Changing engine oil is one of the easiest maintenance regimens a vehicle requires. However, the process is not as straightforward as draining the old oil from the engine and adding in new oil. There's another procedure that needs to be done midway, and that's oil filter replacement. It's a good thing that this task is way too easy even for a novice DIYer like you. Here are steps to help you pull the task off in just a few minutes:
Step 1: Find the oil filter assembly.
The location of the filter isn't standard on all vehicles. Depending on the model, the filter can be positioned on the side, back, or front of the engine. It's wise to consult your manual to know the filter's exact location.
Also look at your replacement filter to know how the old one appears. It usually looks like a soup can and can be white, black, or blue in color, with a width of around 3 inches and length of 4-6 inches.
Step 2: Unscrew and take out the old filter.
Place a drain pan right under the spot where the filter is installed. Most of the time, there is still oil trapped in the filter and it may flow out the moment you loosen the filter.
Make sure you have a good grip on the filter, and then turn it counterclockwise gradually. While grease and the filter's plastic coating can make the filter slippery, it shouldn't be tight enough so as not to be turned by hand. You can use a mechanic's gloves or a rag to help you get a good grip.
When taking the oil filter out, see to it that the rubber gasket ring must also come off along with it. If the gasket remains attached to the vehicle once the filter is out, it surely won't provide the new filter with proper seal, so you have to replace it with a new one. If the gasket sticks with the filter, detach it with your fingers or use a screwdriver to scrape it off. Wipe the gasket clean before reusing it.
Step 3: Prepare and install the new filter.
Coat the gasket of the new oil filter with the new engine oil. This way, the gasket will be lubricated, making it more capable of providing the new filter with a good seal. It's also okay to pour a small amount of oil into the replacement filter before you install it in place. Doing so will help lessen the time it takes for your vehicle to achieve proper oil pressure. A vertically mounted filter can be filled with oil almost to the top. The case isn't the same with a filter that's mounted at an angle because the excess oil may just spill even before you can mount the filter in place.
Install and secure the filter, following the specifications written on its box. Generally, you have to turn the filter until the gasket gets in contact with the mounting surface, then do just a quarter-turn more.