How to Change Your Oil and Oil Filter

Oil Change

Changing your oil is one of the best things you can do for your car. You can't change it too often. There's no easier way to keep that 302 running good than changing its oil.

Many people reading this may think its silly for us to be writing an article on how to change your oil, but you wouldn't believe how many people (yes even us "stangers") don't know how to do even basic maintenance like this. We all have to start somewhere.

If you've never changed your oil then there are a few things you need to know. First things first, make sure that you're willing to get dirty. Changing your oil isn't like putting gas in the car, you will get dirty.

There are a few things you will need before you go ahead and change your "stangs" oil. You'll obviously need the oil and oil filter, the brand you buy is up to you. You might want to check out the "Engine Oil Filter Study" for some info on what oil filters are good, and which ones aren't.

You'll also need some type of drain pan. If you're planning to change your oil often then it might be a good idea to buy a drain pan that has a cover on it so you can easily transport the oil. Some other things you will need are a wrench to take the oil pan drain plug(s) off, an oil filter wrench, a jack, a set of jack stands, and something to put behind the rear wheels so the car doesn't roll backwards. Like I said before, if you are going to be doing this often then you might want to buy a set of $10 wheel chocks at an auto parts store, if you don't want to invest in them, then you can probably use some type of concrete block to put behind the wheel. (to stop it from rolling back)

Oil Change

  1. Before you start you should let the engine heat up to normal operating temperatures. Hot oil and sludge flows better than cold oil. Notice: The oil will be Very Hot!! Be careful.
  2. Next put the wheel chocks (or whatever you are using) behind the rear wheels so the car doesn't roll back.
  3. Now its time to jack up the car. You are better off doing this in a drive way or garage rather than on the street....You don't want to get run over. First make sure the car is in park/gear and that the parking brake is on. Take the jack and jack it up under the front cross member. Whatever you do, DON'T jack it up under any "soft" metal, like the radiator support, oil pan, front bumper cover, etc. If you're not totally sure where to jack it up then you might want to jack it at the factory jacking points. After you jack it up place the jack stands under the frames rails just behind the front wheels.
  4. Now you have a choice, either buy a creeper (to lay on) or put some type of blanket down on the ground so you have something to lay on under the car.
  5. Next thing to do is to position the drain pan under the car where the drain plug is located.
  6. The fun part! LOL Get under their and loosen that drain plug, like I said before be careful that oil is hot! One thing to remember is that on a 5.0 Mustang there are two drain plugs....don't forget one of them. While you waiting for the oil to drain you might want to start loosening up the next drain plug.
  7. After you screw both drain plugs back in then its time to change the oil filter.On a 5.0 Mustang the oil filter is located near the front of the engine on the left side. Position the drain pan underneath it because oil will pour out when you remove the filter. They sell a special oil filter wrench at the auto parts store, it doesn't cost much and is worth getting because it will make removing the filter a lot easier. When you get the old filter off check to see if the old gasket is still on the oil filter and not on the engine. If you don't take the old gasket off the engine before you install the new filter it will leak.
  8. Before you install the new filter you should pour some oil into the filter so when you start the car for the first time it won't "dry start". The reason you do this is because when you start the car it takes a few seconds for the filter to fill with oil and during those few seconds you really don't have any oil pressure. (which isn't good) Try to fill it with as much as oil as you can, but don't worry if you can't fill it to the top. You also have to lubricate the gasket on the filter with new oil. (it helps the gasket seal better and prevents it from ruining the gasket)
  9. Install the new filter, but only tighten it by hand, don't use a oil filter wrench to tighten the filter.
  10. Now its time to lower the car off the jack stands, take out the wheel chocks, and fill the car with oil. When you change the oil and filter the 5.0 engine usually takes 5 quarts, but make sure you don't over fill it.
  11. After you fill it start the car, and let it run for a minute, check the oil level, and check for leaks. If there is a leak from the oil filter then just tighten it a little.
  12. You're basically done, except for cleaning up everything and disposing of the oil. Do us, yourself, and our grandkids a favor and bring it to a local recycling center.


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