7 Tools You Need for a DIY Oil Change
With the right tools, changing your oil yourself is a breeze. These seven tools will make your oil change go smoothly.
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Your car may already have a jack with the spare tire. It’s only meant for changing a tire, not elevating the car to work on the engine. It’s better to have a floor jack for lifting the car high enough for you to get underneath.
Floor jacks with wheels for towing and a hydraulic hand pump are convenient and most common. This BlackhawkService Jack can lift 3-1/2 tons up to 20 inches off the ground. It does, however, weigh 85 pounds, not super light to pull around.
Lighter on the arms and the wallet is the Pro-Lift Hydraulic Trolley Jack. It weighs 18 pounds and can lift 1-1/2 tons up to 12 inches.
Once you’ve lifted your car with the car jack, you’ll need jack stands to safely keep it there. Aluminum and steel jack stands are both fine, despite aluminum’s bad rap for not being as strong.
Steel jack stands are less expensive than aluminum but a little heavier. These Pro-Lift Double Pin Jack Stands weigh about 6-1/2-lbs. each and together will hold three tons.
For an aluminum set, the Torin Big Red Lightweight Jack Stands also hold three tons and weigh about 10 pounds combined. The Torin jack stands go up to 15-5/8-in. high, while the Pro-Lift raises to 16-3/4-inches.
Oil Collection Container
Choosing an oil collection container that’s also a portable jug makes disposing of the used oil much easier. This way there’s no messy transferring between containers.
Metal Drip Pan
Even with a sturdy collection container, it doesn’t hurt to slide a big metal drip pan underneath to protect your driveway or garage floor from drops of oil.
This Lumax Galvanized Drip Pan is 47-in. x 25-in. with a 1/2-in. lip around the edge to protect a wide surface area. This pan is a lot easier to clean than concrete or asphalt.
A steady funnel will prevent spills when it’s time to add fresh motor oil to your engine.
Grab this FloTool QuickFill Funnel for a budget-friendly pick, but you’ll need to keep one hand on it while you pour. Or you go for a funnel kit with adapters for all your car fluids, like this Lisle Spill-Free Funnel. The various adapters help the funnel stand up hands-free when you’re adding engine oil, coolant or transmission fluid.
Portable Shop Light
Even on the sunniest days, a flashlight can help you find your oil plug, car jack notches, jacking plate, or even your oil filter if it’s buried beneath other parts. This 1,200-lumen GearIt LED Work Light can hang on a hook or mount to your car with a magnet, or you can go hand-held. It comes with a 20-foot extension cord.
You’ll need a box wrench or socket wrench to loosen the drain plug. Once you do, you can probably finish the job by hand. The type and size of wrench you’ll need depends on your car. Check your owner’s manual for specs.
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