Today we have someone NEW writing on the blog: Ricky! He will be sharing his knowledge on a few topics in the future, so stay tuned! Up today: DIY Date Night.
I’m quite outnumbered in our house: 3 girls, my wife and now our new pug Leia. Luckily Rambo is my guy for Cubs and Bears games. (Not going to jinx it by saying ONE WORD) My wife likes to DIY pretty much everything from beauty treatments to cooking, but most things outside of the house are in my hands. Before we got married, I changed my oil all of the time, but I have gotten away from doing it myself. I thought it was high time that I started saving us some money–also, I thought my wife should know how to do it too. When the girls get older, they’ll learn all of the essentials for their car: how to change a tire, check oil and change oil.
Obviously, this isn’t your typical “date night”, but since our time together is so limited lately with our busy schedules, we thought it would be fun! Ashleigh was a bit skeptical about ramping up the car, but once she saw how safe everything was it was a fun date night. We love to save money by having date nights at home since we both love to cook, so this was a nice event to kick off our night. After we put the girls in bed, we made a nice dinner and enjoyed some of our favorite shows on Hulu.
I have a mechanic shirt from an old Super Mario Halloween costume that I had to dust off to get ready to change the oil. It actually has my name on it, too.
To get prepared, we made a family trip to Walmart to get some Pennzoil Platinum oil. We spent a little extra to get quality oil–this Pennzoil Platinum has been specifically designed to give your car’s engine protection. Taking care of your car will help it last longer and work better for YOU. Also, the larger sized container is worth it. The individual quarts can add up! Once you get the basics: ramp, funnel and drip pan, you can reuse them for at least a years worth of oil changes.
I showed Ashleigh and the girls how to figure out which oil filter we need. I’ll leave the lid to the box in my wallet for future reference.
Items needed to change oil:
- Penzoil Platinum oil, large 5 quart bottle
- Oil filter, specific to your car
- Drip Pan
- Ramp or car jack
- Old cloths for rags, drop cloths
Once everything is purchased, you want to make sure everything is prepared before changing the oil. The process goes very quickly if you have everything handy. Since I was explaining my steps, it took a bit longer, but all in all, from start to finish, changing your oil only takes about 10-15 minutes.
DIY: How to Change Your Oil
Note: Let your car cool for 15-20 minutes after running. Be aware that the car may be hot.
- Get everything together: ramp/car jack, oil, drip pan, funnel, rags.
- Ramp your car.
- Check online for someone selling an old ramp. We found this one on clearance at Walmart.com for less than $30! They are handy to have.
- Place an old sheet or blanket down to protect your driveway, just in case.
- Unscrew oil drain plug with a wrench (we used a 15 mm socket). Have the drip pan prepared.
- Note: the oil doesn’t drain straight down, it is at the angle of the plug.
- Carefully remove the oil filter. Most likely you can use your hands to unscrew it.
- Before replacing the oil filter, put a little bit of oil on the edge of the new filter. This will act as a sealant.
- Screw the new oil filter on, plus the drain plug.
- Unscrew the oil cap under the hood of the car. Usually in the middle of the engine.
- Put the funnel into the oil filler hole.
- Slowly pour the Pennzoil Platinum oil into the car, about 1 quart at a time. Most cars have 4-5 quarts.
- Check oil on dip stick.
- You’re done!