Oil Change and Oil Filter Replacement Guide

Maintenance work, big or small, is essential to your vehicle proper operation. Changing your motor oil is the most basic maintenance to ensure that your engine will keep on working everyday you need it. It is important to know when to change your oil as it also depends on your location, your vehicle’s type and your driving habits:

oil-change-guide-header
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • How often: Recommended every 6000 - 8000km

Why change your oil and filter?

Today’s engines are marvels of high technology. But they still need protection from the rigours of stop-and-go driving, dusty or muddy roads, extreme temperature changes and other severe driving conditions.

Oil filters play a key role in providing that protection by helping to keep dirt, metal filings and sludge out of your oil, and out of your expensive engine. That’s why experts recommend changing your motor oil and oil filter in your vehicle every six months or 5,000 to 8,000 kilometres, whichever comes first, to maximize engine protection.

Always refer to your vehicle’s owner manual for recommended procedures and maintenance schedules.

Equipement needed for an oil change

what you need to do an oil change

Safety first

Proper maintenance and service procedures are vital to the safe, efficient operation of all motor vehicles, as well as to the safety of the person performing the work—you. Whenever you’re working on your vehicle, we recommend that you follow these important safety rules:

  • Do have a first-aid kit handy.
  • Do be careful when working around hot or sharp objects.
  • Do follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all products.
  • Do use safety stands under the frame or drive-on-ramps if you must raise your vehicle.
  • Don’t run the engine without proper ventilation.
  • Don’t smoke when working around the engine.

OIL CHANGE IN FIVE EASY STEPS

READ these instructions completely before you begin:

A spin-on filter is perhaps the most commonly replaced service part on your car or light truck. Timely, proper installation can help prevent internal damage and oil filter leakage. Most filters have instructions printed on them. Follow these five steps when changing any spin-on oil filter.

Step 1: do your set up

  • Warm up your vehicle to normal operating temperature to remove contaminants from engine.
  • Stop engine.
  • Secure vehicle (emergency brake, wheel blocks, ramps, etc.) to protect accidental rolling and to provide easy access to the oil filter.
set up your work for oil change

Step 2: drain the dirty oil

  • Slide drain pan under drain plug.
  • Loosen drain plug by turning it in a counter-clockwise direction with a wrench or socket (see Figure 1).
  • Remove drain plug by hand, keeping inward pressure on the plug to avoid burning yourself with hot oil.
  • Allow oil to completely drain from engine.
  • Clean drain plug and drain hole.
  • Replace drain plug. Finger-tighten to ensure correct threading, then finish with wrench or sock
drain dirty oil easily with NAPA

Step 3: remove the old oil filter

  • Place drain pan under filter.
  • Remove filter by turning it in a counter-clockwise direction with oil filter wrench.
  • CAUTION: Be careful! Filter and oil will be hot.
  • Clean filter mounting base, removing previous filter gasket if it’s still attached to the base.
how to use a oil filter wrench

Step 4: replace the oil filter

  • Make sure gasket on new filter is securely in place.
  • Rub a thin film of clean motor oil over entire gasket surface.
  • Spin filter onto filter mounting base, making sure gasket makes contact.
  • Tighten filter by hand only, following filter’s installation instructions.
replace your oil filter

Step 5: fill with clean motor oil

  • Remove oil cap on valve cover.
  • Refill crankcase with recommended type, weight and amount of new motor oil.
  • Replace oil cap.
  • Start engine and check immediately around filter and drain plug for leakage.
  • Properly dispose of used oil and filter.
  • While the hood is open, take this opportunity to check your air filter.
fill the reservoir with new oil

Things to know about motor oil

  • Milky brown engine oil is an indication of coolant in the oil. This can be caused by a blown head gasket (other gasket), a failed transmission cooler, or cracked casings. This condition is very serious and needs to be checked by a professional technician quickly.
  • Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines, vehicles that are used for towing (especially during hot weather), or vehicles that are operated in extremely cold or hot climates.
  • Synthetic motor oils, though several times more expensive than mineral-based motor oils, can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes. They also provide instant lubrication on start-up.
  • Short trip driving is especially hard on oil because the engine never warms up enough to boil off the moisture and acids that accumulate inside the crankcase, so be sure to change both the oil and oil filter as your vehicle manufacturer recommends under the “Severe Service” maintenance intervals.
  • Higher motor oil viscosity numbers do not necessarily provide better protection; follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations for your motor and driving conditions.
  • Experts recommend changing the oil and oil filter in your vehicle every 6 months or 5,000 km, (whichever comes first). It’s a simple, inexpensive and essential way to maximize engine protection. Oil changes at 15,000 km are usually too long an interval for most common driving conditions in Canada.

Quick tips

  • Follow these instructions carefully. Read and be sure you understand them before you begin.
  • Gather all your tools and supplies before you begin.
  • Allow plenty of time to do the job so you don't have to hurry. Remember that these are general instructions. For more detailed instructions pertaining to your specific vehicle, consult an appropriate repair manual.
  • Safety is important whenever you're working around machinery. Beware of hot objects, sharp instruments and hazardous materials.
  • Don't substitute tools unless you're sure you won't compromise either your safety or the performance of your vehicle.
  • If you have any questions about repair and maintenance, contact your local NAPA Auto Parts store.
  • Find the nearest NAPA Auto Parts location.

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