By Jon Martinez:
Changing your own oil is a good way to save money over the quickie lube places, and it is fast becoming a lost skill.
Fortunately, unlike finding MX5 coilovers for my wife’s car – which was a nightmare, doing an oil change is not rocket science. I change my own oil at home and I’d like to share a couple of tips that have helped me to make this process easier and less messy.
Here is what you need to get started:
- Motor Oil. I use 4 qts for my Toyota Corolla. It costs $20.42 for 12 qts at Sam’s Club, which comes out to $6.81 for each oil change
- Oil Filter $4.39 at Advance Auto Parts
- Filter Wrench I use the kind that fits onto a ratchet wrench. Get the right size to match your filter. You can also get a dedicated oil filter wrench at the auto parts store
- Funnel For filling engine with new oil
- Crescent Wrench or Ratchet set For removing the oil pan drain plug
- Oil catch pan with spout For getting rid of the old oil
- Empty plastic bottles With wide mouth for taking old oil to be recycled. I use old kitty litter bottles, but you can use any bottle or container you like.
- Rag For wiping up spills
- Ramps or Jack For lifting the car. I use plastic ramps, a lot of people prefer metal. Your call.
- Jackstands or cinder blocks For safety- keep the car from falling on you. I should really use these, but I haven’t yet…
- Large piece of Cardboard for protecting your driveway (optional)
- Rubber Gloves for keeping oil off of your hands (optional)
After all of the one time purchases on this list, it costs me about $11 for each oil change. Cheaper than the $20 or $30 of the quick lube joint. And I don’t have to deal with pushy salesmen trying to upsell me air filters.