How to Change Motor Oil in Vehicles

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

Changing the oil in a Vehicles will reduce the heat and friction in the engine. Changing the oil and the filter should take no more than one hour if you have never done this type of work before. All of the tools and materials needed to complete this job are available Vehicles an auto-parts store. Changing the oil is a preventative maintenance tool that can add to the life of your Vehicles and enhance its performance.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Motor Oil in a 1995 Nissan Altima

Lift the front of the Altima with a jack. Set jack stands beneath the lower control arms of both wheels. You can use standard vehicle ramps for this step if they are available.

Set the drain pan underneath the oil pan. Remove the drain plug. The 95 Nissan Altima standard drain plug size is 14 mm. Let the oil drain for at least seven minutes to ensure that you are getting the most old oil out of the car as possible.

Reinstall the drain plug. Tighten the drain plug between 25 and 30 foot-pounds of torque. Do not over-tighten the drain plug or you will damage it and the entire oil pan. Wipe the surface of the oil pan with a shop rag.

Set the drain pan underneath the passenger front tire of the vehicle.

Remove the oil filter. The oil filter on this engine is located on the right-rear side of the engine, near the lower control arm. Turn the filter counterclockwise to remove it.

Open a bottle of fresh oil. Dab your fingertip in the bottle to moisten. Rub the oil on the black, rubber O-ring of the new filter. Moistening the O-ring will enhance the oil filter's seal to the engine. Spin the new filter on clockwise until it is snug. Tighten the new filter between 45 and 60 foot-pounds of torque or until you cannot hand-tighten the filter any more.

Remove the engine oil fill cap from the top of the engine. Leave the vehicle raised off the ground. Add 4 1/10 qts. of high-mileage motor oil. High-mileage motor oil is suggested for vehicles 10 years and older or with 80,000 or more miles. Replace the oil fill cap after adding oil.

Start the vehicle. Step in front of the vehicle while it's running to assure that you have no leaks or drips. These will be evident within five seconds of starting the engine. Shut the engine off once you have completed the leak check.

Remove the tools and drain pan from beneath the vehicle. Lower the vehicle.

Items you will need

  • 2-ton jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • 2 vehicle ramps (to replace jack stands if available)

  • 5-qt. or larger drain pan

  • 14 mm open-end wrench

  • New oil filter

  • 5 qts. high-mileage motor oil

  • Shop rag or old rag

 How to Change the Motor Oil on a 2001 Volvo S40

Drive the Volvo S40 for about 10 minutes to warm up the oil, and park the vehicle on a flat surface.

Open the S40's hood and remove the oil filler cap, located on the center of the valve cover, by unscrewing it and pulling it from the engine.

Raise the front of the vehicle, using a floor jack, and position jack stands under the S40's subframe. Lower the Volvo onto the jack stands.

Crawl beneath the front of the S40, and find the oil pan on the bottom of the engine. Position a drain pan under the drain plug in the oil pan. Loosen the drain plug, using a combination wrench. Wrap your hand with a clean, lint-free cloth to protect it from hot oil, and continue loosening the drain plug by hand. Once completely loose, quickly pull the drain plug from the oil pan.

Allow all of the oil to drain from the pan until just slow drips of oil come from the oil pan. Pull the copper washer off the drain plug, and clean the drain plug's threads, using a clean, lint-free cloth. Install a new copper sealing washer onto the drain plug, and hand-tighten the drain plug into the drain pan. Tighten the drain plug to 26 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench and a six-point socket.

Slide toward the passenger's side of the vehicle and remove the bolts securing the plastic splash guard under the engine, using a ratchet and socket. Pull the splash guard down, exposing the oil filter behind it. Position the drain pan under the oil filter. Loosen the oil filter using a ratchet and an 86 mm oil filter cup. Allow all of the oil to drain from the filter, and remove the filter by hand. Place the filter in the drain pan.

Wipe any debris off the oil filter-mounting surface and the oil filter stud on the engine with a clean, lint-free cloth. Place a small amount of new 5W-30 engine oil onto your fingers, and coat the O-ring on the base of a new oil filter with this oil. Hand-tighten the oil filter onto the oil filter stud until the O-ring contacts the oil filter-mounting surface. Tighten the oil filter to 19 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench and an 86 mm oil filter cup. Set the splash guard back in place and tighten its retaining bolts with a ratchet and socket.

Raise the S40 off the jack stands, using a floor jack, and pull the jack stands from under the vehicle. Lower the Volvo to the ground.

Insert a funnel in the oil filler hole and pour 5.7 qts. of API-certified 5W-30 engine oil into the engine. Allow the oil to settle for about 3 minutes. Pull the engine oil dipstick out of the engine, and wipe the oil off the end of the stick with a clean, lint-free cloth. Reinsert the oil dipstick into the dipstick tube and remove it again. Verify that the oil level is near or slightly above the top line on the dipstick. Add more oil as needed.

Reinsert the dipstick into the dipstick tube. Remove the funnel from the oil filler hole, and tighten the oil filler cap into the filler hole. Start the S40's engine, and allow it to idle for 2 to 3 minute -- check for oil leaks as it idles. Shut the S40's engine off. Allow the oil to settle for about 3 minutes. Remove the dipstick, and wipe oil off the dipstick, using a clean, lint-free cloth. Reinsert the dipstick, and remove it again. Verify the oil level is between the two lines on the bottom part of the dipstick. Add more oil as needed.

Insert a funnel into an empty oil bottle, and pour old oil from the drain pan into the empty bottle. Once the bottle is full, remove the funnel and close the bottle's cap. Repeat this step until you transfer all of the old oil from the drain pan into the empty bottles. Take the bottles of oil and the old oil filter to a used oil-recycling center. Some auto parts stores take old oil free of charge.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Drain pan

  • Combination wrench set

  • Clean, lint-free cloths

  • New copper drain plug washer

  • Torque wrench

  • Six-point socket set

  • Ratchet

  • 86 mm oil filter cup

  • 6 qts. API-certified 5W-30 engine oil

 How to Change the Motor Oil in an 8N Ford Tractor

Park the 8N Ford Tractor on a level surface and turn off the engine. Be sure to leave the transmission in gear.

Crawl under the front of the tractor and locate the square head bolt in the bottom of the oil pan. Slide the oil catch pan under the oil pan drain bolt. The catch pan should be large enough to catch at least 6 quarts.

Turn the drain bolt counterclockwise using the large adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the bolt. Allow the oil to drain completely out of the engine and oil pan. Screw the drain plug back in the pan and tighten it with the adjustable wrench.

Locate the oil filter canister on the left-hand side of the tractor. The oil filter canister on the 8N Ford Tractors is in front of the starter. Loosen the lid on top of the canister by turning the bolt on the top of the lid counterclockwise with the adjustable wrench. Pull the lid off of the oil filter canister with your hands and set it to the side.

Reach into the canister and locate the handle that is attached to the top of the oil filter. Pull up on this handle and the oil filter will come straight out of the canister. Discard the old oil filter into the catch pan. Insert the new oil filter into the canister and screw the lid back on. Tighten the lid with the adjustable wrench.

Locate the oil fill tube on the front left-hand side of the engine block. The fill tube is below the oil filter canister. Remove the cap and insert the funnel. Pour all 6 quarts of oil into the engine. Replace the cap and crank the engine. Let the engine run for about one minute.

Turn the engine off and wait for one minute. Check the oil level on the dipstick. The oil level should be perfectly full after six quarts.

Items you will need

  • Oil catch pan

  • Large adjustable wrench

  • Oil filter

  • Funnel

  • 6 quarts of oil

 How Do I Change Motor Oil on a Freightliner?

Ensure the truck is parked on a flat and level surface. Set the parking brake.

Open the hood for access to the engine compartment. Locate the engine oil dipstick next to the engine. It will be labeled "Engine Oil". Pull the dipstick out of the dipstick tube and place it to the side.

Place a drain pan beneath the engine directly, under the drain plug. Remove the drain plug with a socket wrench and allow the oil to drain out of the oil pan. Tighten the drain plug back onto the oil pan with the socket wrench when the oil has finished draining.

Locate the oil filter on the driver's side of the engine. The engine, depending on the type, will have either one filter or two oil filters next to each another. Slide the drain pan under the oil filters.

Unscrew the oil filters with a filter wrench. Some oil will spill out when the filter is drained; allow it to fall into the drain pan.

Fill the oil filters with 15W30 engine oil. Dab oil on your finger and spread the oil around the gasket at the top of the filter. This will make removal of the filter easier at the next oil change.

Tighten the oil filters onto the oil filter housing by hand. Do not wrench tighten, as this can strip the threads of the filter housing or the oil filter itself.

Unscrew the oil fill cap at the top of the engine. Pour in the recommended amount of engine oil into the engine. The recommended amount will be noted in the owner's manual of the truck. Different sizes of engines require different amounts of oil.

Clean the dipstick with a clean rag and slide it into the dipstick tube. Pull the dipstick out and verify the level of the oil on the dipstick. The oil will need to be in the shaded area of the dipstick. If it is below the shaded area, then additional oil needs to be added. Add oil in one-quart increments until the oil falls in the shaded area on the dipstick.

Start the truck and allow it to idle for five minutes. Turn the truck off and check the oil level after letting it sit for five additional minutes. Add more oil if necessary.

Close the hood and ensure the oil cap is tightened onto the engine.

Items you will need

  • Drain pan with at least a 45-quart capacity

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

  • 15W30 diesel engine oil

  • Oil filter

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