3 Types of Gear You’ll Need to Change Your Oil at Home

A man prepares a used oil filter for disposal

If you’re interested in changing your car’s oil you will need some gear to make sure your DIY oil change goes off without a hitch. Remember, there are plenty of resources online that take you step-by-step on how to do an oil change at home, including full video instruction. Here is a list of the three types of gear you must have to change your oil at home:


1. Tools to get under the car (jack stands or ramps)

When changing your oil you’ll need to have access the car’s oil filter and drain plug, which means you’ll need to be safely under the car with enough room to maneuver. There is an ongoing debate between the benefits and negatives between jack stands or car ramps, but it comes down to how much space you have to work with on your driveway. In general, ramps are known for its simplicity and stability while jacks allow you to work in more confined spaces. If possible, we recommend using both jack stands and ramps for the added level of safety.


2. Tools to drain the oil (oil pan/catcher, oil filter wrench)

You’ll need to make sure you have the right equipment to drain your used oil so it’s easy to collect for proper disposal. A couple of different wrenches are needed for this step plus a drain pan to catch the used oil. First you’ll need a ratchet and socket set to remove the oil drain plug, then an oil filter wrench to remove the filter. When choosing an oil filter wrench, try to find one that will match the specific filter and engages the serrations on the end of the oil filter to make the task easier. Drain pans come in all sizes but we recommend finding one that has a screw on lid and pour spout to make sure you can safely transport and pour out your used oil once the job is finished.


3. New Oil and Filter

Now all you need are the new parts to complete the job, including the right number of quarts of new oil. Depending on your oil preference, there are plenty of databases online that will match your vehicle to the proper viscosity you need in your oil and filter selection. Also, check your vehicle’s manual to make sure your car’s engine doesn’t have specific oil requirements such as the need for synthetic oil. There are specific resources online that will also provide additional information on what you need to know when choosing both your oil and filter. Additional equipment you will need includes latex gloves, a funnel to pour the new oil, and some clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.

Now that you have a list of everything you need to change your own oil, you are now ready to save some money while getting your hands dirty.