Perform Engine Oil and Filter Change Task

Click here to download the teacher resource for "Perform Engine Oil and Filter Change Task."

Course: Maintenance and Light Repair I (MLR I)
Task Length: 90 minutes

Perform Engine Oil and Filter Change

Task Description


Students will:

  • Read the linked materials
  • Watch the linked videos using guided notes
  • Record a video of themselves describing the steps and tools involved in an oil and filter change.

Safety Note: If possible, students should do this task with a vehicle, but ensure the students do so safely. Lifting the vehicle is not required for the purpose of the student video.

6.12 Perform engine oil and filter change.

Overall Standard (6): Students will perform basic vehicle engine service and maintenance.

 Content Understandings

Extending Understandings

Upon successful completion of these tasks students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Explain why the oil and filter need to be changed.
  • Select the tools required.
  • Describe required safety precautions.
  • Describe the order of the steps to change to oil and filter.
  • Locate the oil cap.
  • Tell why the oil cap is opened first.
  • Locate the oil plug.
  • Tell why the oil plug is tightened a certain way – to a certain tightness.
  • Locate the oil filter.
  • Explain how to install the new oil filter – include oil on the gasket, hand tighten only – ¾ to 1 turn after the filter is seated.
  • Describe what is done with the old oil.
  • Evaluate the oil level.
  • Explain why the vehicle is run after the oil is added.

To move students towards deeper understanding, they should be given opportunities to:

  • Explain why the choice of oils is important.
  • Select how to know the proper viscosity of oil.
  • Explain why the oil pan is placed to catch the oil – the oil comes out fast.
  • Describe the tightness of the oil plug if a torque wrench is not available.
  • Explain any differences caused by oil filters that are installed vertically versus horizontally.

Support Strategies

If students are struggling to access this task, additional supports and strategies could be employed as students are engaging with the task.

Key Terms

Sentence Frames

Scaffolded Questions


2018 Honda Civics use oil with a _____________ of 0W-20.  

  1. What is oil viscosity?
  2. Why do vehicles use oils with different viscosity?

Instructional Resources

Materials to read: (see student/teacher guides below)

The Drive – Jonathon Klein (2020, Jul 28). How Often to Change the Oil: The Driver’s Guide  Click here for link

The Drive – Austin Fracchia (2019, Aug 25). How to Change Your Own Oil  Click here for link

instructables workshop. (n.d.) Retrieved August 18, 2020. How to Change Your Engine Oil  Click here for link


Videos to watch: (see notes guide below)

Autozone (6 minutes) (2017, Apr 12). How to change your oil (Video). YouTube. Click here for link

ChrisFix (10 minutes) (2012, Feb 28). Oil change on a PT Cruiser (Video). YouTube. Click here for link

Student Resources

Click here to download the Reading Guide for this task. 

Student Reading Guides

How Often to Change the Oil: The Driver’s Guide


  1. What may happen if the oil is not changed?




  1. Cars built before 1990 need oil changed how often?




  1. New cars need oil changed how often (give an average or approximate mileage)?




How to Change Your Own Oil


  1. What safety precautions are required while changing the oil of a vehicle?




  1. What tools and parts are needed?





How to Change Your Engine Oil


  1. What do you need to know to determine correct viscosity for the oil?




  1. What tools do you need to change the oil and filter?




  1. Why should the engine be run enough to make the car warm?



Student Video Guide

Draining the Old Oil

  1. Open the ____________ on the top of the engine to help the oil drain out of the vehicle.
  2. Under the vehicle, locate the ________________________. It will be bolted to the oil pan. 
  3. Position the _______________________ underneath the vehicle to catch the oil.
  4. Remove the oil drain plug. 
  5. Let the oil drain out ____________. This can take a few minutes, depending on the size of the engine and the amount of the oil it requires. 
  6. Reattach and tighten the oil drain plug. Thread the plug by hand and then use the same wrench as before to tighten it, but ________________________ it as you could strip the threads.


Replacing the Oil Filter

  1. Locate the ________________________ on the engine. Different engine designs have different locations for the oil filter, so you may have to consult your owner's manual or look around the engine bay to find it.  
  2. Use the ____________________________________ to loosen the oil filter.  Remove by hand.
  3. As you remove the filter, make sure to keep the threaded end upright so oil doesn't leak out. Place it upside-down on the drain pan to empty.
  4. Use your finger to spread a thin layer of oil around the ____________ of the new filter. Replace and hand-tighten firmly. Tighten ¾ to 1 full turn by hand after the filter is seated.
  5. Lower the car to the ground.


Adding the New Oil

  1. Find the ________________________ on the top of the engine. 
  2. Position the ____________ in the oil filler hole. 
  3. Add the required amount of new oil (check your owner's manual or other documentation for your model) slowly, taking care not to overflow the funnel.
  4. Remove the dipstick from the engine, wipe it off, reinsert, then remove the ____________ once more and look at the tip. You should see a light layer of oil between the minimum and maximum level markings—the right amount. Add oil as needed.
  5. After you've put the ________________________ back on, start the car and let it run for about 15 to 30 seconds so the new oil heats up and moves around inside.
  6. Check the ____________ again. Add oil as needed.