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DIY Guide to Changing your Car Oil

Frequently checking and changing the fluids in your car as needed helps to keep your vehicle’s systems running stronger and longer. While many drivers in Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton trust their cars to highly trained auto technicians for oil changes and the like, other vehicle-savvy individuals prefer to try their own hand at performing routine maintenance at home.

At Nissan 24, we understand the drive behind doing your own car maintenance. As tried-and-true car lovers ourselves, we know that nothing teaches you about the way your car works better than getting under the hood yourself.

Check out our DIY guide to changing your car’s oil and you’ll be on your way to executing routine maintenance like a pro in no time!

Oil Change Frequency

It’s generally a good idea to get under the hood on a monthly basis to check your vehicle’s fluid status and safeguard against any potential leaks. Brake fluid and transmission fluid changes are needed much less frequently, but it’s still a good idea to make sure the levels are correct.

In general, oil changes should be performed every 3,000 to 10,000 miles. If you drive mostly urban routes, you’ll fall on the more frequent end of the spectrum, while those who drive more country roads may be able to go longer between oil replacements. You can also consult your owner’s manual for a recommended mileage schedule.

By studying the oil color on the dipstick when you do a routine check, you can tell whether your oil needs to be changed or whether you just need to add some more. Oil with a golden hue is clean, while dark-colored oil indicates old or dirty oil that needs to be changed.

Oil Change Prep in 4 Steps

Be sure to consult your owner’s manual to ensure that you buy the right type of oil for your specific Nissan model. You’ll also need to purchase a quality oil filter; you can’t go wrong with a genuine Nissan OEM filter when it comes to performance and fit. With the manufacturer-recommended oil filter and oil type by your side, you’re ready to begin.

1. To prepare for an oil change, you’ll want to lay down a plastic tarp to protect your garage floor or driveway from oil spatters and spills. If your driveway will be your workshop for this oil change, choose a flat area to lay the tarp.

2. Drive your car over the tarp and set the parking brake. Let your motor cool down for a while to avoid getting burned by oil that’s still hot.

3. Jack up your car over the tarp and secure it into position so you have enough room to reach the engine oil tank and see what you’re dealing with.

4. While your Nissan is cooling down, gather all of the tools that you’ll need for the job in a tray that can be by your side while you’re under the car. You’ll need the following:

  • Wrench
  • Mallet
  • Rags or paper towels
  • Drain bucket
  • New oil filter
  • Safety glasses

Performing Your Own Oil Change

Once you’re situated under the car, center your drain bucket for the old oil underneath the engine oil tank. When you’re ready, remove the oil plug to drain the old oil.

Next, remove the old oil filter and replace it with the fresh one. Tighten the oil plug back into place once all of the oil has drained out into your bucket.

Out from under the car and back to under the hood, fill the engine with fresh oil using a funnel. To be sure you’ve filled oil to the right limit, periodically check the oil level with the tank dipstick. You’ll want to put the old oil from your bucket into a closed air container that can you can recycle it later.

Not so bad, right? Changing your car’s oil can be a rewarding and fun way to get better acquainted with your Nissan. Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton area at-home mechanics always have Nissan 24’s service center as a local resource if any questions should come up. Schedule your service conveniently online! You can also purchase your genuine Nissan oil filter through our parts department online in just a few clicks. Your engine will thank you!