How to Change an Oil Filter: 10 Easy Steps

Every car owner desires a car that is well maintained and remains in peak condition forever. However, to keep your car in a good condition you need to perform certain essential maintenance tasks. These small but important maintenance tasks keep your car engine running smoothly and prolong its lifespan. Changing your car’s oil filter is one such maintenance task, if done regularly ensures a healthy engine and a smooth driving experience.

Your car’s oil filter keeps the engine oil clean from any dirt and contaminants. And thus, a clean oil keeps your car engine safe from any damages. A cleaner oil also lubricates the engine better. This basic maintenance task will keep your engine running smooth for many years.

Before changing your car’s oil filter, check the owner’s manual to know about the recommended oil filter, oil and the amount of oil required for your car. However, replace the oil filter with a quality oil filter that keeps your engine running smoothly and ultimately extends its lifespan.

Changing the car’s oil filter is a one person job and you can change the oil filter yourself. You just need to have some tools and a little knowledge. If you’ve any doubts, check the manual or seek any professional help.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of changing your oil filter.

Step 1: Before starting the process, gather the following Tools

  1. New oil filter
  2. A socket wrench 
  3. Oil filter wrench or pliers
  4. A drain pan
  5. A funnel
  6. .New motor oil
  7. Safety glasses and gloves
  8. Shop rags or paper towelsJack stand 

Step 2: Prepare Your Vehicle

Find a safe location and park your car on a level surface. Turn the engine off & let it cool down. Make sure the car isn’t moving by blocking the tires. Gather the required tools and start the oil filter change process. Open the hood and locate the oil filter. You’ll find the oil filter near the engine. Carefully check all the sides of the engine and spot a coke can sized round shaped item which is your oil filter. If you’re not able to locate it, check the vehicle owner’s manual for any guidance.

Step 3: Drain the Old Oil

Before starting this procedure, check the engine once again. Never start the oil filter change process, if your engine is hot or cold. Let your engine be at a normal temperature before you begin. Start by loosening the oil fill cap. You’ll need a socket wrench here. Then perfectly place the drain pan under the oil drain plug. Let the oil drain completely into the pan. Be careful as the oil may be hot. This is a crucial step and the oil needs to be drained completely before the oil filter is replaced. Use hand gloves to avoid any contact with the hot oil.

Step 4: Remove the Old Oil Filter

Put on your gloves and be ready to remove the old oil filter. You’ll find the old oil filter near the engine. Spot a metal cylinder which is attached to the engine block and then carefully check the engine from every side to locate the coke can sized round shaped item known as oil filter. Once you locate the oil filter, grip it firmly using an oil filter wrench. Turn it anti-clockwise to remove it. Place a newspaper under, as few drops of oil may spill out. Placement of the oil filter depends on the vehicle model. Check the owner’s manual for any help in locating the oil filter.

Step 5: Prepare the New Oil Filter

Before installing the new oil filter, you need to lubricate it with fresh oil. This step creates a perfect seal and makes the installation & removal of the oil filter smooth and easy. Spot the rubber gasket also known as O-ring. Then rub some oil on it to make the oil filter ready for installation.

Step 6: Install the New Oil Filter

It’s time to install the new oil filter. You need to be gentle here and avoid applying any pressure. Now perfectly place the oil filter and gently tighten it by hand initially, then use an oil filter wrench. You need to turn it clockwise. Applying pressure or overtightening may damage it. Check for any leakage. Tighten it until it’s leak-free.

Step 7: Replace the Oil Drain Plug

Once the new oil filter is installed, replace the oil drain plug. It’s recommended to replace the oil drain plug after every oil change. Reusing the same one may loosen the seal. Oil drain plug is of metal plastic and usually found at the lowest point of the oil pan. Remove the oil drain plug only after the new oil filter is perfectly placed.

Step 8: Refill with New Oil

Before refilling new oil to your engine, just check your owner’s manual for the recommended oil type and total capacity for your car. Make sure you use fresh oil and avoid reusing the old oil which may be contaminated. You’ll need a funnel here. First remove the oil fill cap and slowly pour the oil through the funnel into the hole. Be careful and avoid overfilling. Use hand gloves to protect your hands. 

Step 9: Check the Oil Level

Bring down your car if it’s jacked up. Start the engine and let the oil flow through the engine for a few minutes. The oil will settle once you turn off the engine. Wait for a few minutes and let the oil settle down completely. Now check the oil level using your dipstick. Add more oil until it reaches the required level. 

Step 10: Dispose of Old Oil and Filter

Be a good responsible citizen and properly dispose of the old oil and filter which are hazardous for the environment. Take the old oil and filter to auto parts stores and recycling centers which use these for recycling purpose. Never dispose of oil or filters in the trash or down the drain, or keep at your home, as it is harmful to the environment.


Your car’s oil filter keeps the oil free from any dirt and contaminants. And changing your car’s oil filter is an easy task that keeps your engine running smoothly. If done regularly, ensures the longevity and efficiency of your car. You can change your car’s oil filter by yourself. Just follow these steps and save your time and money. You can seek professional help, in case you’ve any doubts. Check your owner’s manual for any specific instructions. If you are doing it yourself, please check the recommendations & take all the safety precautions. Use the correct and good quality oil filter, always use fresh oil and don’t forget to dispose of the old oil filter. 

 So change your oil filter now to keep your car in peak condition. 

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