Make Sure You Have All the Right Tools for an Oil Change
An oil change is one of the most important maintenance jobs if you want to increase the longevity of your car. That being said, it’s also one of the easiest tasks to perform on a vehicle.
Many people have grown tired of overpriced oil changes. On top of that, you’re pressured into having additional services done that probably aren’t needed. If you’re sick of this, make changing your oil your next DIY project.
For your first oil change, it’s best if you have someone there that knows what they’re doing and can guide you. Although it’s a relatively easy process, you don’t want to risk causing damage.
The first step is to get all the proper supplies for the job. Fortunately, you won’t need much.
To help you get started, let’s go over the tools for an oil change and the materials required.
The Tools You’ll Need
First, let’s go over the tools you’ll need to do the job along with what you’ll be using each one for.
You may already have some of these tools. If not, they’re fairly inexpensive at your local hardware store.
Wrenches are the most important tools for an oil change. You’ll be using them to do several things. It’s important you have regular wrenches and one specifically for the oil filter.
The oil filter wrench needs to fit the particular filter your vehicle uses. Once you know what type of filter you’re dealing with, you can ask the hardware store what wrench you need.
You’ll also use one to remove and replace the drain plug. For this, you’ll most likely need a socket wrench.
If you have to spend a little money on these, not to worry. Wrenches are useful for many things, so it’s good to own a few.
The next thing you’ll need is a drain pan. You’ll use this to catch the dirty oil you’ll be draining out of your car.
You can buy a very cheap, aluminum drain pan that will only last for a few oil changes. However, if you plan on doing this job yourself from now on, go ahead and get quality tools for an oil change.
Consider buying a heavy-duty pan that’s resistant to chemicals. These hold up much better and are still pretty cheap.
You’ll need a funnel specifically designed for adding oil to a vehicle. Again, these are readily available at any hardware store and fairly inexpensive.
The funnel helps easily pour the new oil into your vehicle after the old oil gets drained. Trying to pour the oil in without a funnel is not recommended. You’ll end up with a huge mess.
Many mechanics now wear latex gloves while working on cars and so should you. Some may think this is overcautious, but oil and other engine fluids could be harmful to your skin. Wearing gloves also help keep your hands clean.
Make sure you choose gloves that are tight to the skin instead of loose like dishwashing gloves. You want to retain the freedom to work freely with your hands.
A Jack and Jack Stands
When it comes to safety, these are crucial tools for an oil change. Jacks and jack stands raise and hold your vehicle securely while you perform the work.
Hydraulic jacks work the best and provide the most security. Always use jack stands to support your vehicle once it’s lifted. Make sure you review the manufacturer instructions to ensure you’re using them properly.
The Materials You’ll Need
Now that we’ve gone over the necessary tools for an oil change, let’s take a look at the materials required. These are the things the mechanic overcharges you for.
Like the tools, these are all available at your local hardware or auto parts store.
Since you’re performing an oil change, let’s talk about oil. You’ll need a certain type of oil depending on the operating conditions or your vehicle. Oils have different viscosities, so you’ll need to check your vehicle’s manual to find out what you need.
Aside from conventional oils, you can opt for a higher-quality product to enhance the performance of your vehicle and aid in longevity. There are premium oils on the market if you want to pay a little more.
Synthetic oils for high-tech engines are made to flow better and provide maximum lubrication. These are typically the most expensive and not necessary unless you have a high-performance engine.
You also have the option of high-mileage oils if your vehicle has over 75,000 miles on it.
An oil filter keeps contaminants out of the engine oil. These contaminants build up over time, so it’s a good idea to keep a clean filter in your car.
The oil filter is typically located next to the oil reservoir. Check your vehicle owner’s manual to make sure.
You’ll need to check with your auto parts provider about the exact filter you’ll need. They’ll be able to look it up.
Similar to oil, there are higher quality filters on the market that function more effectively. The good thing is there’s not too much of a price difference.
Drain Plug Washer
You may not need this item depending on the drain plug your car uses. Some plugs are designed with a permanent O-ring and don’t require a washer.
Check your vehicle manual or with the auto parts store to find out if you need one. These are important items for ensuring that no oil leaks from your vehicle. Think of it as added support to the drain plug.
The Right Tools for an Oil Change
Changing your oil for the first time can be intimidating. However, after you’re successful, you’ll probably be surprised how easy it was.
Part of doing it right the first time is having the right tools for an oil change. Once you get the items listed above, you’ll be all set. And aside from oil and the filter, you’ll have everything you need for next time.
We provide information about jacks, jack stands, and other vehicle resources. Check out our guide today.