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Quiz: Do You Know How to Change Your Own Oil?

Oil drain pan

Frequent oil changes are the cornerstone of responsible vehicle maintenance. Since it must be done consistently, it’s essential for DIYers to know how to change your own oil. Take this quiz to test your oil change IQ.

1. Oil is rated by viscosity, and its rating communicates how it will behave at different temperatures. The proper oil to use is ______.

  1. 10W-30

  2. specified in your owner’s manual

  3. a lower rating in hotter climates and a higher rating in colder climates

2. Oil changes have to be done year-round, but they can be particularly time-consuming in the winter. One way to drain oil faster on a cold day is to ______.

  1. do it first thing in the morning

  2. pressurize the system from the filler neck

  3. run the engine for a while first to warm it up

3. Oil plays a starring role in the engine’s lubrication system, but there is more to consider for good maintenance and keeping the system working as it should. When changing your oil, you should also change the ______.

  1. oil pan gasket

  2. oil filter

  3. drain plug

4. Optimal oil and filter change intervals vary based on several factors. While the final word is found in your owner’s manual, in general, _____ oil may be changed less frequently than _____.

  1. synthetic, conventional oil

  2. engine, filters

  3. viscous, heavy oil

5. Before starting the job, it’s important to make sure you can do it safely by using the right equipment and procedures. You’ll also want to gather all the tools you’ll need. Using an impact gun to install the drain plug may result in ______.

  1. stripped threads

  2. a leak from the oil pan

  3. both a and b

6. The job isn’t complete once the oil is in the engine. You can dispose of used oil by ______.

  1. taking it to a recycling center

  2. pouring it down the storm drain

  3. filtering it and reusing it for the next oil change

7. One reason oil must be changed regularly is because ______.

  1. being exposed to high heat and pressure causes it to shear

  2. it will decompose the filter

  3. it will grow mold after it expires

8. There are a lot of filter options to choose from, and though your owners manual will give you a specification, some filters are simply better than others. A rating of 10 microns ______.

  1. is better than one rated at 5

  2. is better than one rated at 15

  3. must be considered along with the efficiency rating

9. They say using the right tool for the job makes all the difference, but in some cases you do have options. Three types of oil filter wrenches are ______.

  1. jaw, strap and pliers

  2. chain, spider and counterweight

  3. band, socket and plunger

Answers: 1b, 2c, 3b, 4a, 5c, 6a, 7a, 8c, 9aHow to Change Your Own Oil


1-3 Head to a Mechanic. Take your car to a mechanic for professional service, and maybe hold off on the DIY until you’ve received some training.

4-6 Practice Makes Perfect. Do a little more research before jumping in, and maybe call a friend to assist.

7-9 Oil Change Pro. It seems like you’ve done this before. Congratulations!

Check out all the motor and engine oil products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to change your own oil, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photos courtesy of Blair Lampe.


Blair Lampe View All

Blair Lampe is a New York-based professional mechanic, blogger, theater technician, and speechwriter.  In her downtime she enjoys backpacking wherever her boots will carry her, rock climbing, experimental theatre, a crisp rosé , and showering love on her 2001 Sierra truck.

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