Two ways to change your own engine oil

Changing the engine oil in your vehicle is a necessary task. Without new motor oil the engine gets dirty, overheats and can become damaged through lack of lubrication. Usually the oil is changed as part of your car’s service. Engine oil is also designed to hold contaminants in suspension until they are filtered out. This prevents microscopic damage being caused to the internals of the engine and is why after a while oil turns black and has to be changed If you have an older car and don’t really worry about services or if you just want to save some money by doing the job yourself and it is perfectly possible to perform your own oil change.

There are two ways of going about this. You can either open the drain plug located on the oil sump and let the oil drain out into an engine oil drain pan or other container. Or, for those not so mechanically minded, you could use an oil change pump to suck the oil out of the engine.

The advantage of the first is that it is quicker and less tedious, assuming you have the right equipment. It also requires a little more automotive confidence. You’ll need a set of ramps to lift the car and a container to catch the engine oil. It is a simple job but if you have never worked under a car before you might not feel comfortable starting now, but unless you can get some guidance from someone with previous experience. However, this is a very quick way to make an oil change and you’ll always be able to train all of the engine oil out.

The second method, using an oil change pump, also known as an oil extractor does not require any mechanical know-how at all. It is simply a matter of pushing a tube down the dipstick rod and using a hand powered pump to create a vacuum that sucks the engine oil out after sump. These devices do have mixed reviews and it can sometimes take several close to get all of the engine oil out but they do have the advantage of not requiring anything to be undone or unscrewed or lifted up. Sometimes though it can be difficult to get all of the oil out.

Whichever way you choose you should also change your oil filter there is no point in leaving behind a large amount of contaminated oil in the filter. Plus your filter may be blocked or nearly blocked if it has been in use for several thousand miles.