DIY Oil Changes with Oil Drain Pans

Many people choose to perform oil changes on their cars at home. There are several benefits to attempting a DIY oil change, from learning valuable information about your car to saving money on maintenance. Learn what you need to know about performing DIY oil changes.

Do It Yourself Oil Changes Saves You Money

Routine maintenance on a car or truck can easily cost you hundreds of dollars a year. As a result, you may be tempted to skip or put off scheduled maintenance. However, skipping a scheduled oil change may save you money in the short term, but it can lead to serious engine damage in the long run — and the expensive repair bills that go along with it. 

One viable solution to the problem is to tackle some of the more simple maintenance tasks yourself. Think of it this way: You eliminate the entire labor cost of your service by doing the work yourself. You can lower your costs even further by buying supplies such as oil, engine fluids, and a drain pan when they are on sale. 

Supplies for a DIY Oil Change

You only need a few basic tools to change your own oil. Obviously, you’ll need to purchase fresh oil for each change. Check your owner’s manual to find the correct type and weight of oil for your car. You’ll also need a pan to collect the used motor oil. Finding one with a lid makes it easy to safely store oil until you are ready to take it to your local auto parts store for recycling. 

A filter wrench makes it easy to get the old one off and the new one tightened. Just be sure to avoid overtightening, since that can do more harm than good. Depending on your car, you may need stands or ramps to create enough space to comfortably slide underneath. While certainly not necessary, a creeper eliminates the need to slide on the ground. 

If you are planning to undertake any other fluid changes, you may need some additional supplies. For example, having a transmission oil drain pan on hand can help you keep that separate from motor oil for recycling purposes.

Learning Valuable Automotive Maintenance Skills

You don’t have to know everything about your car’s engine, but it is good to have some basic knowledge of how things work. Changing your own oil is a great way to gain that insight. Plus, it ensures you stay on top of checking other maintenance items, such as fluid levels, brake pads, and wipers. That’s an excellent way to ensure that you catch minor issues before they become major — and more expensive — ones.

Even if you are an automotive repair novice, you can probably perform a DIY oil change armed with only a drain container, filter, and fresh oil. They can help you save money and gain insight into your car’s condition. When you are ready to get started, visit an online auto parts store to find the parts and supplies you need to keep your car running in top condition.