Everyone who owns a car knows how important it is to have regular oil changes. Many people chose to go to a mechanic to have this done but there’s no reason to do this, it can be done easily and cheaply at home. I’m going to give you a simple walk through on how to do this, and how to reset the “Oil Life” warning once you have.
Honda claims to use complex algorithms to calculate when you need to change your oil, depending on your driving style, engine speeds etc. With that in mind, whenever the “Oil Life” meter goes down to about 15% you should start thinking seriously about changing your oil. Make sure you check your owners manual to find out what the correct oil to use is before you begin and if needed use gloves for this, is can get a bit messy.
- Make sure the engine is cool before you begin to do any of this work. If needed leave the car off for at least half an hour to allow the oil to cool down. Make sure you remove the oil cap under the hood before you begin to change the oil, this will help the oil drain much quick more quickly.
- If needed, jack the car up and put it on axle stands. If you don’t own any then this work can be done without the need to jack the car up. Do not do this will the car just is resting on a jack, it can easily be knocked over and cause you serious injury.
- Locate the drain plug. This is located under the engine block and will be close to the front of the car, with the nut facing towards the rear. It will have a 17mm (11/16th) nut on it and is quite easy to locate.
- Once located, put a container underneath the drain plug. You can get specialist equipment for this, but generally any container that is big enough will do.
- When the container is in place, begin to turn the drain plug counterclockwise. The drain plug may be a bit stiff and difficult to remove. Don’t be afraid to use a bit of brute force on it. Once you have it loosened you can use your hand to remove it and allow the oil to flow out. The oil will flow out quickly so make sure you’re ready.
- Once the oil has drained, you can then change the oil filter. Again this is locate at the front of the car, around the passenger side and in front of the oil sump. Some oil will leak out when you change the filter so have your container and some rags ready to catch this. You don’t often need a specialist tool to remove this, simply turn counterclockwise with your hand. Oil will begin to leak once it’s loosened and a lot of oil will come out once you remove it so make sure the rags are will placed for this part.
- Once the oil has all drained, you are ready to install a new filter. Before you fit it, you some oil on the rubber O-Ring in the new filter. This will give it a better fit and make it easier to remove next time you have to change it. Screw the new filter in until it is tight.
- Find the drain plug. 90% of the time this will have fallen into the oil oil that you have just drained. Ensure that the washer is still there as well. If needed replace the washer with an identical one. Once you have the drain plug, wipe off any excess oil that may be on it and reattach it to the car. Tighten the plug with the 17mm (11/16th) wrench. You can use a torque wrench for this, and the correct tightness will be listed in your user manual.
- Wipe off any excess oil that is on the drain plug and surrounding areas. This will make it easier to identify where oil is coming from if you have a leak later on.
- Your user manual will state how much oil needs to be put into the car when you change it. If you can’t find how much is needed then check the dipstick regularly as you’re topping up. Make sure not to overfill the system as this can cause damage to other parts of the car.
- Once you’re happy with the level, start the car up and allow it to run for a few minutes. After this, check for any leaks and check the oil level.
- Safely dispose of the old oil. Remember it's illegal to just throw it away. Many recycling depots will dispose of it for you.
Oil Life Reset.
This is a much easier process than changing the oil. Its all done from within the car and should take less than a minute to complete.
- Put the key in the ignition and turn it to the “II” or “On” position.
- On the left hand side of the car there should be a series of buttons. On the far left there is a button called “SEL / RESET”. Hold this button down for around 10 seconds or until the “Oil Life” message flashes.
- Once this message begins to flash, release this button.
- After releasing you the need to press and hold the “SEL / RESET” button for around 5 seconds. After around 5 seconds the “Oil Life” message should disappear and you will be taken back to your regular odometer.
- If you have done this correctly, the service warning light and the “Oil Life” message should have been reset and turned off.