How to Change Your Oil
If you've decided to roll up your sleeves and join the DIY multitudes, here are some handy tips for changing your oil.
Step-by-Step Oil Change Instructions
1. Park vehicle on level surface, engage parking brake and turn off engine. If necessary, raise front of vehicle by driving it onto a ramp or by jacking it up and supporting it with jack stands.
CAUTION: NEVER GET UNDER A VEHICLE SUPPORTED ONLY BY A JACK! WE ALSO RECOMMEND WHEEL CHOCKS TO HELP PREVENT WHEELS ON THE GROUND FROM ROLLING.
2. Open the hood.
3. Locate the engine oil dipstick and remove (helps the oil flow when draining).
4. Once the vehicle is safely and securely supported, put on safety glasses, crawl under the vehicle and locate the engine’s oil pan. (See owner’s manual for reference.)
5. Locate the oil drain plug, which is a long bolt head at the bottom of the pan. The drain plug allows the oil to drain out of the pan. (Note: Some vehicles have two drain plugs.)
6. Position a container, such as an approved oil catch pan, under the drain plug. Make sure the catch pan is large enough to hold the volume of oil expected to drain out of the engine. Check your owner’s manual for the volume of oil that you car requires.
7. Loosen the drain plug using a box-end wrench or 6-pt. socket. Carefully remove the plug by hand, making sure the catch pan is underneath the plug hole. Oil will flow rapidly from the hole, but allow several minutes for all old oil to drain out. (See vehicle owner’s manual for additional information.) CAUTION: OIL MAY BE HOT!
8. Wipe the oil pan threads and oil drain plug with a rag, and visually inspect the condition of the oil pan and oil drain plug threads and gasket. Buy a replacement drain plug if you have any concerns about the condition of the plug. Replace the drain plug gasket if needed (some OEMs recommend this). Once the oil is finished draining, reinstall the oil drain plug and tighten with the correct box-end wrench or 6-pt. socket to the manufacturer-specified torque. (See owner’s manual.)
9. Locate the oil filter. If the old and new oil filters are not the same, double-check the application to be sure you have the correct filter. (See vehicle’s owner’s manual for additional information.)
10. Position an oil catch pan under oil filter to catch any residual oil remaining inside filter.
11. Loosen the oil filter or oil filter cap with oil filter wrench, and allow the oil to drain from the oil filter.
12. Remove the oil filter. Check to make sure the filter gasket has come off with the filter. If it's still clinging to the engine mounting plate, remove it and any remaining residue.
13. Place a light coating of new oil on the gasket of the new oil filter so it will install smoothly onto the engine. (Note: Do not use grease!) By hand, install the new oil filter onto the engine by turning in a clockwise direction. Once the oil filter gasket first contacts the mounting plate gasket surface, tighten the filter according to the directions for your application (usually found on the new oil filter or oil filter box), preferably by hand. Generally, this is three-quarters to one full turn after the filter gasket contacts the engine. (NOTE: Cartridge oil filter replacement procedures may differ. See owner's or service manual for instructions.)
14. Under the hood, remove the oil fill cap and pour in the correct amount of Pennzoil® motor oil of the correct viscosity with a funnel. (See vehicle’s owner's manual for recommended grade, specification and amount.)
15. Replace the oil fill cap.
16. Start the engine and run at idle for minimum of 30 seconds. Carefully inspect under the vehicle for oil leaks (especially by oil drain plug and oil filter). If leaks are visible, shut off the engine immediately and have the leaks repaired.
17. Shut off the engine and allow 30 seconds for oil to settle in the engine. Carefully inspect the area beneath the vehicle for oil leaks.
18. Safely lower the vehicle to level ground.
19. Install and remove oil dipstick and check for proper oil level, adding more oil if necessary. (See the vehicle’s owner’s manual for oil capacity and recommended oil level on dipstick.)
20. Repeat oil change with Pennzoil® motor oil as directed by manufacturer’s guidelines.
These instructions are intended as general guidelines. Please consult your owner’s or service manual for specific instructions on changing the oil and filter on your vehicle. Use extreme caution when lifting or jacking any vehicle.
Oil Change Frequently Asked Questions
Is it necessary to use a stabilizer or additive with every oil change?
No. Today’s engine oils are formulated to fully protect the engine. They don’t need extra help.
When should I change my oil?
You should change your oil and filter at or before the end of the oil-change intervals provided by your vehicle’s manufacturer. These intervals are based on mileage or time. By doing this, you can help keep your engine oil in good condition and provide the best protection for all your components.
How should I dispose of my old oil after an oil change?
Used oil can pollute the environment and should never be poured down the drain. Pennzoil helps DIYers protect the environment. You can drop off old oil and oil filters at your closest Jiffy Lube®, Walmart Tire & Lube Express, or most oil change centers to be recycled properly.
What are the differences between Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus® Technology and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology?
Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus® Technology is a very high performing full synthetic motor oil. However, Pennzoil wanted to test the boundaries of technology even further so we introduced Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus® Technology, a product providing the best cleanliness and protection in the Pennzoil® line-up of motor oils.
What differences in performance characteristics are there between Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus® Technology?
Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ with PurePlus® Technology is formulated to contain additional cleansing technology and additional friction modifiers to maintain lower friction between moving parts.
Is Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus® Technology considered to be a direct replacement for Pennzoil Ultra™ Full Synthetic motor oil?
Yes, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus® Technology will continue to phase out Pennzoil Ultra™ Full Synthetic motor oil over time.
Is Pennzoil Ultra Euro 5W-40 being discontinued? Will there be a product called Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 5W-40 Euro with PurePlus® Technology?
Yes, Pennzoil Ultra Euro 5W-40 is discontinued. The new product is named Pennzoil Platinum® Euro Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus® Technology 5W-40.
How is the new “with PurePlus® Technology” formula different from the older Platinum that is currently on sale?
Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus® Technology are first-of-their kind synthetic motor oils blended with a pure, clear base oil made with natural gas. PurePlus® base oil has fewer of the impurities found in crude oil, the start for many other traditional and synthetic motor oils. The difference is in the base oil, which makes up 75%-90% of a typical motor oil formulation. Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oils use 100% PurePlus® base oil.
How will using Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus® Technology benefit newer engine designs with direct injection?
Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus® Technology provide engines Complete Protection without compromise. Complete Protection is defined as coverage on five key areas consumers deemed as most critical for motor oil performance: 1) engine cleanliness, 2) fuel economy, 3) conservation of horsepower, 4) wear protection, and 5) performance in extreme temperatures. These benefits make Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus® Technology excellent choices for advanced engines, including direct injection engines.
Does the additive package of the new motor oils deplete over time?
All additive packages deplete with use. As the additives act to perform their function they will be consumed, for example in neutralizing acids. This depletion is a good reason why checking the oil level and topping up are great practices. In recent years, there has been a tremendous amount of work to develop additive technology that lasts longer throughout the oil drain, and Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus® Technology have been designed to stay fresh for longer during the oil drain when compared to conventional motor oils.
Do additive package contents settle in the carrier GTL (Gas-To-Liquid) oil over time, requiring the bottle to be shaken to reblend the contents? By extension, do you recommend giving a bottle a shake to reblend the contents?
Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus® Technology can have a shelf-life of up to four years if stored properly and it is not necessary to shake the motor oil bottle before dispensing. Our formulations are carefully balanced to ensure that additives stay suspended within the motor oil. You can contact the Pennzoil helpline if you wish to identify the date of when your purchase was bottled.
Do these new oils already exceed the GF-6 standards?
Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus® Technology meet and exceed key industry standards and OEM specs, including API SN AND ILSAC GF-5 for passenger car motor oils and ACEA European oil sequences for service-fill oils. PurePlus® base oils have been designed with the future in mind, and they deliver a strong platform to meet the future oil requirements for GF-6 standards.
What is the shelf life (in years) of the new Pennzoil® motor oils with PurePlus® Technology?
Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus® Technology can have a shelf-life of up to four years if stored properly.