Changing the Oil in Your Car

TheRVgeeks Maintenance, Not Just For RVs! 2 Comments

Of course this video isn’t just for RVers. While there are lots of inexpensive quick-oil-change places around, performing this task ourselves is right in line with our general preference for maintaining all of our own equipment whenever possible.

Changing the oil in your toad (that’s “towed” car for you non-RVers) is a quick and easy way for do-it-yourselfers to keep their car’s engine healthy. This job is so simple that we can easily do it on our Honda CR-V in less than half an hour (it usually takes us about 20 minutes).

Be sure to check the owner’s manual for the correct amount and viscosity of oil required for your make & model of car or truck. Of course you’ll also need a replacement oil filter and a new crush washer. Crush washers are made of a soft metal, and designed to compress when the oil drain bolt is tightened. For that reason, they should never be re-used. New filters often come with a new crush washer (at least our Honda filters always do).

Be sure to exercise extra care when getting under a car — particularly, never use the car’s jack, which is for changing tires, not for working underneath it. Ramps or jack stands are the safest way to elevate the front of the car if you’ll be getting underneath it. As you can see in the video, we make good use of our RV stacker blocks for this purpose.

We use the same enclosed oil drain pan for changing our generator oil, allowing us to safely transport the used oil to a recycling center (or we can use a funnel to transfer the used oil into the now-empty new oil containers). Always dispose of used oil properly.



We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We sometimes receive products for evaluation at no cost, and The RVgeeks are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. But our opinions are our own, you won’t pay an extra penny, and we only link to products we personally use, love and can recommend to friends with complete confidence.


Comments 2

  1. Hi, Guys. As usual your videos have given me great information. I haven’t changed the oil in my car for more than 25 years and this was a great refresher.
    I do have a couple of questions:

    Do you also change the oil yourself in your Rig? In anticipation of being on the road when it needs an oil change I’m wondering if doing it myself, or having to find an RV or heavy truck Repair shop is the way to go (at a much higher cost, I’m sure, than at a regular quick oil change place).

    Also, when you mention to “properly dispose of the used oil”, just how do you do that on the road? Last time I changed the oil in my lawn tractor, I had a hard time finding a place that would take 2 quarts of used oil, much less 5 quarts of oil on a large vehicle.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks, as always for your valuable information.

    -Ron

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Ron! While we certainly are able to change the oil in our motorhome, we’ve never actually done it. The primary reason for that has been Speedco, which is like Jiffy Lube for diesel pushers. Their primary business is tractor trailers, but they do diesel motorhomes as well. No appointment needed, long hours of operation, and half the cost of other RV facilities we’ve been to, such as Coach Care. Well…. it WAS half the cost. The last time we stopped into the location in North Las Vegas this past year, we had an incredibly rude awakening, when we learned that they had just about doubled their prices. We used to get out of there in an hour or so with fresh oil & filter, two fresh fuel filters, complete chassis lube, coolant DCA checked, and oil analysis done while we waited, for about $200. No more. So now we’re talking for the very first time about the possibility of installing a Fumoto, or similar, valve, which would allow us to drain the oil in a controlled fashion (25 or so quarts would be hard to handle on our backs with a drain pan). We just haven’t decided what to do yet. Of course if we do it ourselves, we’ll make a video about it! ;-) As far as disposal, most places that sell oil are supposed to take used oil, but that probably depends on the state or province. Some places require Googling for the nearest recycling center. We’ve never had a problem finding a place.

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