Changing the oil is one of the simple jobs on your vehicle that you can do yourself with a little skill and experience. In addition, she is one of the most important worksthat you can do for your car. Motor oil is the blood that flows through the engine – nothing works without oil. And if you change the oil yourself, you should change the oil filter at the same time. How to change the oil and oil filter, how you can tell which oil is the right one, as well as numerous tips and tricks – all of this is now available here. Ready for the oil change? Here we go!
Before changing the oil: You have to pay attention to this
If you want to buy motor oil, you are initially faced with an almost endless selection of different oils. But which one is the right one? It is particularly important to pay attention to the following aspects:
- ACEA and API specifications
- SAE viscosity grades
You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. After all, manufacturers know best what makes the engines in their vehicles happy.
Oil change due? Those are the signs!
Want to know if it’s time for an oil change? You can easily find out:
Observe the oil change intervals specified by the manufacturer
You have probably heard and read the note to pay attention to the manufacturer’s specifications more than once. We also recommend that you always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for changing the oil, replacing the filter and other inspection work. But what does that mean in concrete numbers? And which guidelines can you use as a guide? We’ll tell you! The intervals to be observed for the oil change depend on various factors. The following aspects in particular play a role here:
- Kilometers driven
- Depending on the make, you should 15,000 to 40,000km do an oil change.
- However, since this information is quite imprecise, you should also take the following points into account.
- driving environment and use
- Is the car a city car, with a lot of stop and go?
- Do you drive a lot of short trips?
- Or are you a frequent driver?
- Another guideline if you drive your car a lot on average (approx. 10,000 to 15,000 km per year). 1.5-2 years between each oil change.
It is important that you do not adhere to a rigid maintenance interval where you e.g. B. only based on the kilometers driven or only the time. Rather react flexibly to which value you reach first – the kilometers driven or the time – and change your engine oil accordingly.
Engine oil check: check appearance, smell and fill level
- Check the engine oil level regularly, namely:
- Fresh engine oil should be slightly clear, and more honey-colored or slightly tan.
- There must be no dirt particles or the like in the oil.
Tip: This only applies to a limited extent to diesel vehicles. Due to the type of combustion, soot particles quickly collect in the oil and color it black a. This is not a sign that the oil needs changing.
- If the oil smells of burning, mechanical damage may already have occurred in some areas due to lack of lubrication.
- If there is not enough oil, it is often sufficient to top up the oil.
- But it is too much oil present can do that be an indication of a problem.
- If the fill level changes upwards, this may be due to additional fuel in the oil.
- The rising oil level due to oil dilution can occur in both petrol engines and diesel cars with particle filters.
Pro tip: Another place where you can check the quality of your oil is the Oil cap inside. To do this, unscrew it and examine it deposits.
Have you checked the inside of the oil cap and want to know what the deposits are telling you? The following signs indicate that an oil change is necessary:
In the case of slimy light-colored deposits: Please change the oil!
Slimy light-colored deposits can have various causes:
- probably is cooling water gets into the oil circuit.
- The two circuits, cooling water circuit and oil circuit, should never mix.
- If they do, that is an indication of damage to the cylinder head gasket.
- Or it is located condensation in the oil:
- This happens especially in winter when the temperatures are low or when you drive a lot of short distances.
- The engine never gets warm enough to evaporate the water.
Important: In the case of slimy light-colored deposits, you must replace the oil promptly!
So if the appearance, smell or fill level are not in order and your car has already done a certain amount of mileage or you drive a lot of short distances, you cannot avoid an oil change.
Preparing for an oil change: You need this tool
In order to change the oil in peace, you should take a few precautions. You should have the necessary tools ready and take the appropriate protective measures. In the following list you will find everything you need for the upcoming oil change:
Once you have all your materials ready and put on your work gloves, you can start. Are you ready to go?
Changing the oil yourself – step-by-step instructions:
- Step 1: Open the engine compartment and remove the oil filler cap and dipstick.
- Step 2: Jack up your vehicle. To do this, pull on the handbrake and engage first gear.
Danger: Please ensure your own safety and use it jack standsto additionally secure your car.
- Step 3: Remove the skid plate from under the car. Place the drip pan under the oil pan and also line everything with newspaper or cardboard to catch any oil that splashes next to it.
- Step 4: Open the oil drain plug and let the oil drain out.
Pro Tip: When unscrewing the oil drain screw, make sure that you also Remove sealing ring. It can also stick to the oil pan, which can be easily overlooked. It must always be renewed. Otherwise there is a risk of oil loss.
- Step 5: When the old oil has completely drained, you can replace the oil screw seal and screw the screw back in
Tip: Use a torque wrench when tightening the oil drain plug to avoid damaging the oil pan.
- Step 6: Wipe everything properly so that no oil residue remains. Then carefully remove the pan with the used oil.
- Step 7: Now you can fill in fresh oil and the Check oil level.
So that you always have the step-by-step instructions for changing the oil at hand, you can download them directly:
Changing the oil filter: how it works!
Oil filter change and oil change – a dynamic duo. When you change the oil, you always have to change the filter. Why? Very easily:
- There’s little point in running fresh, clean oil through a dirty filter full of residue.
- Likewise, a new filter should not be soiled and worn out unnecessarily quickly by old oil.
So if you are already working on your car and have just successfully changed the oil, you should also change the filter at the same time. This is actually the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Oil filter change – what you need:
Changing the oil filter isn’t rocket science either, but as with many jobs, it is the right toolthat makes the difference. We recommend the following two tools for changing the oil filter:
The strap wrench is comparable to an opening aid for mason jars. It has a strap that you can put around the filter housing. Then you tighten it and can loosen the oil filter more easily. Thanks to the leverage, the filter is loose in no time.
- In addition to the right tools, you will of course also need a new oil filter.
Pro Tip: In contrast to the oil change, when the vehicle should be standing still for a while, when filter change the vehicle before walk for a few minutes! This allows the filter to pick up dirt particles that have been deposited again. So you have exchanged as much dirt as possible.
Good to know: Depending on the vehicle type and manufacturer, the oil filter is installed in a different place. Sometimes you should leave the car jacked up after changing the oil, as you can only access the filter from the underside of the vehicle. But that’s rare. The filter can usually be reached via the open bonnet.
Replacing the oil filter – with step-by-step instructions
- Step 1: Remove the old oil filter, remove the old gasket, and pack both in a tight garbage bag.
Danger: Since we previously brought the vehicle up to operating temperature, there is now oil in the filter. Therefore, when removing the filter, make sure that no oil drips onto parts installed underneath, such as the alternator.
- Step 2: Take the new filter and then oil the sealing surface of the new filter and the contact surface on the engine block.
Tip: Pour a little oil into the filter before installing it.
- Step 3: Then assemble it by hand and tighten it according to the torque specification.
- Step 4: Restart the engine and let it run for a few minutes. The filter should be tight and not leak oil.
Of course, we also have the right downloadable step-by-step instructions for you for replacing the oil filter:
Changing the oil and replacing the oil filter – our conclusion
Changing the oil and oil filter is relatively easy – and incredibly important for a good and long car life! Shorter change intervals never harm the car – delaying the oil change, on the other hand, can have major consequences for your car. The savings from a missed change will never make up for the cost of an eventual engine failure. If you also pay attention to the quality and filling level of your oil, there is hardly anything standing in the way of untroubled driving pleasure.
And how about you? What are your experiences with changing the oil and replacing the oil filter? Have you ever done something like this? We are looking forward to your comment!
Maximilian from ATP