Vehicle maintenance – How to change oil and more

The oil change is the ultimate introduction to DIY vehicle maintenance. And changing your own motor oil is one of the best ways to help improve engine performance, extend engine life and save money. Mobil 1 DIY is your go-to resource for basic car maintenance tips, advanced step-by-step instructions, how-to guides and expert automotive advice.

DIY oil change – How to change oil in my car?

Oil change equipment and supplies

Before you pop the hood, make sure you have the right tools for the job. What you will need may vary between vehicles, but some of the most common oil change equipment and supplies are listed here:

  • Motor oil + oil filter
  • Wheel ramps + chocks
  • Safety glasses + gloves
  • Ratchet + socket set
  • Oil filter wrench + torque wrench
  • Funnel + oil pan
  • Clean rags + newspaper

Finding the right oil and filter

Use our product selector to help you find out which oil and filter to use. You should also check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for oil grade (e.g., 0W-20), oil capacity (e.g., 5 quarts), type of oil filter, warranty information and how often to change your oil.


step by step instructions icons

Ready for your next oil change?

The miles can really add up quickly between oil changes. Bookmark this page and use these step-by-step oil change instructions as general guidelines each time. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for manufacturer-specific oil change instructions, warranty information and more.

Oil change FAQs

How often should you change your oil? Is it different for synthetic and conventional?
The type of motor oil you use, the type of vehicle you drive, the way you drive and more determine how often you should change your oil. Generally, 3,000 miles and 5,000 miles have been commonly recommended oil change intervals (i.e., miles driven between oil changes).

When using conventional motor oils, ExxonMobil does not recommend driving more than 5,000 miles between oil changes. Synthetic blend and full synthetic motor oils can provide extended oil change intervals due to their protective qualities.

Mobil 1™ advanced full synthetic motor oils can provide outstanding engine protection for 10,000 miles and beyond. Please follow the motor oil and oil change interval recommendations listed in your vehicle’s owner’s manual while your car is under warranty.

Why do you have to change your motor oil on a regular basis?
Motor oil breaks down over time. When it breaks down, it loses its effectiveness and can no longer properly protect your engine. See “All about oil FAQs” for more detailed information.

How much does an oil change cost?
The cost of an oil change may vary based on your location and the type of oil you elect to use.

If you take your vehicle to an auto shop, an oil change with conventional oil can cost between $35 and $75, and an oil change with synthetic oil can cost between $65 to $125, according to Kelley Blue Book.

If you change the oil yourself, an oil change can cost between $20 and $55, according to Cost Helper.

Does oil change frequency depend on which type of oil you use?
Synthetic motor oils have been proven to outperform conventional motor oils, so synthetic motor oils often have recommendations for longer oil change intervals. However, there are many other factors that can affect oil change frequency, such as driving conditions, the general mechanical condition of the engine and more. Please follow the motor oil and oil change interval recommendations listed in your vehicle’s owner’s manual while your car is under warranty.

What causes my vehicle's oil warning light to go on?
Your oil warning light can come on for a number of reasons, including low oil level, a failing oil pump, a faulty oil-pressure sensor, blockage in the oil system, excessive foaming of the oil and more. In all cases, you should shut down your engine as quickly as it is safe to do so. Continuing to operate your engine with low oil pressure can result in serious engine damage.

Is it OK to mix conventional motor oil with Mobil 1 motor oil?
Yes. Mobil 1 is fully compatible with conventional motor oils, synthetic blend motor oils and other synthetic motor oils, should it be necessary to mix them. But the superior performance of Mobil 1 will be reduced by diluting it.

Will the use of Mobil 1 void my new car warranty?
With the exception of the Mazda rotary engine (Mazda does not recommend any synthetic oils), Mobil 1 will not void new‐car warranties where an American Petroleum Institute (API) certified oil is recommended. Mobil 1 meets or exceeds API and International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC) motor oil service requirements of all new‐car manufacturers, both import and domestic. If in doubt, always check your vehicle owner's manual or contact the vehicle manufacturer.

Can I use an oil supplement and/or engine treatment with Mobil 1 motor oils?
ExxonMobil does not recommend it. According to the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM), "certified oils eliminate the need for supplemental engine oil additives." In fact, the use of any oil supplement is not recommended by car manufacturers and may void a warranty.

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