A lot of people PM me with questions about how to change their own oil. I've always dropped the ball when doing my oil change and forgot to take pictures. I used Dooby as a model today and took pictures while we changed his oil. The following are directions on how to change your own oil in your Scion. Please follow all directions and safety tips. Remember, as always, if you break it it's not my fault.
The basic tools you will need to change your oil.
If you need it, a jack and jack stands or you can use ramps as I have done in this DIY.
New oil and a filter
Either jack up the car's front end and support it with jack stands or use ramps as I have done here.
Locate your oil cap and remove it. Place it somewhere you won't forget and place a towel under it to keep the area clean
By removing the oil cap before draining the oil will allow it to drain faster.
Once the vehicle is securely raised and the oil cap removed, place yourself under the vehicle and locate the oil pan drain plug. It's a 14mm head.
Loosen the bolt and remove it by turning and applying pressure at the same time. This will keep the oil from leaking out while you have your hand under it. Once the bolt is completely loosened, pull it out and allow the oil to drain into the pan.
Once the oil has drained from the motor you can replace the drain plug. (I usually run a quart of oil through the motor and let it drain just to help clean it out a little before replacing the plug)
Next, locate the oil filter. It's at the front of the motor as seen here.
You should be able to loosen the oil filter by hand unless the last person to work on it tightened it too much. If it was hand tightened you won't need an oil filter wrench but you may need to use two hands.
This is one of my little tips to making this as clean a job as you can. Rather than just spinning the filter loose and letting the oil run down your hand and arm, loosen it just enough to turn and slowly spin it until a small stream of oil runs down the side and into the drain pan. As the stream dwindles you can turn the filter a few more times and the stream will increase again. The filter will drain out the top until the oil level in it is below the opening. Once this point is reached you can remove the filter without dripping oil all over the engine, your hand and your arm.
Drain the remaining oil from the filter into the pan and use the box from the new filter to hold the old one.
Before you install the new filter take a moment and clean the oil filter plate and threads. It will go a long way to keeping that general area clean for you.
To install the new oil filter, dip your finger in the new oil and use it to apply a thin coat of oil to the rubber gasket of the new oil filter. This will provide a better seal and keep it from sticking when you remove it at your next oil change.
Now you can spin the new filter back into place using your hand to tighten the filter until it is just snug on the plate.
Nice and clean and ready to be filled with oil.
The new oil is added through the opening where the oil cap was removed. A funnel will go a long way towards keeping your engine clean and free from oil.
Once you have added the recommended amount of oil (just a little less than 4 quarts) replace the oil filler cap and check your dipstick.
The dipstick should show the level right at or just a little below the "full" mark. Sometimes it's hard to see with the new clean oil.
That completes changing your own oil. Start your car and check your work for leaks.
Be sure to dispose of your used oil in an acceptable fashion. You can place it in a portable container and take it to any local car parts store who will let you dump it in their bins. You can do like I do and let the city come and pick it up for you. (my favorite way) Either way do not dump the used oil in a trash can or the street drain or in your back yard.
Provided you had no leaks and the dipstick is reading the appropriate level, you are done with your oil change. The manufacturer suggests an oil change every 5,000 miles. I am still old school on this one and I do it every 3,000 miles or less.
See you can do it!