all the fluids when I change the oil (or have it changed).
post #10 of 30
Changing your own oil is one of the most satisfying things to do, because its fun, and because you know exactly what goes inot your car, that it the quality of the product you are using.

I highly recomend it.
I'm a guy and maybe I'm biased here but I like to do as much as possible before I take my car to the tech, I don't touch breaks though because I feel if I mess up here its my life I'm playing with so I leave it to the pros.
post #11 of 30
Hubby and I own 6 Volkswagen vehicles so we change our own oil, except we still take the New Beetle to the dealership. I change the oil in my 1970 Beetle and I enjoy it very much. I don't even mind getting oil all over my hands It saves money and we know what we are putting into our cars because different engines and climates require you to use certain types of oil.
post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 
OK well I haven't changed my oil yet, but I did go to get some today. Which was ridiculous. First there's no 5w30 in my town, there must have been a run on it, so finally after a few places I just say screw it and got 10w30, figuring since my car is in a heated garage it doesn't really get too cold around here except at night.. So I'm walking out with this 5qt jug of oil and these three teenage rejects were sitting on the bench outside of Wal-Mart and were yelling stuff like "Hey baby you can change my oil any day".. Ew. So I guess I'm going to do it tomorrow.. I don't have a filter wrench so hopefully i can get the dang thing off.. We'll see.
post #13 of 30
So I'm walking out with this 5qt jug of oil and these three teenage rejects were sitting on the bench outside of Wal-Mart and were yelling stuff like "Hey baby you can change my oil any day"..
Smart a$$ kids!!

You can do it Anna
I wish you luck!!
post #14 of 30
How to change your oil:

Walk into the house and say, "Honey, my car is at xxxx miles and its time for an oil change."

Go and fix yourself a nice, cool drink, sit down and prop up feet.

When "Honey" comes back inside, with oily hands and skinned knuckles, say "Thank you" and cook nice dinner.

This method has ALWAYS worked for me!
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 
The only honey I have available right now is my cat, who would laugh in my face. no fair. I hardly see bf and I can't stand him when I do, plus I know more about cars than he does (and as you can probably tell, that is PATHETIC)..
post #16 of 30
Hi Annabelle,

I have only ever changed my oil once by myself. Right now, my car is on warranty, and to have it effective, I have to take it to the garage to do it. Anyways, a tip, contradicting what Kiwideus had on hers: don't let the car warm up for 10 minutes before hand...It makes it way too hot! Even like 5 minutes makes it way hot! When I had my old car, my brother did it all the time for me, and he found the best way was to just park it in our neighbor's garage until it was cool enough. The only thing I found difficult (for me) was that b/c I have tendinitis in my shoulders, and I have awful short arms (and legs!) and I couldn't put the car up any higher b/c then I couldn't reach the oil cap thinger (Ok, my technical terms suck!) and it was too low to go under (b/c of the whole boob thing!), so it made it kind of difficult to do. My 80 yr old neighbor (who can't see) and has a bigger belly than my once pregnant sister couldn't do it either...I tell ya we had a time!! lol But we finally got it! I was so impressed! Once my new car gets off warranty I might try it again myself, but I'll likely keep taking to the garage. May as well....at least then I know he's doing right, and it's not my fault if I don't do something right!

Good luck!
post #17 of 30
I'm no help I don't even know what oil does to a car!
post #18 of 30
It wasnt my suggestion 22angel, I just copied and pasted from ehow.com
post #19 of 30
Thread Starter 
22angel.. I didn't know that changing your own oil could void the warranty.. Well now I'm gonna have to find out before I do it, because I bought it new a year ago and don't want any warranty problems though I can't imagine them asking to see my oil change slips or anything.
post #20 of 30
Annabelle, Don't worry about the warranty being voided because of changing your oil or having someone else do it. All the dealers are trying to do is get you back to their place to get overcharged for the oil change. Also they prey on women in the sevice departments saying something needs changed and it's B.S. I see you are in the Pgh. area, if you need any technical advise on the oil change, please e-mail me and I'll give you my telephone number. I've worked in the oil/chemical industry for over 35 years and do my own oil changes also. I'm always willing to help anyone, especially someone that has a cat that owns them.
post #21 of 30
Thread Starter 
That is so nice I still haven't done it, but hopefully tomorrow.. lol I am so putting this off. But although I have a few friends that have offered to do it, I really want to be able to do it on my own.. at least once.. lol
post #22 of 30
I change my own oil, and I do it every 3000 miles. I believe it's the #1 way to keep your car healthy.

It only takes me about 15 minutes. It's not so much the money you spend at the place, but the time you sit waiting.

I always do mine first thing in the morning on a weekend, so that the car is cool. You might need a filter wrench for the filter. Plan on getting dirty, because depending on how your filter sits, you almost can't avoid getting dirty when you loosen it. I keep a bunch of old t-shirts handy for that.

I always have my best friend handy for the first change, because if the bolt in the oil pan is too tight for me to loosen, he can get it for me.
post #23 of 30
Ok, kiwi....just a hint for others....lol

Well, I dont think it voids the warranty thing on every car, really. It's just the warranty I have (I paid like an extra $500 for it, and if I don't follow it, then I don't get any insurance or something like that). If I didn't have it, I don't think it would really matter if I did it or the garage did it.

Keep us updated, k?
post #24 of 30
Good luck Annabelle!

I still have to learn about tyre changing.

Though I have no qualms with water, battery, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid and oil levels...the easy stuff.
post #25 of 30
How'd it go? Did you get it done ok? I dont' think it said this anywhere: After you are all done, just back the car up a little ways (like a foot or two) and leave it running for a bit. Then you can tell if it's all sealed up right, the cap is on tight etc. If it leaks (oil) then you know it's not, and you might need help!
post #26 of 30
I have a question. What do you do with the old oil, you let out? I mean, you have to put it in something, don't you? And I know you can't just throw it in the trash. I know here in California you have to take old oil to some kind of recycling place. So, what do you let the old oil drip into. I'd change my own, if I thought I could find a way to get rid of the old oil, without making a mess on the ground.
post #27 of 30
There are these oil pans that you can get and you drain the oil into there. My neighbor & dad have one, and you can make it so the oil drains through a strainer type thing so that all the yucky bits don't go into the oil, and just dump the gritty parts into a garbage can (or bag or whatever), and then the oil, you just put into an old can or 5 gallon pail, and put a lid on it, and then take it to the dump to the recycling place for old oil. I tried to find a pic, but I couldn't. I suppose if you were really in a fix, you could use like a couple of ice cream pails.....but that might not be a good idea. If you go to a store like Canadian Tire (ok, I know a lot of you don't have that store, b/c it's Canadian), my friend suggested menards for the States, I don't know what else, really. But you can likely find it in Walmart too. Go to the Automotive center, and they'll tell you/give you what all ya need. Have fun!
post #28 of 30
Checker Auto parts AKA Schuks auto parts, AutoZone all sell what is called an oil drip pan. it's a black plactic tub that has a spout on the sideof it and you place under your vehicle when changing your oil and you let the oil drip from your car on to this pan and it falls through this hole in the middle of the pan to a holding area, you can then pour it out again by the spout that's on the side. Also I know that the Checkers around here have big barrels for people to put there old oil in and from there they take car of it.
post #29 of 30
I have an oil change pan that my oil drains into. Then, I pour it into old cat litter jugs and take it to an automotive store to recycle it. Most auto parts stores here accept old oil.
post #30 of 30
Thread Starter 
I actually did not change my oil yet lol.. Ok, I popped the hood, thn laid on the ground and located the filter and the plug, and then went to get my plastic oil pan and there was a colony of big hairy spiders living in it!! (Can you tell I use it often??) Well, me being an arachnaphobe, I completely freaked out and just gave up on the oil change until I can get someone to help me. Luckily (or not really luckily but in this case luckily) I am still job searching so I don't travel regularly so I haven't gone over the mileage yet..

And they make 5 qt oil jugs so you put the new oil in and just pour the old oil into the jugs, but it's stupid because most cars take around 4.25 quarts or so, so you hve this extra oil left over.. My friends take their used oil to advanced auto for free recycling..

So about the warranty, I called dodge and they gave me the spiel "Although we recommend having your oil changed through a certified dodge dealer for quality and car compatibility, it will not void your warranty to do it elsewhere or to do it yourself." But the truth is, that I've heard, Mopar gets it's filter from Fram and oil is just standard oil so really if I get a quality filter and synthetic oil I'm taking a lot better care of my car than going to dodge would. They are just trying to make $$$.
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