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How to Perform an Oil Change

Person Pouring Car Oil

Having an oil change is an important car maintenance activity. Typically, oil changes are conducted around every 3,000-5,000 miles depending on the recommended maintenance for your particular vehicle. If you’re considering undertaking this task yourself but aren’t sure how, we’ve provided the typical process for an oil change. Please note, however, that different cars may vary in how oil changes are conducted, but we are providing an overview of how an oil change is often done:

1. The first thing you will need to do is find a way to get under the car. If you have a truck, you may just be able to crawl underneath. If you have a car, you may need to jack it up to access the bottom of the car per the instructions for jacking up your car that come with your car.

2. Next, you will need to locate the oil pan and find the drain plug. Once you find the drain plug, place a pan underneath that can catch the old oil as it drains. Please note that you should make sure that you have allowed the engine ample time to cool off otherwise the oil may be hot which is dangerous.

3. Once you place the pan, slowly unscrew the drain plug and allow the oil to fully drain.

4. When the oil has drained, tighten the drain plug. Make sure that you do not overtighten the drain plug otherwise it will be difficult to remove in the future.

5. Now, you must locate the oil filter and place your oil catch pan underneath that. Then, remove the oil filter and allow it to drain. The oil filter is located in different places on different cars so you may need to look online or at your owner’s manual for help locating the oil filter.

6. Once that is fully drained, you will want to install a new oil filter. Most people prefer to change their oil filter every time they change their oil. Before installing the filter, make sure to take some of the new oil and rub it on the gasket of the new filter so that a good seal is formed. Then, reinstall the new filter.

7. Once the new filter is installed, start the car and allow it to run for less than a minute. Once the car has run, check the oil levels again. Some of the oil will have filled the new filter.

8. Now that the car has run and oil has gotten into the filter, you will need to fill up the oil to the required level again and tighten the cap. Now, you’re just about done.

9. The next step (which is a step that you can do throughout the oil change process) is checking for leaks. You may be able to address leaks by tightening the drain plug or you may need to go to an expert. If you don’t find any leaks, you should be good to go.

10. The final step is addressing all of the used oil. Collect all of the used oil in a container (the empty containers from the new oil are usually a good bet) and then find a place that will recycle it for you. Auto parts stores usually offer this service.

So, that’s how you perform an oil change! The process may vary from car to car, but these are the basic steps for most cars. If this sounds like something you’d like to take on, then use this blog as a guide. If this sounds like something you’d rather not do, then let the pros handle it! At Rad Air, we’re more than happy to help you with any service you may need including oil changes.

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