Ladies, Let’s Get Down and Dirty

I originally wrote this for a freelance client. I decided it wasn’t right for that particular client. Still, after putting in the work, I wanted someone to read it. Aren’t you the lucky ones?

Ok ladies, let’s get down and dirty.  Oil change 101

First, we need to gather the correct tools:

  • old clothes
  • eye protection
  • latex gloves
  • rags
  • box end wrench
  • oil filter wrench
  • drain pan
  • funnel
  • new oil filter
  • new oil

Before heading off to the store, check your owner’s manual for the amount, type, and weight of oil your car manufacturer recommends. Your owner’s manual will also recommend how often you should change your oil, follow that guideline when purchasing your oil filter. Your owner’s manual will also probably recommend you take your car to the dealership to have the oil changed. If that’s what you’re gonna do, stop reading now, and ignore the rest of my post. (Please …don’t do it, keep reading…just for the fun of it.)

Make sure your vehicle is on a flat surface. Run the engine for a few minutes to heat the oil then turn the car off. Open the hood, find the dip stick (not the nitwit) and remove it, to help the oil flow when draining. Put your box-end wrench, oil filter wrench, drain pan and new filter, on a large piece of cardboard or something similar so everything is there when you need it. Before sliding this under the car, coat the new filter with clean oil.

Don your eye protection, put on those gloves and let’s get under that car.

  1. The oil pan should be easy to identify, it’s large and it sags.
  2. Locate the oil drain plug, it is the long bolt head at the bottom of the pan.
  3. Position your drain pan under the plug and loosen it (the plug), using your box-end wrench ( lefty loosey).
  4. Carefully remove the plug. The oil is going to come out quickly (very quickly) but it will take a few minutes for the pan to completely empty.  Remember: OIL MAY BE HOT
  5. Wipe the oil pan threads and drain plug threads with a rag. Take a good look at the condition of the oil pan and oil drain plug threads and gasket. If you think the plug looks wonky, buy a new one.
  6. Put the drain plug back in and tighten to snug (I believe this is akin to a pinch, a dash, and a smidgen) and carefully add 1/2 turn (righty tighty).
  7. Find the oil filter.  Move your drain pan under the oil filter.
  8.  Loosen the oil filter with oil filter wrench (lefty loosey). Allow the oil to drain.
  9. Remove the filter. Check to make sure the filter gasket has come off with the filter. If it’s still stuck to the engine mounting plate, remove it. Wipe off any excess gunk.
  10. Install the new filter onto the engine. Tighten the filter, by hand (righty tighty). Doesn’t need to be too tight. If you can unscrew the filter with your hand, with only a little bit of struggle, then you’re just right on the tight.
  11. Under the hood, remove the oil fill cap. Using your funnel, pour in oil and replace the cap.
  12. Start the engine and run at idle for a minimum of 30 seconds. Check under the vehicle for leaks (especially by drain plug and filter). If leaks are visible, shut off the engine immediately and have the leaks repaired.
  13. Put dip stick (still not the nitwit) back in and check the amount of oil. Add more oil if needed. You shouldn’t have to add oil. Remember, we checked the owner’s manual for the amount.
  14. Done. Over. Finished. Well done, you!

Important tips to heed:

  • Never use an adjustable wrench or socket on the drain plug. Use the properly sized box-end wrench.
  • Always hand-tighten the filter.
  • Never use a filter wrench for tightening.

Visit to find an oil/oil filter recycling center you.

I think I’m pretty sure, I might try this…sometime… in the future…maybe…perhaps…

This was rather fun to write. If there are errors, please let me know. It could turn out badly if I forgot something important. EEEK!


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