I Successfully Changed My Own Oil

by Ryan Yates

I’ve officially joined the club . . . I’ve literally gotten my hands dirty . . . I’ve become more of a man.

I have finally, after 33 years of life, changed my vehicle’s oil – myself. And in all honesty, I was surprised at the sense of accomplishment and excitement I felt afterwards. I’m still flying high.

We brought our 2005 Kia Sorento with us when we moved to Eleuthera, and I knew eventually I would be crawling underneath the car and staring the drain plug and the oil filter square in the face. It was an intimidating thought.

Getting a Little Dirty

If you change your own oil, be prepared for a good shower afterwards.

First, you’ve got to crawl under your car. Next, there’s the heat and sweat of the job (depending on your climate). The old oil will surely find a way onto your hands (probably when you unscrew the old oil filter) and run straight down your arm.

As careful as I started out, I was still cleaning up with man-soap afterwards.

Nevertheless, the mess was a welcomed obstacle when compared to the financial savings. It’s hard to estimate the precise savings each person may experience when dealing with cars and oil changes (since there are so many manufacturer recommendations and since oil changes and oil prices tend to vary state to state).

But overall, plan on saving anywhere from $10 to $40 per oil change when you take on the challenge yourself.

Not As Big of a Challenge

It’s pretty safe to assume that people in my generation (I’m 33 years old) don’t do nearly as much on our own as our parents did. And our parents didn’t do nearly as much on their own as their parents generation.

It’s probably because we have, or we think we have, more “disposable” income. Sure, let’s hire someone to mow the lawn, fix the toilet, change the oil, landscape the front yard for curb appeal. The list can go on and on, but’s let’s save that for a different post.

In reality, changing the oil in my car wasn’t that big of a challenge . . . once I was educated on the “how-to“.

I basically did three things; 1.) I drained the old oil by unscrewing the drain plug and then replacing the plug when I was finished, 2.) I replaced the old oil filter with the new oil filter (made easier by the oil filters with the no-slip grip), and 3.) I poured in the new oil.

Sure, there are small details in the middle of all of those steps, like making sure you don’t over-tighten the drain plug, making sure you drain the old oil into a pan instead of onto the ground, and using a good wrench (in a tight space) to get the old oil filter unscrewed.

But all in all, it wasn’t as big of a job that I had imagined in my head.

Victory At Last

It was a small victory, but a victory all the same. So let me encourage you to get out in your garage or driveway and get your hands a little dirty.

Not only will you get a great feeling of accomplishment by changing your own oil, but you’ll absolutely love saving the money!


Pam@Pennysaverblog March 7, 2013 at

Congrats! It definitely feels good doing something you’ve never done before. My husband always changes our oil so I’ve never had to do it. It does save us money not having to pay someone else to change it all the time.

Chris March 14, 2013 at

Good job, you are better at DIY than me. When I tried to change to oil on my outboard engine I had to call an emergency engineer as I screwed things right up!

Toronto Limo Service April 23, 2013 at

I really love the way information is presented in your post. I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me

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