How to change the oil filter in 7 easy steps

If you don't have enough money to pay for a garage to do the work, we’ve got everything you’ll need to know about changing the oil filter. Even if you’re a driver who knows how to change the oil filter, you could still learn a little about some of the nuances.


The first stage involves lifting your car up onto ramps or jacking it up from a flat surface. Once that’s done, let the engine heat up a little to warm the oil. This shouldn’t take longer than 2-3 minutes of idling.


While you leave the car idling, you can gather the tools you’ll need. You’ll need new oil, a new oil filter, a pan and newspaper to catch the oil as it drains. A wheel wrench and a torch will also come in handy.

Oil cap

Removing the oil cap is the next job. This is the cap you remove when you add more oil so you need it loose for the final part of the process, but loosening it also helps the oil drain quicker because air flows in as the crankcase empties.

Oil pan

The oil pan is a flat metal pan that’s under the car and close to the engine. There will be a plug or a bolt that needs removing in order to let the oil drain out. Take the plug out and place your pan underneath along with your old newspapers. The oil will come out immediately and it can be tricky to catch, so be ready. A common mistake here is to drop the plug into the oil pan. If you do that, you’re making another job for yourself when you have to fish it out.


You just need a little patience for the next part as you have to wait for the oil to drain. Replace the plug when the oil stops running. Hand tighten the plug and then finish it off with a wrench.

Oil filter

Replacing the oil filter is the next job. They are not always located in the same place on every car, so you might need to refer to your handbook. Your replacement filter will give you an idea of what to look for. When you’ve found it, unscrew it. That can be difficult as oil will have made it slippery, so be prepared to spend a little time and effort here. As there will be oil trapped in the filter, you should put the pan back under when you complete this step.

Replace oil filter

You’ll have to prepare the new filter by dipping your finger in the new replacement oil and smear it on the gasket ring of the new filter but once you’ve done that you can put it in place. Carefully screw the new filter in place and finish by adding the new oil.

    wikimedia commons

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2021