With a few essential tools and a little perseverance, you can learn to change your vehicle's oil yourself. This is a job that you can perform in your own driveway, but you'll occasionally spill a little oil after you remove the drain plug or unscrew the oil filter. There's no reason to be upset — it's easy to make this simple mistake — but you will need to have a solid plan for dealing with the spill so that it doesn't harm the look of your driveway. If you're highly concerned about your driveway's condition, it's probably better to take your vehicle to an oil change center. If you do proceed at home, here's what to do.

Initial Steps

The first you need to do upon spilling some oil is get the oil change finished and move your vehicle out of the way. Then, you'll be able to assess the degree of the spill. Cover the entire affected area with a liberal dose of kitty litter, which you should ideally keep with your oil-change supplies so that you can act quickly. If necessary, use a flat-mouthed shovel to spread the kitty litter around so that you can't see any of the oil. Allow the kitty litter to sit so that it can begin to absorb the oil. There's no specific amount of time for this part of the job, as the required length of time depends on the amount of oil and the amount of kitty litter involved. Generally, you won't regret allowing the litter to sit for a few hours.


After a few hours have passed, return to the driveway with a broom and sweep away a bit of the kitty litter. If the oil is still present, replace the litter and allow more time to pass. If the oil is no longer visible, sweep up all of the kitty litter and use a dustpan to collect it. Place it in a bag and drop the bag in your trash can.

Prevention as a Priority

If you find that you're consistently spilling a bit of oil during each oil change, it's advantageous to protect your driveway during future oil changes. The simplest thing to do is get some large boxes at the supermarket or wherever you can get boxes in your community. Break them down and cover the driveway beneath your vehicle's oil pan. Any slopped oil will be absorbed by the cardboard, and you can then fold the cardboard and dispose of it in your garbage.

For more information about oil changes or to find a professional to change your car's oil, visit sites like http://www.pdrauto.com/