This guide is going to describe how to change oil in a car the correct way and the easy way (which most people can do at home/on the street easily).
How To Change Oil In A Car – Correct/Hard Way
The correct way to change the oil in a car is to jack the car up (support on axle stands), get underneath the engine, remove the relevant undertray pieces, get a container (size depends on your engine’s oil capacity), unscrew the drain plug and drain the oil into your container. When all the oil is out, replace the drain plug (not too tight), change the filter (oil the filter gasket first, not to tight) and refill with oil.
The Issues with the Correct Way
The issues with doing it this way are as follows.
- You need to jack the car up.
- You need axle stands.
- You need to get under the engine.
- You need to remove the plastic undertray.
- You need to not spill any oil when you are draining the sump.
- You need to pour the pan you used to collect the oil into a suitable sealed container.
In short it’s a big faff and things can get messy.
How to Change Oil – The Easy Way
Anybody can change oil the easy way and you only need to buy one tool, an oil extractor pump (click the link to find them on ebay).
With the oil extractor pump you do not need to jack the car up and all the things that go with it, you just need to remove the oil dipstick, insert the hose from the oil extractor and put the other hose of the extractor into your sealed container, an old oil can is perfect.
After this all you need to do is to connect your oil extractor to your car battery and let the pump do the rest. When it has taken all the oil it can from the sump, change your oil filter and refill the engine with oil. Job done, nice and clean and nice and easy.
I would not recommend doing the easy way every time you change your oil. I would personally do the drain plug every third or fourth oil change (assuming you are changing oil every 5000km/3000 miles. If you are following long service intervals eg every 15,000km for example I would not use the easy method at all). There is no substitute for releasing the drain plug and getting all the oil that has collected at the bottom of the sump out. With the oil extractor I think its inevitable that some is going to be left at the bottom of the sump.
Another issue is time, the pump will take around 20 minutes to remove around 4 litres in my experience. A bit quicker that the correct method and a lot less work.
Top Tips – How To Change Oil
Get the engine nice and warm before you start the process, not hot, but nice and warm.
A couple of reasons for this.
First is that it helps get all the debris into the oil itself instead of the debris being settled at the bottom of the sump. Getting as much debris mixed up with the oil before you change it, means more of the debris will come out with the oil.
Second reason is the warm oil flows better than cold oil so it make the process quicker, especially if you are using the quick method. The pump on the extractor is not very powerful and the hose going in the dipstick is small, getting the oil warm makes the life of the pump easier and also speeds up the process.
The quick method is more for people who want to change their oil more often than the factory service intervals but don’t want the hassle of the correct way. If something is more hassle you are less likely to do it, the easy method makes the oil change a breeze meaning you are more likely to do it. Personally I like to change oil every 5000km using the easy way and then the correct way ie drop the sump plug every 15000km