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Learn About Your Car's Oil and Oil Filter and How You Can Change Them Both at Home

You’re looking down the list of items your mechanic has just billed you for and you’re wondering two things. The first - What are all of these replacements and changes for? And secondly, can I do any of this at home? This is a common scenario after visiting your mechanic for services.

Car Maintenance That Everyday Drivers Can Perform at Home

While your mechanic is the best person to help explain the charges you’re seeing, in this post, you will learn about how one of these tasks be done by yourself at home - oil and oil filter change.

Why Does Your Car Need Oil?

Let’s start with a quick and basic explanation of what engine oil is and why your car needs it.

As each metal part inside your engine operates it needs to slide up against and interact with other parts. As each part is metal, this action can cause friction. When friction occurs, your engine parts start to slowly chip away at each other. This causes engine wear and small shards of metal to run through your engine.

To stop this from happening, engine oil coats each part with a protective barrier to help facilitate smooth movement of each part. This allows your car’s engine to perform better and use less fuel. Additional oil continues to flow through your engine system until it comes to the end of its lifespan.

What Does Your Oil Filter Do?

By retaining its viscosity despite high heat and shearing forces, AMSOIL Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil guards against gear wear for maximum component life, helping riders get the most out of their bikes. The sole purpose of your oil filter is to catch any of the impurities or contaminants mentioned above and prevent them from continuing to flow through your engine. Once oil exits your engines system it is pushed through your oil filter, where fibers inside catch any debris. Once this occurs, filtered oil then flows out and is ready for recirculation.

What Happens When Your Oil Filter Can't Work Anymore?

Like all filters, your oil filter is going to get clogged. How quickly this happens depends on many things, including your driving style and the general condition of your engine and existing engine lubricant.

When your oil filter becomes clogged, instead of starving your engine of oil, it just lets dirty oil back into your engine where it can continue to cause damage and reduce performance. Over time, this can lead to serious engine wear and damage.

If you are interested in changing your car’s oil and oil filter, keep reading below for instructions. To complete the exercise you will need a new oil filter and new synthetic oil suited to your car. If you’re unsure which are the right products for your vehicle, speak with Vaughan Distributing at (307) 413-1011 and ask about the range of AMSOIL products available. If you have an idea of what you’re after but just need some more information, check out the online store.

How to Replace Your Oil and Oil Filter

Changing your oil and oil filter isn’t difficult, but it does take a bit of time and some work.

You will need:
  • Thick gloves (preferably heat resistant)
  • New oil filter
  • New synthetic oil
  • Drip tray/catchment container (for the existing oil)
  • Car Jack

Removing Your Existing Oil

  1. Once no more oil comes out, securely replace the oil drain plug.
  2. Secure your car tires with blocks and ensure all brakes are activated.
  3. Once the car is secured and it is safe for you to do so, place your jack under the front of the car and elevate it to a safe and comfortable level for you to work underneath.
  4. Switch on your engine and let your car warm up to a regular operating temperature. This will warm up your oil and allow it to flow out easier.
  5. When your car has reached its normal temperature, switch it off and let your car rest for a minute or two.
  6. Open the hood of your car and loosen the cap which covers your oil intake. This will also help your existing oil to drain.
  7. Safely get under your car and look for the oil drain plug. Your owner’s manual can help you find its location.
  8. Take your catchment container and put it underneath the drain plug.
  9. While wearing your gloves, unscrew the oil drain plug and allow the existing oil to flow out until it stops completely.

Replacing Your Oil Filter

  1. Screw it in where you removed the old oil filter.
  2. Still underneath your car, locate your oil filter. It’s likely to be visible and will often look like a large can shaped object. Again, your owner’s manual should be able to help you locate it.
  3. Take your drip container and place it underneath the oil filter.
  4. Still wearing gloves, carefully unscrew your existing oil filter.
    * Remember that it may still contain hot oil, so be careful.
  5. Take a cloth and wipe around the screw area to remove any spilled oil.
  6. Get your new oil filter and fun a little bit of fresh grease around its seal to help it screw in securely.

Replace Your Oil

  1. Your owner’s manual has information about the amount of oil your car till need. It is important that you read this information and do not over-fill your oil tank during the next step.
  2. Remove your oil cap and slowly pour your new oil into your oil intake. Do this in small portions.
  3. Once you finish each pour, take the dipstick and check the oil level.
  4. When you have put in the owner’s manual advised level of oil and your dipstick shows you are at the correct level, clean the area and replace your oil cap.
  5. Start your car and let it run for about a minute.
  6. You will notice that the ‘Check Oil’ light will illuminate on your dash. This should turn off within a matter of seconds.
    * It is important to note that if your oil light does not turn off, switch off your vehicle and look for a leak. Your oil drain plug may not be secured enough or your oil filter may need to be screwed in tighter.

You Just Completed Your First Synthetic Oil Change

That’s it! You have just changed your oil filter and given your car a full synthetic oil change without visiting the mechanic. Not only can this type of at-home maintenance save you money, it can also save you the hassle of being without your car which it’s in the shop.

When performing your own maintenance it’s always important that you use the right products. Speak with Vaughan Distributing at (307) 413-1011 to get the right high-quality AMSOIL motor oil and engine fluids for your needs. If you prefer, the online store has further information about each product for you to read.

Oil Filters

Check our wide selection of oil filters. Select from AMSOIL Ea and Ea Heavy Duty oil filters, Wix oil filters, MANN oil filters and Donaldson Endurance and P-Series oil filters. Find oil filters that deliver maximum protection and performance and which match your desired extended drain intervals. 
AMSOIL Ea Oil Filters
Superior Oil Filtration for Cars and Light Trucks

AMSOIL Ea Oil Filters (EaO, Ea15K) have one of the best efficiency ratings in the automotive market providing a filtering efficiency of 98.7 percent at 20 microns. Use PART NUMBER dropdown to select filter number.
AMSOIL Ea Heavy 
Duty Oil Filters
Provide excellent filtering efficiency and high levels of contaminant capacity for heavy-duty on- and off-road gasoline and diesel applications. They provide extended service intervals that coincide with the maximum drain interval recommendations of AMSOIL synthetic motor oils (not to exceed one year).
AMSOIL SDF88 Oil Filter

For Ford 6.0/6.4L Power Stroke Diesel Pickups. Features cellulose media designed for OEM-recommended change intervals. Replaces Donaldson P550528 and WIX 57312.
WIX Oil Filter

Made with a full metal base plate for superior strength at the double seal & also feature a silicone anti-drainback valve. Glass-enhanced media in WIX oil filters offers greater efficiency, capturing more 10 to 12 micron sized particles than other cellulose/synthetic blend medias. Use PART NUMBER drop down to select filter.

Oil filters from MANN-FILTER purify oil of dirt and solid particles such as dust, abraded metal, carbon deposits and soot particles. The filter housing is pressure-resistant, protected against corrosion and features a long-life elastomer seal. Use Part Number drop down to select filter.
Donaldson Blue Oil Filters

Made with premium advanced synthetic media technology that results in fibers that have a controlled size, shape & smaller fiber diameter. Deliver both higher dirt holding capacity at the same pressure differential and higher efficiency compared to conventional cellulose filters. Use PART NUMBER drop down to select filter.
Donaldson P-Series
Lube Filters
Increased engine emissions control and tighter tolerances within the engine require high efficiency filters. Donaldson P-Series filters are typically constructed with cellulose or synthetic blend media for high efficiency. Use PART NUMBER drop down to select filter.

You can also be confident that using AMSOIL synthetic lubricants or practicing extended drain intervals will not void your new vehicle or equipment manufacturer’s warranty.

AMSOIL guarantees the performance of its products, so you can be confident they perform as advertised.