How to Change Your Oil
- Look out window. Determine that today is the day because it’s supposed to rain all next week and you’re already a thousand miles past when you should have done it. Be sure it’s nice and windy out.
- Contemplate changing into old clothes. Reject this idea, reasoning that you’ve done this many times before and can easily accomplish the job without getting oil on yourself.
- Cover entire driveway in cardboard, just in case you spill a few drops.
- Prepare to drive onto ramps. Remember how much you hate this part. Then go for it! Pull car halfway onto ramps and brake suddenly for fear of shooting over the top. Realize you didn’t go far enough. Go back down. Try again. Repeat, making horrible screeching sounds as the ramps scrape over the driveway, until your neighbors start walking by to find out what the hell is going on. Finally succeed in getting up on the ramps. Turn off the car and set the parking brake. No one’s getting crushed today! Pat self on back.
- Crawl under car. Be sure to properly judge where the catch pan should be in order to actually catch the oil. An important consideration is the wind. Ensure that the wind is able to lift the cardboard, moving the catch pan around. (A secondary benefit to a windy day is the opportunity for your roll of paper towels to completely unspool as it blows away.)
- Notice you brought the wrong wrench. Get back out from under car and get a crescent wrench to ensure the drain plug corners get rounded off. Crawl back under car to begin process.
- Be very careful to push against the bolt as you begin to loosen it to prevent the oil from gushing out, and to keep the nut from falling into the pan. As hot oil begins to flow down your arm, remember that this never, ever works the way it’s supposed to.
- It should be windy enough that as oil stream begins to slow, the wind can splatter oil into your face and onto the places where the cardboard is no longer covering the driveway.
- When the oil is almost completely drained from the pan, remember that you forgot the sample container. Swear loudly as you crack your head on the bottom of the car in the rush to scramble out and get the oil sampling kit.
- Set bottle aside and let remaining oil finish draining from the pan. While searching for drain plug, knock bottle over, spilling sample. More swearing is in order.
- Time to change the filter. As you retrieve your new, cheap oil filter wrench from the workbench, recall tightening the hell out of the filter last time. Begin removing filter. Then try again as the wrench slides freely around the filter base. Repeat until you are again swearing loudly. Retrieve screwdriver and pound through the side of the filter, wrenching it off the bolt.
- Frantically try and unscrew the filter as the oil drains out. Watch as oil crawls along the sub frame and drips everywhere but the pan and cardboard.
- Crawl back out from under the car to retrieve new filter, which is still on the workbench. Crawl back under car for the sixth time. Install new filter. You’re done!
- Rest your poor neck muscles. Remember that you could pay the dealer $125 to do the job competently. But then you wouldn’t get to experience the therapeutic sensation of hot oil running down your forearm and onto your sleeve, or what happens when you start refilling with new oil before remembering that the drain plug is still in your pocket.
- Alternate version: Check out our video on taking a sample during an oil change.
Many thanks to longtime Blackstone customer Glen Beattie, who found the original version of this how-to article online and brought it to our attention.