How To: Change Your Engine Oil

Posted by kenchill. Categories Automotive, How-to

It’s time to change to engine oil for my trusty Kancil as it has reached 5000km since the last oil change. The whole process was done by kumbang and pictures were taken by ah_mei. Words by kenchill.

You can save the RM15 off the labor costs and take some time to know your engine! All you need for a car service (or rather engine oil change) is just a new bottle of engine oil (Shell, Castrol, choose whatever that suits your taste and ask the shopkeeper for the suitable SAE rating for your car) and a new oil filter. If you are driving a local car, those items can be gotten at nearly any petrol station or kedai tayar.

The engine oil should cost about RM30 and the oil filter about RM7 for a Perodua Kancil. If your air filter is dirty, change it as well as a dirty air filter might reduce your fuel efficiency by 10%. Dirty air, dirty engine, less efficient, burn more fuel, dirty exhaust. All bad.

You might require some additional tools such as a wrench to unscrew the oil draining nut and also a container to collect the drained engine oil. We had to use a jack to jack up the car as we did not want to do the servicing in the house and the road outside the house was a little bit inclined, making it difficult for us to access the under carriage.

After getting the car up, remove the number plate so that you can access the oil filter. You need to remove the old oil filter as you are going to replace it. Removing the oil filter can be as easy as unscrewing it off the engine block, or in some cases, if it is too tight, you might need a special wrench to wrangle it out.

There it is, the oil filter is the white cylindrical object

After you have removed the oil filter, it’s time to drain the old engine oil out. You need to find the drainage nut and unscrew it. The moment you unscrew it and remove the nut, the oil will drip out, so prepare a container below it. You do not want black engine oil all over the floor.

Comparison between new and used oil filter

While the oil is draining, you can use the time to install the new oil filter back into the engine. Just angle it correctly and screw it into place tightly. You can replace your number plate after that.

Once all the old engine oil has been drained out, remove the container and screw the drainage nut back on. If you do not screw the nut back on, your new engine oil will just flow out from the bottom of your car. So, once you screw the nut back on, you can pour the new engine oil into your engine. Just remove the big black cap on the engine with the word OIL on it and start pouring. You can make things easier by using a funnel.

Engine oil dipper

After the new engine oil has settled down, you might want to double check the engine oil level. You can do this by pulling out the engine oil dipper, cleaning the tip, then putting it back into the engine again and pulling it out again (uggh, confused?). If this is your first time checking oil levels, you might want to squint a bit to see where the engine oil is. It should be just slightly below the F (full) mark. As you can see from the picture above, my engine oil level is just about 80% full, which is just fine.

While the bonnet is still open, check that your water and coolant levels are good. You can just refill them with regular water from the garden hose, but make sure not to go over the FULL mark. If you want, you can get some coolant (it will be green or blue in color) from the hardware shop and fill it in as well, but water will do fine.

Finally, note down the mileage of your car so that you know when to change your engine oil again in the future.

By the way, I do not hold any responsibility if in any case your servicing goes awry. Perform at your own risk (it’s not that risky anyway). Good luck! Learn to love your car and it will love you back!


8 Responses to “How To: Change Your Engine Oil”

  1. supaa_dry - October 20, 2008 / 12:48 am

    hahah checkout his “safety boots”.. damn safe wor haha

  2. ah_mei - October 20, 2008 / 10:29 pm

    hmm I wonder what kenchill use before he changed to engine oil.. cooking oil? :P

  3. Engine Guy - October 22, 2008 / 9:03 am

    we need to freaking figure out a way to recycle that oil and start making gas out of it for like $1/barrel!!

  4. stanley ho - March 25, 2010 / 9:00 pm

    lots of fake engine oil and transmission oil in the market, bottle looks exactly the same,some even perform the same except its fake like vcd fakes. .so be careful where and what u buy and good luck..safer to buy engine oil from petrol station !

  5. hafiz amin - April 26, 2010 / 12:48 pm

    safety boots

  6. Spencer - September 16, 2010 / 3:42 pm

    Changing engine oils should also be given extra care. It’s nice that Kancil posted this, to guide people on how to change their oils correctly, but, you should also take note of the footwear, is it safe or not? What if some parts of the car would slip off and it will drop on your feet? Oh, that would be a very painful experience.

  7. kenchill - September 17, 2010 / 7:46 pm


    Oops, didn’t take note of the footwear, but thanks for highlighting that!

  8. Melvin - May 10, 2011 / 2:15 pm

    May i know the spanar’s size of the engine drainage nut?


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