Right when I decided on the year that goes beyond DIY I knew I wanted to learn how to change the oil in my car. I drive a 2012 Honda Odyssey and because we live a pretty good distance from my work (gym) and Zach’s main Y we burn through oil pretty quickly. I figured if it can be done in 10 minutes (as various establishments promote) it was something I could do in an hour.
My good friend Dan offered to lead me through the process so my first recommendation is to find a friend like him. 🙂
Dan took me to Autozone to get all the necessary supplies. If you’re as new to the oil change business as I was just find the nearest Autozone employee. I told the guy my make, model and year of the car and he was able to tell me the kind I needed. It included 4 cans of oil, a filter and a washer.
Being a novice, I had none of the other accruements needed for the changing of the oil. So we threw these in the cart as well.
You got your stuff so pop that hood, baby! Figure out where the oil will go once you’ve drained the old stuff and take off the cap.
Next, lift the car. Our Honda Pilot can probably be done without this added step because it sits high enough for me to wiggle myself underneath but the Odyssey rides dirty so that wasn’t an option. Thankfully Dan is a bit of a gear head and had a hydraulic jack just lying around so the front of my ride was prepared in minutes. If you don’t have something similar ask the Autozone person for ramps or find them online.
Then locate the spot underneath your car where the filter and the oil drum are located. Mine is just behind the front passenger tire. Check it, this is the moment I told Dan (and his adorable son, Banks) that it was located and I needed a bigger ratchet to get the screw off the oil drum.
(oil drum that rides beneath a car that lives on a dirt road)
Position your oil drain under and a little forward of the screw on the oil drum. When the oil first starts to drain the force will project it out a bit so make sure the drain is under the projectile but also right under the screw as when there’s very little left it just kind of drips. Once it’s empty put the new washer on the screw and replace the screw as tightly as possible. Use your shop towels to clean the area around the screw and the drum then turn your attention to the filter.
Take the filter off and turn it upside down in the oil drain. Prep your new filter by dipping your finger in one of the new cans of oil and then run it along the rim of the new filter (never realized how sexy talking about changing your oil can be. Holla!) Your new filter is ready to be tightly placed back where the old one was. (Dan showing Banks and me where the filter is on the Odyssey).
It’s go time! Bring your car back down to earth and open up those clean, shiny oil containers. I bought 5 containers but mine ended up needing only about 4.5. After 4 I checked with the dipstick to see if it was enough-it wasn’t. (Wanna know where your dipstick is? Check your car manual to see where it is and how to use it to check the status of your oil. Nifty little stick!) How much do you love Dailah and Dan’s daughter, Cates watching this go down?
Make sure you dispose of your oil in an environmentally friendly way! Just take it back to Autozone and they’ll take care of it for you.
Also, if you’re feeding a group of 12 maybe pick up $5 pizzas at Little Ceasars for after the oil change party. Did you guys know about those things? I had no idea. Perhaps more than learning to change my own oil-this has changed the life of my family. I mean pizza party for $15? Fuggetaboutit.
Next up I’m changing our Honda Pilot’s oil. I have no idea if I’ll continue to do it on my own for the long term but I was shocked to find it was so easy. Trust me when I tell you that if you have any interest whatsoever-you can totally do it. Sure, it will save us money in the long run but more than that I was so proud of myself for learning something I would’ve never tried a few months ago.
All this to say-I’m kinda killin’ it right now. One area I’ve been killin’ since birth? Finding good friends who “offer” to help me in any way humanly possible. Dan and his wife, Becky are proof of that I do believe.
Let me know if you try it for yourselves! If you have specific questions email or comment and I’ll try to answer them!
*I am not getting paid by Autozone-that is just where I happened to go and they were super nice and patient with me!