How to do an oil change for less than 50 €!

In the era of the hyper-technological automobile, where computers and sensors are required for every intervention, the dear, old, oil change always remains the same and in this post, we explain how to carry out this apparently simple – operation.

Changing the oil: step by step

The oil change is par excellence, one of those operations that can be done in your garage, saving time and money by avoiding having to go to a workshop. Before starting to go into the details of this procedure, it is important to remember that used oil is considered a special waste and must be treated as such. 

It is forbidden to carry out the operation on the street and if you spill the oil in nature or in the sewers, as well as extremely harmful to the environment, it is also severely punished with high fines. 

Why do you need to change the engine oil?

Oil, like other car lubricants, is essential for the proper functioning of the engine. The moving parts, such as the cylinders, the crankshaft, etc. are subject to consumption and while they work they produce energy and therefore heat. 

The oil serves to reduce the consumption of these parts and keeps contaminants in suspension. Over time, due to movement and heat and impurities, the engine oil is no longer effective and needs to be replaced. Replacement intervals vary from 10,000 to 50,000 km depending on how the vehicle is used. 

To get oil changing services from professionals you can visit the Chicago Auto Repair anytime. 

Order new oil (and filter!)

The first thing to do before starting to work on the engine is to buy the new oil. There are different types and each manufacturer indicates which oil is used and suitable for the vehicle in question. 

This information can be found in the car maintenance booklet or simply on the internet. The most common type of oil suitable for most engines is 5W40 which can be found for € 25 in the 5-liter version. The viscosity and the brand that produces the oil itself are at the discretion of the car owner (therefore, you!).

Each engine is equipped with an oil filter that cleans and purifies the circulating oil. It is essential to replace the filter every time the oil is changed. A standard oil filter costs between € 5 and € 10. The copper sealing ring of the oil drain plug is also preferable to be replaced. The old one, if in good condition, can still be reused.

Preliminary operations

Now that we have the new components, we have to prepare the car, we will need to unscrew the oil drain plug located under the engine and unless you have a control pit or a bridge, you will have to raise the car. 

Attention, never, EVER, intervene under the car if this is not its stand. Only jacking is extremely dangerous as the whole car could slide down. With tripods, the risk is minimal.

After getting a container or a professional tool to store the used oil, you can start working on the engine.

First step: get rid of the old oil

The container that will contain the used oil should ideally be double the capacity of the engine which is usually around 4 liters. Now you need to unscrew the drain plug which is in the lower part of the oil pan. 

In some vehicles, it is necessary to remove underbody protection to get to the actual oil pan. As soon as the nut is loosened, the oil will begin to fall copiously so it is good to be ready with the container. Don’t worry if impurities or various dirt fall inside. 

Once the oil has finished flowing, it’s time to remove the old filter. This can be screwed to the engine block or installed in a cartridge. Check the new filter to understand its installation and shape. Normally it is sufficient to unscrew the filter by hand. If this is dirty with greasy dirt, 

Second step: install the filter, close the cap, insert the oil

At this point, you need to install the new filter after cleaning the area with a brake cleaner. With a few drops of oil (even the old one) it is now necessary to wet the filter gasket so that, when it is replaced, it will not oppose too much resistance in removing it. 

Make sure the paper filters are not soaked in oil. It is a good idea to fill the cartridge filter with (new) oil in order to minimize the time the engine will run without oil in circulation at the first start. 

Now you can screw the drain plug with its sealing ring back on. Make sure that before re-installing the underbody protection, you have removed everything so that it is not “shot” when the car is in motion. 

If you have a torque wrench, 50 N may suffice; The oil pan is generally made of aluminum and therefore rather sensitive to too tight tightening. 

At this point, the new oil can be poured from the nozzle on the engine head. Never mix different oils. At this point, start the engine at idle until the oil warning light goes out (no later than 10 seconds). 

At this point, stop the engine which in the meantime has filled the filter just replaced under pressure, and check the oil level on the dipstick. If it has been filled too little, top-up and repeats this operation. 

Last step: final checks and oil disposal

Before using the car normally, take a short test drive and leave a piece of cardboard parked under the car. If there are oil stains after the engine has cooled, it means that the filter or drain plug has not been tightened properly. 

If everything is in order, take the used oil to the nearest landfill so that it can be disposed of properly. 


Before unscrewing the oil drain nut, open the oil plug on the top of the engine where you will have to fill in the new oil. Doing so will create a pressure compensation that will allow the used oil to flow faster without creating lumps.