How to change engine oil

Oil, which is fundamental for protecting your vehicle and ensuring that it enjoys a long life, is subject to particularly severe usage conditions. It is therefore important to replace it on a regular basis so as to ensure that your vehicle is always operating optimally.

Oil changes are usually carried out by your garage mechanic when your vehicle is being serviced. But you may also do this yourself if you think that you have the necessary tools and expertise.

You need the right equipment in order to do an oil change properly:

  • Oil that is perfectly suited to your engine - of the right grade and in the right quantity. Use ELF Evolution oil to guarantee optimum performance for your engine.
  • Before using the product, the vehicle's service manual should be checked. Oil changes should be carried out in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • An oil filter and new seal that are appropriate for your vehicle– Refer to the service manual.
  • Safety equipment, such as safety goggles and rubber gloves.
  • A socket spanner for the oil drain plug.
  • A spanner for the oil filter.
  • A container (tray) for collecting the used engine oil, together with a funnel.
  • Option to use a jack and jackstands.
  • Absorbent material (newspaper, paper towel, etc.) and cloth.
  • An O-ring if necessary.

Step 1: Get your vehicle ready

To make your engine oil less viscous so that it drains out more easily when changing it, it is advisable to switch on your vehicle's engine and leave it to run for 5 to 10 minutes. Then make sure your vehicle is on a flat and horizontal surface. Turn the engine off, leave it out of gear and apply the handbrake. There should be enough space under the car for you to be able to access the oil sump.

If there isn't, you may use a jack to raise the car, and then stabilise it with jackstands.
Never get under the car when it is only held up by the jack – it is very unstable.
The purpose of the jackstands is to reduce this instability – they should be positioned in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations in the service manual.

Step 2: Unscrew the oil plug

Open the bonnet and unscrew the oil plug in order to allow air to enter the oil circuit. The plug can usually be identified by a special colour (yellow) or symbol.
Refer to the service manual if you are unsure which plug should be unscrewed.
Once the plug has been loosened, the oil will drain more easily when emptying it. It will also make replacing it with the new oil easier.

Step 3: Change your engine's oil

Once you have found the oil sump and the drain plug (consult the service manual) under your car, protect the ground's surface by spreading newspaper or paper towel on it. Position the tray under the plug and make sure it is big enough to contain all of the oil that needs to be drained. Unscrew the drain plug using the socket spanner.
> Avoid touching it – it may be very hot. Make sure you do not drop the plug with your gloves. Leave the used oil to drain out for around 20 to 30 minutes.
Once the sump is empty, i.e., once the oil has stopped draining out of it, replace the drain plug correctly, remembering to replace the seal or washer.

  • Remove the used oil filter (refer to the section How to change oil filter in a car).
  • Install the new filter (refer to the section How to change oil filter in a car).
  • Fill your engine with new oil.

Before filling your engine with oil, refer to the service manual to find out exactly how much is required and what type of oil you should use. Use a funnel to fill the engine.
Pour the oil into the engine slowly, stopping and starting so that it has time to drain down. This will also avoid air bubbles and prevent splashes.

Pour in the volume of oil that is specified in your service manual or user book.
If no information about the volume required is available, we recommend that you pour in 4 L initially, then repeatedly check the oil level until it is between the minimum and maximum levels indicated. Use the gauge while you are filling the engine in order to check the oil level.

Step 4: Check the oil level

Allow the engine to idle for a few minutes (the vehicle should be stationary, the handbrake on and the engine should not be in gear). Switch off the engine, check the oil level again and then top it up if necessary.

Step 5: Cleaning

You may have spilt a little oil onto the engine while filling it. Make sure you clean your engine with a cloth before closing the bonnet. Also remember to clean any oil stains off the floor…

Step 6: Dispose of your used oil at an appropriate centre

Under no circumstances should you dispose of the used oil in your tray by pouring it down the drain or by dumping it into the environment. The oil, together with the used filter, should be disposed of at a car service centre or recycling centre.