What You Need To Know About Changing Your Oil And Oil Filter


2 out of 5


30 minutes

How Often:

3 months or 3,000-5,000 miles*


  • Oil filter wrench set
  • Oil catch/recycle container**
  • Funnel
  • New GOLDNAPA Oil Filter
  • Amount and type of new oil specified in your owner’s service manual
  • Clean rags
  • Ramps
  • Chucks
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Hand cleaner
*Original manufacturer specifications may recommend higher mileage and more time between oil changes
**Container must be big enough to hold the amount of oil shown in your owner’s service manual. Some vehicles take up to 15 quarts

Important Tips:

  • Before you go to your NAPA AUTO PARTS store to buy supplies, check the year, make, model and mileage of your vehicle. Look in your owner’s service manual to see how much oil to buy and what weight and viscosity you need. Your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store professionals can also help you choose the correct type of oil and oil filter.
  • Before working on a specialty vehicle, it’s especially important to read your owner’s service manual to see if there are other things you should do to stay safe. For example, some hybrid vehicles have auto-starts, so removing the key from the ignition is a must.
  • After you change your oil, record the date and mileage, so you’ll know when your vehicle is due for another oil change.
  • Handle hot motor oil with extreme caution
  • Use gloves to keep your hands protected and clean
  • Dispose of used motor oil and filters at authorized locations ONLY
  • You can always bring your vehicle to your local NAPA AutoCare Center, and they will change your oil filter and other filters and fluids for you.

Step 1

Run your engine.

Since warm oil drains faster than cold, run your engine for only a couple of minutes. You never want to get your engine up to full operating temperature, because the oil will be way too hot to safely drain.

Step 2

Drive your car onto two ramps.

Apply the parking brake. Remove the key. Place chucks behind the wheels for safety. Put on your safety glasses and gloves.

Step 3

Locate the oil drain plug and place the oil pan below it.

Consult your owner’s service manual for help in locating the oil drain plug, and remember that the oil will flow at an angle into the pan. Loosen the plug with a socket wrench.

Step 4

Unscrew the plug by hand.

While unscrewing it, push the plug back toward the pan to keep oil from rushing out until you are ready to remove the plug from the hole. Be careful—that oil may be hot!

Step 5

Drain old oil.

Check your owner’s service manual to find the location of the filler cap on top of your engine. Removing it makes the draining process faster because air can enter from the top.

Step 6

Replace oil plug.

Once all the old oil is drained, replace and tighten the oil plug by hand, making sure it’s not cross-threaded. After the plug is hand-tight, secure it with a wrench. If indicated in your owner’s service manual, use a new drain plug gasket. Never over-tighten the drain plug.

Step 7

Remove existing oil filter.

Even after you’ve drained the oil, the old oil filter can still contain hot oil. Position the oil pan under the old filter, then be very careful as you use your oil filter wrench to remove the filter. Use a rag to clean the mounting surface on the engine, and make sure the gasket from the old filter is not stuck to it.

Step 8

Lubricate the new filter and screw into place by hand.

Before installing your GoldNAPAFilter, lightly coat its rubber seal with fresh oil. Check to make sure the seal is properly seated in the filter, then screw on the filter by hand. It’s usually not necessary to tighten the oil filter with the wrench, but check the filter’s instructions to be sure.

Step 9

Pour in new oil.

Make sure to use a clean funnel, and pour in the amount and type of oil specified for your vehicle. Some oil may not have drained out, and you don’t want to overfill it. When you have completed pouring in the specified amount of oil, don’t forget to replace the cap.

Step 10

Run the engine and look for leaks.

After you run the engine for a few minutes, check the area around the oil drain plug and the filter for leaks. If you see a leak, cut off the engine and correct it. If you see no leaks, shut off the engine and let it rest a minute or two to give the oil time to drain down.

Step 11

Check the oil level.

Remove the dipstick. Wipe it off. Replace it. Then remove it again to see if it’s up to the “full mark.” If it’s not full, add the balance of the oil shown in the owner’s service manual. Finish up by removing the chucks and backing off the ramps.

Step 12

Dispose of old oil and oil filter properly.

Take both to either an authorized used engine oil drop-off center or recycling center to recycle the old oil for you.

NAPA Filters Legal Disclaimer:
Please review the Terms & Conditions before trying this at home. NAPA Filters is not responsible for any damage, illness or injury sustained while performing this activity.

What You Need To Know About Changing Your Air Filter What You Need To Know About Changing Your Air Filter What You Need To Know About Changing Your Cabin Air Filter What You Need To Know About Changing Your Cabin Air Filter