How to Change Oil

Get an Oil ChangeIf you’re a driver in the Stratham, Portsmouth, and Exeter areas, you probably know that regular oil changes are crucial to your car’s overall performance and efficiency. Similarly, you may also be wondering how to change the oil in your car yourself.

One of the most important services your vehicle will need regularly throughout its lifespan are oil changes. Depending on whether you use synthetic or conventional oil, your vehicle could need an oil change either once or twice per year. If you drive much more than 10,000 miles per year or in extreme road conditions, however, you’ll end up needing to change your oil more frequently.

If you require this service fairly often, it can be appealing to change your own oil at home. On this page, we at BMW of Stratham will explain how to do this service in your own garage. If you’re a driver in the areas of Stratham, Portsmouth, and Exeter, read ahead to learn more!

10 Steps to Change Your Oil

1.Make Sure You have the Right Oil and Filter

2.Warm Up Your Engine

3.Locate the Drain Plug

4.Drain the Oil

5.Change the Oil Filter

6.Replace the Oil Drain Plug

7.Pour in Your New Oil

8.Check the Oil Level

9.Take It for a Spin

10.Check Your Oil Levels

1.Make Sure You have the Right Oil and Filter

First, you’ll need the right replacement oil and filter; you can check your car’s engine oil needs by reading your owner’s manual or by contacting the service center at your local BMW dealership. Also know whether you plan to use conventional or synthetic oil. While we recommend synthetic oil, it’ll depend on your engine. You’ll also need a wrench, oil filter wrench, oil drain pan, funnel, latex gloves, and car jack.

Once you have these materials, you’re ready to start the following steps:

2.Warm Up Your Engine

Checking Your Engine OilStart your engine and let it run for 2-3 minutes, just until it’s warm to the touch; this will get everything flowing. Then, turn off your engine and allow it to cool off a bit.

3.Locate the Drain Plug

Look beneath your car for a nut or plug under the oil pan. This is your drain plug. You also may need to raise your car at this point. If you do, be sure that you’re using sturdy jack stands.

4.Drain the Oil

Place a container under the drain plug and unscrew the plug; you may need to do this using a wrench. Make sure that you have a rag to protect your hands from the oil. Once open, go ahead and allow your oil to drain into the container.

5.Change the Oil Filter

Mechanics Draining OilWhile your oil is draining, use this time to change the filter. You can find the filter in the oil fill hole at the top of your engine. Uncap the hole and then unscrew the filter—it will have some oil on it, so be sure you don’t spill. Next, use your new oil to moisten the gasket on top of the new filter before installing it.

6.Replace the Oil Drain Plug

Once all the oil has drained, use you rag and wrench to replace the oil drain plug. You may want to wipe around the plug to clean it up before doing this.

7.Pour in Your New Oil

Place a funnel in the oil fill hole and pour in all but one quart of your new oil. Give the oil some time to run down before starting up the engine and allowing it to run for 30-60 seconds. Next, turn off your engine and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

8.Check the Oil Level

Pouring Engine OilRemove the dipstick and wipe it clean using a rag. Replace it and remove it again to check the oil level. At this point, the mark on your dipstick should reach the “full” line; if it doesn’t, repeat steps seven and eight until it reads full.

9.Take It for a Spin

Let your car work in its new oil by taking it for a spin around the block. Then, turn off the engine and let it cool down for five minutes or so.

10.Check Your Oil Levels

Check your oil levels again to ensure that it still reaches the full line. If not, repeat steps seven, eight, and nine. Otherwise, your oil change is complete!

Where Can I Get My Oil Changed?

Mechanic Checking OilAs you can see, it’s more than possible to change your own oil at home. However, the process can be a bit time consuming, not to mention you’ll need a variety of different tools that can be costly to acquire for just one DIY oil change if you don’t have them readily available.

While you can certainly change your oil at home, a professional technician at a BMW-certified service center can help as well. They perform this routine service several times per day, so they know all the best practices. Plus, they can help you choose the right oil for your make and model.

Our service center is known for our fast, convenient service—we’re able to get the job done quickly and correctly so that you stay on schedule. Sit back and relax in our comfortable waiting room or drop your vehicle off to be worked on while you go run errands. Whatever you choose to do, you won’t be waiting long for your vehicle’s oil change to be done.

If you have any questions about how to change your oil or want to have one of our technicians do it for you, contact BMW of Stratham—conveniently located near Portsmouth, Stratham, and Exeter—and we’ll get you scheduled for an appointment. Contact us today!