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Never Changed Your Own Oil Before? Here’s What You Need to Know

Thinking of changing your own oil? Doing a quick internet search will allow you to take your pick from a million how-to videos. But if you’re an oil-changing newbie, there’s some definite do’s and don’ts that you need to be aware of that may or may not be included in those videos. Here are some must-know tips everyone should know before they try changing their own oil.

1. You have to change your oil on a regular basis.

This may seem like a “duh” tip, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t realize just how important changing their oil is. Your car engine relies on oil to function the way it should, and if you’re running it on old oil, it’s bad for your car. So pencil it in on your calendar or ask Alexa to remind you, but one way or another, remember to change your oil every 7,500-10,000 miles, depending on your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for the exact frequency your car requires.

2. Buy the correct type of oil and filter.

Your little Honda doesn’t take the same oil as your neighbor’s Camaro. Make sure you are buying the right kind of oil and filter! If you’re not sure what kind to get, don’t guess. Check the oil cap in your car, consult your owner’s manual, or head to an auto store and ask them to help you figure it out.

3. Change the filter each time you change the oil.

Most experts will recommend you change your oil filter¬†at least every other oil change, but many car mechanics are now recommending you change the filter every single oil change. (Changing the filter each time will also ensure you don’t forget and lose track of when you last changed the filter.) If you don’t drive your vehicle very often, you can change the filter about every three months.

4. After you remove the cap, remove the dipstick before you start to pour.

This isn’t a must and nothing bad is going to happen if you forget to do this, but removing the dipstick will help the oil transfer more smoothly. Using a funnel can help the oil transfer more smoothly as well.

There you have it! Now go and conquer that first oil change!

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