Frequent oil changes are the best preventative maintenance the home mechanic can give the engine, because old oil becomes contaminated and or burnt, which leads to premature engine wear. Performing simple maintenance such as changing the oil can save hundreds of dollars over time, as well as building self-confidence in one's mechanical abilities.
Changing the oil is a simple, but very important process. It involves draining then refilling the oil and changing the oil filter, but before starting one is going to need clean oil and a new oil filter as well as a few hand tools. Depending on what kind of car one has determines exactly what type of filter and oil one needs. Any auto parts store will gladly be of assistance in purchasing the right product for one's vehicle. Also necessary is a drain pan, gloves, oil filter wrench, ratchet, and several assorted size sockets.
Make sure all the necessary tools are available before beginning this procedure. Also have plenty of rags and newspaper handy for mopping up any accidental spills.
First, park the vehicle on a level spot. Start and run the engine until it is warm so that the oil and sludge will flow out easily. Next, raise the vehicle and be sure to support it safely on jack stands. Warning: If one does not know how to properly jack up a vehicle be sure to check with the owner's manual, as every vehicle is different. Now that the vehicle is raised, place the drain pan under the drain plug and remove the plug with the ratchet and socket. Wear gloves to stay clean. Allow the oil to drain until it slows to a drip. Carefully clean the area around the drain plug opening and the plug itself. Install the drain plug back into the oil pan securely.
Loosen the oil filter. Sometimes an oil filter wrench is required because it is installed too tight the time before. As it is removed, immediately turn it up so that any remaining oil will not spil