How to Change Oil

John Baxter | February 01, 2011

Engine blood transfusion


An oil change not only removes impurities, but it replaces depleted additives, as well as base oil that might have oxidized and broken down from heat. To get started, warm the engine and move the truck to a level spot.

TOOLS •60-75-quart drain container •Strap wrench •Long socket extension •Work gloves •Punch and hammer •Socket and torque wrench


1. The oil will be hot, so wear protective gloves. As you remove the drain plug, hold it so it doesn’t fall into the container. For oil analysis, collect the sample after oil has drained a little.


2. Punch a hole in the bottom of the filter to drain it. Then use a strap wrench on the end of a long socket extension to unscrew the filter.




3. Coat the gasket on the new manufacturer-spec filter with oil to prevent damage while tightening. With the filter in position, turn it backwards until threads engage properly, then turn forward gently until the gasket touches the block.


4. Use the strap wrench to turn the filter a three-quarter-turn farther. Wipe the drain plug clean and screw in with threads carefully aligned. Torque it to manufacturer specs with a socket and torque wrench.


K.L. Harring Transportation and Warehousing of Bethel, Pa., uses a tank and an air-powered pump to install oil.

5. Remove filler cap and install stated capacity of oil that meets all API and manufacturer-recommended specs.




6. Replace filler cap and start the engine. Once oil pressure builds up, check below for leaks. Shut down engine and allow oil to drain into the pan for a few minutes. Check dipstick to ensure oil level is correct.

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