Updated at: 14-06-2022 - By: Lucas

Learning how to change your car’s oil yourself will save you both time and money. Say goodbye to losing a half-day and a lot of money because you had to get your oil changed. This guide will take you step by step through the process.

Safety First!


Let’s take care of a few safety issues first. Wear goggles and some heavy work gloves when working with engine oil. You really don’t want oil to get on your skin, so try to cover up as much as possible. Make sure your truck is on a level surface when you park it. Make sure the emergency brake is on. You’ll need to use a jack to raise the front of the truck and jack stands to hold it in place for extra safety.

Tool Time

Before you start changing the oil, you’ll want to have a few tools on hand. You’ll need a bucket or something else to catch the old oil as you drain it from the truck. You’ll need two wrenches: one that fits the drain plug and one that fits the oil filter. That wrench is made just for taking out and putting in oil filters. You probably already knew this, but you also need a new filter. And some oil, of course. Your truck’s owner’s manual will tell you what kind of oil, what kind of filter, and how much oil your truck can hold. While you’re at it, you should grab a rag.

Going In

It’s best to let your truck run for a few minutes to get the oil hot. When it’s hot, it drains better. It also burns faster, so make sure you’re out of the way before you drain it. After you turn off the truck, you need to slide under it. Bring your tools, especially that oil-catching bucket. Put the bucket under the plug on the oil pan that lets the oil drain. Unscrew the plug carefully and let the old oil flow into your bucket. Clean the plug with your rag. Let the oil drain for a long time. Even after heating the oil, it can take more than an hour to drain completely.

When the water is all gone, you can put the plug back in. For this, your fingers are the best place to start. When you can’t tighten it any more, take your wrench and carefully twist it a little further. You shouldn’t turn the wrench more than a quarter or half turn. This will keep you from stripping the screw or squeezing the rubber seal, and it will also make sure the drain plug is tight.

The filter needs to be changed next. Put the bucket next to the oil pan, under the filter. To get rid of the old filter, use the oil filter wrench. There might be oil in this filter, so make sure you’re out of the way and the bucket is in the right place. After throwing away the old filter, put some oil on the new one and screw it into place. When you put oil on a new filter, you should use new oil to help seal it. As with the drain plug, you don’t want the new filter to be too tight. Start by turning it with your fingers, then use the wrench for the last quarter turn or so.

You can now get out from under the truck. As you slide out, take your tools, bucket, and rag with you. At this point, you can take the jack stands off and lower the jack as well.

Final Steps


It’s time to raise the hood. You only want new oil to go into this tank, so make sure to wipe away any dirt or dust that could fall in. Take off the lid and pour your new oil in. This number should match the one in the manual. Don’t put too much in the tank! After the oil is in, you can put the cap back on and close the hood.

Start the engine. Give your truck a few minutes to run. Open the hood again, take off the cap, and use the dipstick to see how much oil is in the engine. If it went down, fill it back up to the right level. Turn the cap back on and close the hood. You just changed the truck’s oil.

The old oil and filter need to be recycled. Doing a quick search on Google will show you which auto shops and places that take care of household trash near you will take used oil and filters. What better way to celebrate your success than to use your freshly-oiled truck to recycle that old oil? You can do it all over again if you come back in 3,000 to 5,000 miles.