So, you have decided to do a little maintenance on your vehicle, and change the oil yourself? Great! You don't know where to start? Let me tell you and hopefully you will be able to successfully change the oil and save a few dollars at the same time.
First and foremost is safety. It is very important that you have all the safety equipment, properly working tools, and an extra adult around to call for help or just as an extra set of hands. Safety equipment should include the following: safety goggles, gloves to protect your hands from excessive exposure to the hot oil, shop rags, the proper oil collection pan, and container(s) that can be taken to your local oil recycling center or service station. You want to save both yourself and the environment for another day. Your tools should be clean, free from rust and other damage. Also, your work area should also be clean and on level ground; cement is preferable rather than gravel, as you will be lying on it.
Secondly, assemble all the tools and parts you'll need, as well as having your owner's manual on hand to be able to find the engine and oil pan components that you'll be working on. Tools that are recommended are the following: car ramps, oil filter wrench, socket wrench that fits the oil plug, a "Jeepers Creeper shop cart to roll around on when you do the undercarriage work, and clean shop rags. You will need to have the manufacturer's recommended weight of oil and enough quarts of that weight for your vehicle. You'll need the correct size of oil filter, as well. Your local car parts store will be happy to help if you cannot find the information in your manual.
Now, with your partner's assistance, carefully place the car ramps in front of the automobile and slowly drive up them. Keep in mind, though, that the more the engine has run, the hotter the oil. You may want to let i