Car Insurance Singapore

DIY – Changing engine oil

Changing engine oil regularly would better protect the car engine and have a smoother drive. With the recent high COE prices, many drivers are holding their plans to change cars. Gone were the good old days where Singapore drivers would change their vehicles when their vehicles reach five years old. In fact, many car owners intend to drive the car till the end of COE. Hence, it is even more important to protect the vehicle engine to ensure their vehicle last till the 10th year.

Car servicing is usually done every 10,000 km. However, many engines start to be “noisier and not so smooth” after 5000 to 6000km based on our driving experience. Changing engine oil would usually solve the problem, but it will be too earlier and costly to get the car service before the 10,000 km is up. Hence, we have prepared the following DIY guide in changing engine oil that you may want to consider.

There are three items needed for changing engine oil.

  1. Engine oil
  2. Oil extractor
  3. One small empty mineral water bottle.

We use fully synthetic engine oil (below) from Giant supermarket because it is affordable. Online forums are stating that this is a low-quality engine oil and rumoured that its viscosity drop after 7000 km. We have no intention of using this for more than 5000 km. You are free to use the engine oil of your choice. We have been changing engine oil with this brand for the last two years on these models: Jazz, Fits, Accord, Mazda 3, Volvo S60 (8 years old) and Mercedes CLC180 (3 years old).

Changing Engine Oil

Do note that we do not get a commission for stating this brand, and this guide is not meant for you to skip car servicing!!! 

Most cars that are less than 1600cc will use less than 4 litres of engine oil and hence one bottle is than enough for most cases. For car more than 1600cc, they usually use more than 4 litres and hence you should be getting two bottles. Check your car manual, mechanic, or online for the engine oil needed for your vehicle.

This oil extractor is to suck out the dirty engine oil from your engine. It can be purchased at some hardware store near Lavender for around S$100.

Changing Engine Oil

Let’s get our hands dirty by changing engine oil!

1) Let your car cool down for 20 minutes if you have just started the car engine. Local the dipstick (yellow in the picture) for checking engine oil level and remove it.


2) Set up the oil extractor with one end pushing into the dipstick. Do note that you should not push the entire suction pipe into the engine. You should measure the tube with the dipstick, and this would give you an indication of how much to push the suction pipe in.

Changing Engine Oil

Changing Engine Oil

3) Take note of the amount of engine oil pump out. This would give you an indication of how much new engine oil you should put in. This would also give you an indication if your engine “eat black oil” if you last put in 4 litres and only pumps out slightly above 3 litres in the picture. (Note: every ring/section is 1 litre in the picture)

Changing Engine Oil

4) Locate the engine cap and unscrew it to open. This cap usually has an oil logo on it.

Changing Engine Oil

5) You may wonder why an empty mineral water bottle comes into play, and this is the reason. Cut the empty mineral water bottle into half as shown below. Use a clean tissue to dry up the bottle to ensure that there is no water. This will be our funnel 🙂

Changing Engine Oil

6) Put the funnel (cut mineral water bottle) into the engine, and you can pour the engine oil into the engine with ease. Do take note of the volume put in and do not overfill your engine with excess engine oil.

Changing Engine Oil

7) In this case, we check online that we need 4 litres of engine oil. After pouring 4 litres, we double confirm with the dipstick to ensure that there is a sufficient amount of engine oil in the engine. Ensure the engine oil level is between the two small holes on the dipstick

Changing Engine Oil

8) After pouring in the right amount of engine oil. Screw tight the engine oil cap and put the dipstick back in. Start the engine and to make sure everything is ok. (Notices below how black the engine oil is? This engine oil is pumped out after the car has driven slightly over 5000km) Once everything is ok, it is time to pack up.

Changing Engine Oil

Base on our limited understanding, engine oil is non-biodegradable and is an offence in Singapore not to dispose of it properly. In our case, we would drive to the nearest car workshop in Sin Ming or Kaki Bukit on Sunday to pour the black engine oil into their big drums for proper disposal. We go on Sunday as no one is working and so we will not be charged by the workshop for disposal. Haha!

Changing the engine oil is easy, and the whole process takes about 30 minutes. Changing engine oil regular should better protect your engine and hopefully prolong the lifespan. We hope this article is useful to you. Do contact us here if you are looking for competitive car insurance quotations for your insurance renewals.

Disclaimer: If you are having problems with your vehicle, please consult your friendly mechanic. We are not car mechanic or car service experts and hence we will not be responsible for your vehicle even if you follow the above guide in changing engine oil.

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