How to Put Oil in a Car: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you a new car owner looking to learn how to put oil in your car? Or maybe you’re a seasoned driver looking for a refresher on the process. Whatever your situation, this guide will provide you with a step-by-step process for adding oil to your car.


Oil is the lifeblood of your car’s engine. It keeps the moving parts lubricated, reduces friction, and helps to prevent overheating. Without oil, your car’s engine would quickly wear out, resulting in costly repairs or even a complete engine replacement.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to put oil in your car. We’ll start by determining the type and amount of oil needed, then gather the necessary materials and locate the oil cap and drain plug. Next, we’ll cover the process of adding the oil and finishing up. By the end of this guide, you’ll be ready to confidently add oil to your car on your own.

Determine the Type and Amount of Oil Needed

Before you start adding oil to your car, you need to determine the type and amount of oil needed. The easiest way to find this information is by checking your car’s owner’s manual. This will tell you the recommended oil type and viscosity rating for your car.

If you no longer have your owner’s manual, you can usually find this information online. Just search for your car’s make and model, along with the words “recommended oil type.” You can also use online resources to find the appropriate oil amount for your car.

When choosing the oil type, consider the climate you’ll be driving in and the age of your car. For example, if you live in a hot climate, you may want to use a synthetic oil that can withstand high temperatures. If you have an older car with high mileage, you may want to use a high-mileage oil that contains additives to help reduce engine wear.

Gather the Necessary Materials

Now that you know what type and amount of oil you need, it’s time to gather the necessary materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Oil filter: You’ll want to replace the oil filter whenever you change the oil. Make sure you purchase the correct filter for your car’s make and model.
  • Funnel: A funnel will make it easier to pour the oil into the engine without spilling.
  • Gloves: It’s a good idea to wear gloves to protect your skin from the oil and any dirt or debris that may be in the engine.
  • Rag or paper towel: You’ll need a rag or paper towel to wipe up any spills or to clean the dipstick after checking the oil level.

Having these materials on hand before you start the oil change will make the process go much smoother.

Locate the Oil Cap and Drain Plug

Before you can add oil to your car, you need to locate the oil cap and drain plug. The oil cap is usually labeled with an oil can symbol and is located on top of the engine. The drain plug is located underneath the car’s engine.

To identify the oil cap and drain plug, you may need to consult your car’s owner’s manual or do a quick internet search. Once you’ve located the oil cap and drain plug, you’ll need to prepare the car for the oil change.

Start by warming up your car’s engine for a few minutes, then turn off the engine and allow it to cool down for a few minutes. This will help the oil flow out more easily. Then, use a jack to lift the car off the ground and securely place jack stands under the car for stability.

Next, locate the drain plug underneath the engine and place an oil pan underneath it to catch the old oil. Use a wrench to loosen the drain plug and allow the old oil to drain out completely. Once the oil has finished draining, replace the drain plug and you’re ready to add new oil to your car.

Adding the Oil

Now that you have determined the appropriate oil type and amount, it’s time to add the oil. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place the funnel in the oil cap: To avoid spilling oil, use a funnel to pour the oil into the engine. Place the funnel in the oil cap and make sure it’s securely in place.

  2. Pour in the oil: Slowly pour the oil into the engine, taking care not to overfill it. Check the oil level frequently by using the dipstick until you reach the recommended amount.

  3. Check the dipstick to ensure proper oil level: After adding the oil, remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a rag. Reinsert the dipstick and remove it again to check the oil level. If the oil level is below the recommended level, add more oil until it reaches the appropriate level.

Finishing Up

After you’ve added the oil, it’s important to finish up the process by replacing the oil cap and drain plug, checking for leaks, and properly disposing of the old oil.

  1. Replace the oil cap and drain plug: Replace the oil cap and drain plug and tighten them securely. This will prevent oil from leaking out of the engine.

  2. Check for leaks: Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes. Check for any leaks under the car. If you notice any leaks, turn off the engine and investigate the source of the leak.

  3. Properly dispose of the old oil: Never dispose of old oil by pouring it down the drain or throwing it in the trash. Instead, take it to a recycling center or an auto parts store that offers oil recycling services. They will properly dispose of the old oil for you.

By following these steps, you can safely and effectively add oil to your car on your own. Remember to check your car’s owner’s manual for the recommended oil type and amount, use a funnel to avoid spills, and properly dispose of the old oil. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to keep your car running smoothly for years to come.

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