Basic Maintenance 101: How To Change Your Engine Oil

April 3, 2020

Why change your own oil?

One of the basics of do-it-yourself car maintenance jobs is the home oil change. It’s a simple process that requires few tools, and it’s a sure way to save some money while you avoid going out to a public with the current situation. Pro-tip: order your supplies online.

More than anything, the basic oil change is a great way to connect with your vehicle and take some control over its maintenance. The time you spend under the hood and under the car affords you an excellent opportunity to look around and see if anything else needs attention.

Want to do even more maintenance tasks at home? Check out our Do-It-Yourself video series on Ford 6.7L Powerstroke, Ram 6.7L Cummins and Chevy 6.6L Duramax for all of your basic maintenance needs. More videos and vehicles are being added to the library daily.

Our video shows how to change your engine oil on a 2018 Ram 2500 with a 6.7L Cummins engine:


Check the type and amount of oil needed

Before heading to the auto parts store or online to buy supplies, consult the owner’s manual to confirm the type and amount of oil that’s required. The amount of oil can also be found for many popular diesel engines on the Fluid Capacity pages of the Diagnose your Diesel section of the Hot Shot’s Secret website.

Make sure to match the oil’s viscosity to your engine. Check to see if the manual calls out other specific manufacturer’s oil requirements as well as the specifications defined by the American Petroleum Institute (API). Choosing the right oil for your engine can be tough. If in doubt, call on our Diesel Experts here at Hot Shot’s Secret on our toll-free line at 1-800-341-6516.

Hot Shot’s Secret offers a great line of engine oils for various applications; from the everyday driver to 3500 horsepower performance diesels. Hot Shot’s Secret engine oils are infused with our patented FR3 technology, giving you up to 43% reduced engine wear and up to 5% horsepower and fuel economy gains.

Our Green Diamond oil was formulated to meet severe operating conditions such as hauling heavy loads, stop and go and operation in areas of high airborne particulates. Offering high protection levels at a great value, in both a Full-Synthetic using 100% Group III oils or Semi-Synthetic offerings. All Green Diamond Fleet Oil is fully formulated CK-4 motor oil to have high detergency plus exceptional oxidation and thermal stability, preventing deposits and oil breakdown and making longer drain intervals possible. In addition to exceeding the API CK-4 specification, the Green Diamond Fleet meets the requirements from Ford for added wear protection as stated in Ford Specification WSS-M2C171-F1 (Not all CK-4 specification oils meet both the CK-4 and the Ford specification).

Hot Shot’s Secret Blue Diamond PAO oil is “the” next level protection from a motor oil. Made of a 100% pure synthetic using only Group IV and Group V base oils. A true PAO oil stands in a category of its own above all other synthetic formulas. Blue Diamond blends are made of pure poly-alpha olefin (PAO) oils that require a very small amount of viscosity improvers to meet the weight specifications. Viscosity improvers shear over time, reducing viscosity which can potentially damage your engine. PAO’s are shear stable and resist oxidation, keeping the oil cleaner longer and providing better mileage and horsepower. With proper filtration and monitoring, can be driven up to 1000,000 miles.

How the Proper Additives Help

FR3 Friction Reducer is a lubricity-enhancing oil additive that increases the lubricating and wear reduction properties of the host oil. The product contains patented synthetic lubricants that have unique lubricating properties even compared to PAO or mPAO synthetics of the same viscosity. Negatively charged Group V synthetic esters tenaciously attach to all internal parts completely lubricating your engine. Esters are also responsible for the increased rubber seal lubrication as well as a slight swelling of the seal for less oil leaks. The anti-wear component of the formula is a patented carbon Nano particle that fills in microscopic irregularities on the machined surface to provide a smoother surface for the lubricating film to form. Wear rates are reduced by 43% on the ASTM G-133 test when using FR3. The patented nano particles cross link at the surface which increases film strength and boundary lubrication. The synergy of these components extends the base oil performance in shear stability, oxidation stability, film strength and especially friction reduction. Lost compression is regained by cleaning deposits on the rings and pistons and by providing a smoother sealing surface for the rings which results in better ring sealing, less blow-by and increased combustion efficiency. The reduction in the coefficient of friction reduces operating temperatures and improves the oxidative stability of the host oil ensuring longer life for your engine. Fuel mileage and horsepower gains of 5% are not uncommon with the use of FR3 as backed up by dyno and road testing.

Stiction Eliminator is composed of a safe and effective synthetic cleaner that dissolves the stiction found on oil-wetted components, resulting in a rating of 92% clean in the ASTM D4828 scrub test. A Group V synthetic ester assists in bringing deposits and additives back into solution, reducing friction and lubricating your oil system. Originating as a request by International Truck and Engine for a product that eliminated the performance and warranty issues caused by stiction in the Navistar and Powerstroke Hydraulic Electric Unit Injectors (HEUI injectors), Stiction Eliminator eliminates the sticky friction caused by byproducts of burnt oil, thereby eliminating the hard starting when cold, bucking, missing, chugging and black smoke. Stiction Eliminator restores HEUI injectors back to factory specifications and rejuvenates the engine to optimal performance by restoring the oil flow through the injectors, which corrects injector timing, fuel flow and the spray pattern of injectors. Stiction Eliminator cleans the gum, varnish and stiction while also lubricating everything the oil touches in the engine. Similar to the advantages Stiction Eliminator has on HEUI injectors, the same benefits hold true for many other engine components. Stiction can form on many other components as well. Turbocharger bearings operate with tight tolerance and extreme heat (reaching temperatures upwards of 400°F), and are a known victim of stiction buildup. By removing the stiction in the rotating assembly of the turbo, Stiction Eliminator helps reduce spool time while building maximum boost sooner in the RPM range. Stiction Eliminator is an inexpensive preventative measure to avoid stiction problems in the future. Stiction Eliminator was formulated to be left in for the entire duration of your oil’s lifetime. Stiction Eliminator is not a flush that contains harsh solvents which can potentially harm your engine. Whether used to solve an existing problem or as a preventative measure, Stiction Eliminator is guaranteed to clean and protect your engine.

Money Saved: Between $25 to $75
Time Required: Less than an hour, 30 minutes on average
Tools Required:
• Wrench to remove drain plug (box end or socket)
• Oil filter wrench
• Oil drain pan
• Funnel
• Jack and jack stands or ramps (optional, depends on ground clearance)

Materials Required:
• Oil
• Oil filter
• Rags
• Latex gloves

Steps for changing your oil
1. Check the type and amount of oil needed
2. Get together your oil, filter, wrenches, and other supplies
3. Prepare your vehicle – Warm engine to get oil flowing, but not too hot
4. Raise vehicle if needed. Make sure you install proper safety stands, of course.
5. Locate the oil filter and drain plug
6. Drain the oil
7. Tighten the drain plug, check the manual for tightness specification
8. Change the oil filter. Make sure to remove the old filter’s O-ring
9. Add the new oil. Are you adding Stiction Eliminator or FR3?
10. Check the oil level and start the engine
11. Check for leaks at filter and drain plug
12. Check the oil level after running for a few minutes with engine off.