Mistakes When Changing Car Oil: 4 Things That You Must Avoid

Car owners, especially the amateurs who have little knowledge about the engine mechanism, make several mistakes when changing car oil. Even if you have a shop or experienced technician to do it, your favorite automobile might not be getting all the care it needs.

Avoid These Mistakes When Changing Car Oil

Changing oil at the scheduled time is a surefire way to confirm the good health and longevity of your vehicle. It’s not complicated if you know what to do and how to do everything. Nevertheless, almost every oil-changer has made at least one of these following gaffes:

Using The Wrong Oil

car oil change
Don’t keep the filter seal dry. (photo source: Reader’s Digest Canada)

It’s fine as long as you’re following the owner’s manual. If it recommends using synthetic oil, do it. Otherwise, it’ll just be a waste of money with no improvement in the performance. In addition, you should totally avoid the synthetic fuel for some models such as rotary engines because the gasoline can damage the seals.

The owner’s manual will also suggest the weight of the oil. Modern cars commonly use 5w30 or lighter versions such as 5w20 and 0w20. So, using something heavier will affect the fuel economy and accelerate engine wear that eventually leads to damage and dysfunction.

Keeping The Filter Seal Dry

It’s one of the common mistakes when changing car oil by novice oil-changers. When you are filling it with oil, you have to spread some around the seal before tightening to the former position. Forget to do the lubrication, and you have to deal with a loose and leaky filter. Sometimes, it can even be unthreaded and dump all the oil.

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Not Changing The Drain Plug Washer

car oil change
Regular oil change is necessary for a car’s good health. (photo source: Pennzoil)

Cars manufactured in European countries feature a metal washer to seal the oil drain plug. It breaks once you tighten the plug, so you cannot use them for the second time. It’s mandatory to replace it. Otherwise, the oil will leak through the broken seal.

If the vehicle has a disposable oil filter cartridge, you have to change the cover O-ring during every oil change because it wears out and breaks pretty quick. Don’t forget to lubricate the O-ring with oil so that it does not crush at the time of tightening the filter.

Ignoring The Routine Maintenance

You have to take care of a few other things when changing the oil. Most of the DIY oil changers will call it a day just after filling the tank. The truth is it’s necessary to do some routine maintenance every time during an oil change. You should check the air filter and the fluid in power steering, transmission, engine coolant, and brake. It’s also recommended to grease the emergency brake and doors.

Changing car oil is not as simple as you thought!


You should not repeat these mistakes when changing car oil because recurrence of such incidents will wear off the engine and be hazardous for the vehicle. Make sure you haven’t been doing any of the steps wrong.

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