How to Change Your Oil (Ultimate Guide)

Today I’m going to be sharing with you exactly how to change the oil in your car or truck. This ultimate guide is for complete beginners who have never been taught or shown how to change the oil in their car. This ultimate guide will cover everything you need to know.

I also made a video explaining every step in detail which you can see below:

To start with let’s look at the tools you’re going to need to carry out an oil change.

tools needed to change your oil
image by Will Lawson


-breaker bar

-socket set


-oil catch can

-oil filter pliers

Parts & Consumables

-Oil Filter

-Engine oil

-Sump plug washer kit

-1x can of brake and parts cleaner

-protective nitrile gloves

-shop wipes

All the tools used in this guide today will be included in the links at the end of this post so you can find them for your self if you need them. If you have any questions about anything in this guide please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer all of them.

You can use the guide in your local auto parts store to find the correct type of oil and filter for your car as seen in this video otherwise you can use either of the online resources linked below: (US) filter guide (US) oil guide (Australia) filter guide (Australia) oil guide

Step 1 Raise Vehicle

Once you have everything you need you will need to raise the vehicle.

To raise the vehicle safely I recommend watching the process in my video below.

time-stamped 4:35 through to 7:15

Once you have the vehicle raised and secured on stands don’t forget to shake the vehicle to make sure it’s safe and reposition the jack under the chassis as an added safety measure.

Step 2 Drain Oil & Replace Filter

Next step, drain the oil. To locate the oil drain pan watch the video below and proceed to unscrew the drain plug using the correct size socket and ratchet, or breaker bar if it’s really tight!

Don’t forget to position your oil catch can or drain tray underneath before proceeding to catch the old oil.

time-stamp 7:30 – 10:20

Next replace the washer for the oil drain plug before refitting it to the oil drain pan on the engine, this is important to make sure there is a good seal and you won’t have to worry about it leaking before your next service.

Sometimes the washer can get a little stuck, the video below shows how to remove the washer if it is.

time-stamp: 10:22 – 12:58

Once the oil has drained and the drain plug is re-fitted the oil filter must be changed. To do this use the pliers to remove the old oil filter by latching onto the filter and rotating it counter-clockwise. You might be able to remove it by hand but over time the filter tightens between services.

Watch below to see how this is down in detail:

time-stamp: 12:58 – 16:02

Step 3 Re-fill Oil


Next, refill the engine with oil using the funnel mentioned at the start of the post. To make sure you are putting oil into the right place, the video below shows exactly where it needs to go.

time-stamp: 16:12 – 17:44


After filling it with engine oil the level must be checked. To do this you must raise the vehicle up, remove the stands and lower it down onto the ground. The reason it needs to be back on the ground is to ensure the engine is not uneven and level.

To see how to jack the vehicle up again safely, watch the video below.

time-stamp: 17:52 – 18:55

Ensure the car is out of gear and in neutral, then proceed to start the engine.

Let the engine run for 5 minutes before shutting it down.

After waiting 10 minutes for the oil to settle in the engine, recheck the engine oil level by removing the dipstick (has a yellow handle) and is located in the engine bay.

Remove the dipstick, wipe clean the end, and re-insert it all the way until it stops. Remove the dipstick and look to see where the engine oil level is sitting.

It should be on the full mark as shown in the image below.

image by Will Lawson

If the level is too low, gradually top up the engine oil, re-checking as you go.

If you over fill the engine oil by more than 500ml, drain out the excess oil until you have the correct level. More than 500ml can cause engine damage and seals to leak, so make sure this is right.

When you have the level right, make sure the oil cap is screwed back on, and close the bonnet. Have a look underneath to make sure there was no leaks from the work you have done and if not you are all finished.

I hope this ultimate guide to changing your oil has been helpful, if you have any questions leave them in a comment below and I will answer every single one of them.

Links to tools, parts and consumables used in this guide:

Semi Synthetic Oil I Recommend (AU):

Synthetic Oil I Recommend for Cars(US):

Oil Filters I Used (AU): suits Mazda Bt50 2011 2.5litre Diesel

Oil Filter I Recommend (US):

Tools I used: Copper Gasket:

Pliers (multi grip):

(optional) Oil Filter Pliers:

Oil Drain Pan:

Socket Set:

Breaker Bar:



Jack Stands: