Car Service Guide: How To Change Your Engine Oil

October 13, 2023

Are you tired of your car’s engine running less smoothly than it used to? Have you ever wondered what goes on under the hood that keeps your trusty vehicle on the road? Well, if you’re nodding your head or even just a bit curious, you’ve come to the right place.

Welcome to the exciting world of car maintenance, where we’ll be delving into the art of changing your engine oil. Roll up your sleeves because this blog post is about to arouse your interest and give you the ultimate guide to keeping your engine purring like a contented cat.

So, what’s the secret to a well-oiled engine? Stick around, and you’ll soon have all the answers.

Why Regular Oil Changes Are Vital

Why Regular Oil Changes Are Vital

Regular oil changes are vital for several reasons, including:

Lubrication to the Moving Parts of the Engine

One of the critical roles oil plays in an engine is to lubricate essential components. The moving parts of an engine, including pistons, valves, and bearings, rub against each other, generating lots of heat and friction.

Oil Lubricants help these parts, preventing metal-to-metal contact and reducing wear and tear. Over time, oil breaks down and loses its lubricating properties, making it less effective in protecting the engine. Regular oil changes ensure the engine has the necessary lubrication to operate efficiently.

Protecting the Engine From Degradation

Engine oil also helps to protect the engine from harmful contaminants. Dirt, dust, and other particles can accumulate in the engine oil, reducing effectiveness. Old oil can also turn into sludge due to heat and exposure to oxygen, clogging up the oil passages and reducing the oil flow. Regular oil changes remove these contaminants, preventing them from damaging critical engine components.

Improved Engine Efficiency

Fresh engine oil helps to improve the engine’s efficiency. As oil ages, it breaks down and loses its ability to flow smoothly and efficiently through the engine. This can result in reduced fuel economy and sluggish engine performance. Regular oil changes ensure the engine runs at peak efficiency, contributing to better fuel economy and overall performance.

Prevention of Engine Damage

Failing to change engine oil regularly can lead to engine damage. Over time, old oil can become thick and sticky, reducing the amount of oil that flows through the engine. This lack of lubrication can cause increased engine wear and can even lead to engine failure. Regular oil changes can prevent such damage to the engine and keep it running smoothly.

Maintenance of Manufacturer’s Warranty

New cars often require regular oil changes to maintain the manufacturer’s warranty. Failure to change the oil at the recommended intervals may void the warranty, leaving the car owner responsible for costly repairs.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Tool And Materials You'll Need to Change Engine Oil

Tools and Materials You’ll Need to Change Oil:

Replacement Oil

Before beginning the oil change process, ensure fresh, appropriate oil is ready to add to the engine. Check the machine’s manual for advice on the type of oil to use and the amount you need. Choosing the right oil is important for the longevity of the engine.

New Oil Filter

Depending on the machine you’re working with, the manual may advise changing the oil filter simultaneously with changing the oil. Plan ahead and purchase a new filter before beginning the oil change process. Be sure to check the manual for the appropriate model number.


The right pan or bucket is crucial for a successful oil change. The container should fit underneath the oil drainage valve and be large enough to hold all the oil in the engine without overflowing. Opt for durable, high-quality containers to avoid leaks or spills.


Funnels make the process of adding oil to the engine much faster and less messy. Choose a funnel that fits the size of the opening for adding oil and is made of durable materials. A funnel will make pouring the oil into the engine easier without any spills or mess.

Oil Rags

Messy spills can happen during an oil change, so it’s important to have oil rags on hand to soak up any small spills. These rags can also clean the dipstick for accurate oil level measurement. However, oily rags are a fire hazard, so be cautious when disposing of them.


Keeping your hands free of oil during an oil change is essential for your safety and hygiene. Wear gloves, such as disposable plastic gloves, to protect your hands from coming into contact with oil and other hazardous materials.

Various Tools & Wrenches

The right tools are important for a smooth oil change process. You may need a large wrench for loosening and tightening filters, pliers for various tasks, and other general tools. Be sure to have a well-stocked toolbox to avoid any delays in the process.

How To Change Your Oil

How To Change Your Engine Oil

Step 1: Jack It Up, Open It Up. 

To change your car’s oil, you will need to start by safely lifting the car off the ground. You can use a hydraulic jack or a ramp to elevate the car. Be sure to place the jack or ramp securely and on firm ground. Never lift the car on a slope or uneven ground.

Once the car is elevated, locate the oil drain plug. It is usually located at the bottom of the oil pan, typically at the bottom of the engine. Use a wrench to loosen the plug, and be prepared to get your hands dirty as the old oil drains out.

Step 2: Unplug It, Drain It.

Once you’ve located the oil drain plug, use a wrench to loosen it counterclockwise. Be sure to have a container to catch the old oil as it drains out.

Allow the oil to drain completely, then replace the drain plug and tighten it securely. Ensure you don’t over-tighten the plug, which can lead to leaks. Dispose of the old oil properly by taking it to a recycling centre or authorized oil disposal facility.

Step 3: Off With The Old Filter.

Next, you will need to remove the old oil filter. Use an oil filter wrench to loosen the filter in a counterclockwise direction. Once it is loose, twist it off by hand. Be prepared for some oil to spill out of the filter.

Use a clean towel to clean up any spilled oil. Inspect the old filter to make sure it is in bad condition. Signs like corrosion, cracks, or tears indicate that it’s time to replace your filter.

Step 4: Drain Plug In, Filter On.

Before installing the new filter, lubricate the rubber seal with fresh oil. Line up the threads of the new filter and screw it on by hand. Tighten it until it is snug, but be careful not to overtighten. Re-install the oil drain plug and tighten it.

Step 5: Fill It Back Up With Oil.

Consult your owner’s manual to determine what oil you need and what type is recommended for your car. Use a funnel to pour the new oil into the engine. Pull the dipstick out and check the oil level. Add more oil if necessary, but be careful to avoid overfilling.

Step 6: Check The Oil Level And Check For Leaks.

After filling the car with new oil, let the engine run for a minute or two. Check for leaks and visually inspect the oil filter and drain plug to ensure they are tight.

Turn off the engine and wait a few minutes for the oil to settle, then recheck the oil level using the dipstick. If everything looks good, lower the car off the jack or ramp and take it for a test drive to ensure a successful oil change.

When to Choose DIY or Professional Car Maintenance: Making the Right Call

When to Choose DIY or Professional Car Maintenance: Making the Right Call

Keeping your car well-maintained is crucial to ensuring its safety, longevity, and optimal performance on the road. However, as a car owner, when it comes to car maintenance, making the correct decision between doing it yourself (DIY) or enlisting a professional mechanic’s services can significantly impact your vehicle’s overall health and financial state.

There are factors to consider before deciding on car maintenance. Here are some of the factors

Familiarity With Car Mechanics

One crucial aspect to consider is your level of familiarity with car mechanics. If you’re well-versed in handling car repairs and have access to the necessary tools and resources, then tackling maintenance tasks yourself can be a cost-effective way of keeping your car in top shape.

If you’re someone who is not familiar with car mechanics. It’s always best to trust a professional to handle the maintenance tasks. A professional mechanic has the necessary skills, knowledge, and tools to diagnose problems accurately.

The Complexity Of The Maintenance Task

Another factor to consider is the complexity of the maintenance task. Simple tasks like oil changes, air filter replacements, or tire rotations are easy to handle independently. At the same time, more complex issues, such as electrical problems or transmission repairs, require the expertise of a professional mechanic.

It’s worth noting that attempting to handle a complicated car repair yourself can result in further damage to your car or personal injury, creating additional costs and potential safety hazards. In such cases, it’s always best to entrust your car’s upkeep to a trained, certified mechanic.

The Pros and Cons of DIY Car Maintenance

Pro And Cons Of DIY Car Service

DIY car maintenance can be an attractive option for car owners looking to save money or learn more about their vehicles’ mechanics. However, weighing the pros and cons before deciding to take on maintenance tasks yourself is essential.


One significant advantage of DIY car maintenance is the ability to perform simple tasks like changing the oil or replacing spark plugs relatively quickly without taking your vehicle to a professional mechanic. This can save you money on labor costs and provide a sense of satisfaction from completing the work yourself.

Opportunity to learn

In addition to financial savings, DIY car maintenance can be a valuable learning opportunity. By taking on maintenance tasks yourself, you can deepen your understanding of your vehicle’s mechanics and develop valuable skills that can save you money in the long run.


While basic tasks like oil changes and air filter replacements can be done relatively inexpensively, some DIY repairs can become more costly if you need more skills and tools. This can lead to costly mistakes that end up being more expensive than having a professional mechanic do the work.

Warranty Concerns

While basic tasks like changing the oil or air filter are unlikely to affect your car’s warranty, performing major repairs yourself can void your warranty if not done correctly. This could lead to significant financial consequences down the line.

The Cons of Professional Car Maintenance

Complex repairs can be time-consuming and frustrating, potentially leading to extended downtime for your vehicle if not done correctly.

Lack of experience and knowledge can lead to errors or safety hazards, risking harm to your car and yourself.

Some DIY repairs can become more costly if you lack the necessary skills and tools, potentially leading to expensive mistakes and repairs.

Major repairs done incorrectly can void your car’s warranty, leading to potential financial consequences.

Frequently Asked Questions on Engine Oils

Can I Change My Engine Oil at Home?

Yes, you can change your engine oil at home. It is a straightforward, cost-effective process that saves you time and money. However, before you get started, it is important to check your car manual to ensure you have the correct type and amount of oil that your car requires.

How Often Should I Change My Engine Oil?

While it used to be widely accepted that oil changes were necessary every 4,500 kilometres (3,000 miles), modern engine technology has made this recommendation somewhat outdated. Many newer cars can go much longer without needing an oil change.

One factor to consider is the type of oil you’re using. Conventional motor oil is generally recommended to be changed every 5,000 to 7,500 km.

Synthetic oil can last up to 15,000 km (10,000 miles) before needing a change. It’s important to note that these are just general guidelines. They can vary depending on your driving habits, the make and model of your car, and the conditions in which you drive.

Another factor to consider is the type of driving you do. If you do a lot of stop-and-go city driving or frequently drive in extreme weather conditions, you may need to change your oil more frequently. These factors can cause your oil to break down more quickly and become less effective at lubricating your engine.

So, how can you tell when it’s time to change your engine oil? The easiest way is to check your car’s owner’s manual.

This will tell you the manufacturer’s recommended oil change interval for your specific make and model. A professional can also analyze your oil to determine if it’s still effective.

What Happens if I Don’t Change My Engine Oil?

Your engine oil is important. It helps your engine run well and stops friction between the parts of the engine. If you don’t change your oil, it can cause the engine to lose power, use more fuel, and not work at all.

Is Synthetic Oil Better Than Conventional Oil?

One of the primary advantages of synthetic oil is its higher purity and quality compared to mineral-based oils. Unlike conventional oil, synthetic oil undergoes a rigorous refining process that removes impurities, resulting in fewer unwanted components such as sulphur-containing compounds and reactive or unstable hydrocarbons. This ensures that engine components are better protected, reducing wear and tear and extending engine life.

Can I Reuse the Oil Filter?

Unfortunately, you cannot reuse disposable oil filters for multiple oil changes. These filters are engineered to function effectively for only one oil change cycle, which makes them clogged and ineffective. Attempting to reuse an oil filter that has already been through a complete oil change cycle can cause serious damage to your engine by allowing unfiltered particles to circulate through the system.

How Can I Dispose of Old Engine Oil?

One recommended method of disposing of old engine oil is to store it safely in a tight-lidded container, preferably the one your new oil came in, and take it to your local council recycling centre. It is important not to mix the oil with any other substance, as it can lead to contamination and render it unsuitable for recycling or reuse.


It’s a vital aspect of car maintenance that keeps your engine purring, reduces wear and tear, and even improves fuel efficiency. But if you ever need expert guidance, professional assistance or simply want to save time, one name stands out in the automotive world – Mad Man Motors.

Unlike other mechanics in Perth, we’re car enthusiasts who understand your love for your vehicle. Our expertise in oil change services and repairs will provide top-notch advice and assistance. Whether you’re a DIY car enthusiast looking for tips or someone who prefers to have a mobile mechanic handle the job, Mad Man Motors is your one-stop solution.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for advice, maintenance tips, or to schedule your next oil change. Your car deserves the best; we are here to ensure it gets exactly that. Keep your engine humming and your wheels turning smoothly with the help of Mad Man Motors – where a passion for cars meets professionalism.

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