Any tips/tricks for changing your oil at home?

I'm kind of a newbie at changing my oil at home. I change my oil (2002 Camaro) and my husband's (2008 Ford Focus); I've done it probably about 5 times. Everything's easily accessible and I use all the standard tools/things so I'm successful at it, but I always manage to get oil on the driveway (don't have a garage), on myself, on basically everything. Everything I have works fine, but I still need help... Does anyone have any go-to items that make the job easier? IE Gloves, mats (plastic bags don't seems to work as guards because oil just eats/goes right through it), special pans, or tips and tricks that you find useful? Even a soap that you like that helps get the oil off? One of my tricks is using hospital "blue sheets" as a mat because it seems to keep oil off the driveway pretty well, but I'm looking for other options! Thanks, everyone for your time!

6 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Go to any auto parts store and pick-up an inexpensive OPEN plastic oil drain pan with a spout on the top corner. It should be at least 18 inches in diameter. If you don't have a floor jack and jack-stands to lift the car, Auto parts stores and Walmart Automotive Dept. has a pair of hard plastic ramps to drive the front wheels on to raise the car.

    The engine should be hot and up to normal operating temperature before removing the oil pan drain plug. Use a metric socket with an extension or metric combination open-closed end wrench. The secret of not getting oil on your hands is by wearing a Nitrile glove (auto parts stores) on your hand to remove the drain plug and unscrewing it with your fingers, pulling it away quickly when you're on the last 1/4 thread. Let the engine drain for at least *30 minutes! This gives the oil filter time to cool off and change later.

    Remove the oil filter with a cup-style oil filter wrench, extension and 3/8 ratchet. Wipe the oil filter gasket surface om the block with blue work paper towel. *Fill the center of the new oil filter with oil you're going to fill the motor with. This step prevents the dry "death rattle" starts when the job is done. Make sure the new oil filter gasket is coated with fresh oil before screwing it on the block threads. *Tighten by hand till the filter gasket touches then tighten 3/4 of one turn with the cup wrench.

    Dump the used oil in a 5 gallon plastic paint pail with a cover. Home Depot, Lowes, hardware and large paint stores sell new paint pails for about $5.00 Any place that sells oil is supposed to allow dumping the old oil back.

    I've had lots of practice changing our fleet of cars in the past 52 years. Practice makes perfect. You shouldn't be getting a drop of oil anywhere near the driveway.

    Source(s): Alignment, suspension and brake shop.
  • 8 years ago

    I use disposable painters tarp from Walmart. I keep on-hand the cheapest kitty litter or a large box of baking soda in case of a accident. I use Zep Concrete cleaner if the kitty litter doesn't work.

    It sounds like you just need a bit more practice?

    Do you remove the oil cap on top of the engine before removing the drain plug? That will help make the flow more consistent and predictable as it drains.

  • 8 years ago

    get yourself a large metal drain pan, slide it under the drain plug before taking the drain plug out, that way the oil will drain into the pan and not hit the floor ! if you use a large metal drain pan like i said then no oil should get on the driveway ! but when your taking the oil filter off there will be oil drain from it too so slide the pan under the filter before loosening it !

  • 8 years ago

    I use a drip pan and keep some degreaser nearby in case I miss. Also, the drip pan can slide under the car that catch those "overnight" drops that you might've missed. As for me I finally bought some coveralls cause I trashed so many t-shirts, also a can of hand cleaner is a good investment. Good luck!

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  • roger
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    I keep a kmpty quart oil container frem the previous job handy pour half a quart in the empty and you have less spillage or use a funnel. Take your finger dip it in the oil and rub it around the ring on the rubber gasket on the oil filter this keeps the filter from sticking shen you take it off next time. Buy kitty litter for oil dry its cheaper. I use straight liquid dish detergent on oil stains. sqirt it on stain and rub it in good then trow it in the wash And there is all kinds of stuff like orang glo (something like that tou can buy in big cans for grease stains. Giet a set of coveralls one insulated set for cold monrings and one set of regular coveralls it saves your clothes.

  • Linda
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    the secret? fresh ingredients-lemongrass, limes, coriander, those gorgeous red chillies, seafood. oh and also msg-its actually not bad for you in tiny doses. go to your nearest chinatown(I know its not thai but you'll be surprised what you find) and buy the other ingredients you need. Make sure they're made in Thailand or malaysia. You'll want coconut milk, fish sauce (Budu) and prawn sauce (cencaluk) and stuff called belacan(which comes in cakes). Also try and get frsh Asam Jawa--I think in english its tamarind. Use the best Jasmine rice you can find. Use lots of onion and lemongrass. Cheat for extra flavour and use bouillion cubes whenever you cook. And seriously dont overlook those little packets of sauce that you just add meat to. convenience of take-out but cheaper! Add your own fresh ingredients though. Like if its tom yam paste add loads of onion, lemongrass, coriander and lime. experiment, make it your own.

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