Changing Your Own Oil? Don’t Forget This Step

Before we begin, let me just say that auto mechanics is far from my field of expertise. In fact, up until shortly before I sold my car a couple of years ago, the limited service the vehicle needed was conducted exclusively by the Jiffy Lubes and Valvoline spots I’d take it to when it needed an oil change. Sometimes I would treat my car to their recommendations — new air filters, wiper blades, and maybe even a fuel system cleaning — but many times it was just the oil change. However, even then my bill would be $50 or more.

Then one day I was complaining to a friend about how it was time to take my car in but how I didn’t want to spend the time or money to do so. That’s when they suggested that I try changing my own oil, saying  it was “easy” and would save money. They described the process — which only really required a few tools, a new filter, and (of course) some oil — it did sound surprisingly straightforward, but they ultimately offered to take care of it for me anyway.

When they were done, everything worked great it cost me a good deal less than the shops (even including the small tip I offered my friend), but there was one problem: the annoying “maintenance required” light was still on. Since the Jiffy Lube guys had always taken care of this for me, I assumed it was some sort of trade secret meant to foil my DIY — er… DIVAF (do it via a friend) — solution. But before breaking down and driving to Valvoline to confess my sins and beg for forgiveness, I decided to check out YouTube. As luck would have it, not even five minutes later that damn light was off and my life was forever changed:

Obviously, the video above is for a Toyota Yaris (which is what I used to own) but there seem to be hundreds of videos on YouTube and beyond that can walk you through this helpful hack regardless of what make and model you have. So, if you’re considering trying your hand at changing your vehicle’s oil, don’t let that annoying maintenance light hold you back — hit up Google instead. Not only will you save a few bucks but, if you’re like me, you’ll also feel like a freaking genius afterward.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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