Today was the first time I have ever changed the oil in my Explorer at home without help. In the past, I always took it to Ford to have the service done – but I don’t like the Ford dealerships around here, so I wanted to do it myself. So last time I needed to change my oil, my Dad came up and helped me change it. His help was basically him doing the work, but me watching so I had some idea of what was going on. I’ve been overdue for a change for a bit, so I decided to bite the bullet and just go for it today. It really isn’t that bad – I think the worst part of the whole thing is picking the proper oil filter (there are tons of options out there).
The whole process of draining the oil is simple (just make sure you find the correct drain plug…there may be more than just the oil one and if you pick the wrong one…well…it probably wouldn’t be very pretty). All you really do is remove the plug, let the oil drain, replace the plug, remove the filter, let remaining oil drain (if any), install the new filter, then just fill it back up with fresh oil. It is a bit messy, but I would rather spend 30 minutes doing it myself than to spend 1-2 hours (mostly waiting) for someone else to do it – and you can save quite a bit of money depending on how cheap you want to be. (I think my total costs are about the same as the dealer, but they could be way less if I tried and didn’t mind cheaper materials…)
Overall, the whole process is quite fun. I think I’m going to start learning more about cars now – they don’t seem that hard to understand…there are lots of parts, but each part is pretty simple by itself. We’ll see how it goes, but hopefully I’ll learn enough that I can start to work on my car more to fix the little issues that are popping up these days.