Car maintenance matters, and whether it's a synthetic oil change or a conventional oil change, performing a regular car oil change is really important for your car.
Regular oil changes are just about the best thing you can do to maintain the power and efficiency of your car, not to mention helping you to get the longest life out of the engine. That's why it's good to know how to change engine oil.
Many people use their local service center or friendly mechanic to do the job, but it's one job that it's perfectly possible to do at home. First off, you need to get the oil you need, which you can identify using our quick and easy Oil Selector tool and Where to Buy tool.
It's a good idea to pick up a new oil filter while you're buying the oil, and a filter wrench, sump plug key and oil drain tray if you don't already own them. Castrol also recommends wearing disposable latex gloves, as oil can irritate your skin as well as protective goggles.
Once you have all of these things to hand, make sure your car is parked on level ground - with the engine still warm but not hot and the handbrake engaged - and lift the hood. Then place the oil drain tray under the sump, remove the oil filler cap, and loosen the sump plug with a sump plug key until the oil starts to flow into the drain tray.
At this point, you can use the oil filter wrench to unscrew the oil filter, counter-clockwise, which will allow the oil to flow out fully and quickly. You should also make sure to empty the oil inside the filter into the drain tray, then place the filter in a plastic bag for safekeeping until you can recycle it.
Once the used engine oil has stopped flowing, replace the sump plug and tighten it, before screwing the new oil filter into place. It's also a good idea to rub a light coating of oil around the filter's gasket before screwing it into place, as this helps to ensure a good seal.
At this point, refill the engine with the recommended oil, first checking to make sure you know exactly how much to add. If you're at all unsure about how much you're putting in, add the oil in increments and use the dipstick to ensure that you don't overfill the sump.
Once you've done, make sure to replace the oil filler cap and dipstick - you'd be amazed at how many people forget to do so - and close the hood. It's now time to recycle your old engine oil.
Running with a low oil level is incredibly bad for your engine, so it's important to check your engine oil regularly. Don't rely on dashboard warning lights alone; checking engine oil at the dipstick is a simple but important car maintenance task that absolutely everyone can do at home.
Your engine doesn't simply need the right specification of motor oil, it also needs to have the right amount at all times. So don't wait for a dashboard warning light before you pop the hood; it's a good idea to check your engine oil at the dipstick at least once a week, and always before a road trip.
While oil is a natural resource, it occurs deep in the ground where it can't damage plant and animal life. It's vitally important that any used engine oil from home car maintenance makes it to a recycling center, as this ensures that it won't leak into the ground, potentially causing hazards to wildlife and water resources.
Why choose full synthetic motor oil? Even if your warranty doesn't depend on you choosing synthetic engine oil, it's still the strongest and best choice for every engine. As long as you choose the right grade and specification of synthetic oil, it is guaranteed to exceed the manufacturer's requirements and give your engine the best possible protection.