Basic Tool List For An Engine Oil Change On a Budget.

The goal is to get you high quality tools with a balance on price.

All right – so you need some tools to do an oil change for your vehicle. It’ll cost you a little bit of money to get started, but this is for you when you’re on a budget. The goal is to find tools in the beginning that will last you at least three years. 

I’ll show you the best quality tools for the lowest price tools you can get. Be wary when shopping for tools that are way too cheap. They may have unbeatable price tags, but you pay for what you get, right? Don’t expect the cheapest tools to last you for the long run.

We’re looking for the best balance in terms of price and quality of the tools, but still cheap enough.

You will need to have most of these tools I list blow. Not all are necessary as you may have already have some of them. 


You get free shipping when you spend over $35 on tools on Amazon. That’s extra savings, and you get the tools get delivered right to your doorstep.

Medium Ratchet/Socket Set
Small Ratchet/Socket Set

For engine oil changes it helps to have a small ready to go kit like the ones you see here.

These 2 ratchet sets (1/4″ and 3/8″ drive) are small and strong enough to tackle your oil changes. You will need one of these ratchet sets for your drain plug. And you may need to remove bolts that are bolted onto skid plates under your vehicle.

If you want the bare minimum, I recommend the medium ratchet set on the right (3/8″ drive ratchet set). It will still get most engine oil changes done and you’ll be saving money.

Oil Filter Wrench
Oil Filter Socket Set

You’ll also need an oil filter wrench or the oil filter socket set to take out the dirty oil filter and put in a brand new one.

Oil filters have different sizes. You’ll want to have the right wrench or socket to pull out the dirty oil filter. These will adjust to various sizes to fit.

Oil Catch Pan

You’ll definitely need an oil catch pan. This will allow you to catch all the dirty oil so you don’t have any spill over.

After you’ve finished your oil change, you’ll want to pour the dirty oil into an empty jug and take it to a local automotive shop near you. They’ll dispose of it properly. Just ask for your jug back, and you’ll ready for the next oil change.

Empty Jug

Usually you can find an empty jug laying around your house somewhere. You could also borrow one from your family or friends. But if worse case scenario you can’t find a jug, this is something you can purchase that has good material.

Manual Car Jack 
Hydraulic Car Jack

You can usually find a jack laying in the trunk of your car very easily. So in most cases this shouldn’t be a problem for you. But if you still need one, choose one of these jacks.

Jack Stands

You will need jack stands as well. Vehicles do not come with jack stands, so you’ve got to pick these up in store.

 You want something holding the vehicle up the whole time you’re under the vehicle. And you want jack stands that can withstand the curb-weight of your vehicle.

Creeper (or cardboard box)

When you’re under the vehicle, you’ll want to be somewhat comfortable. I would recommend using a large cardboard box and flattening it out. Then you can place it under the car as a mat while you work under the vehicle. You can usually find cardboard laying around in your house. Or you could ask to borrow one from somebody.

If you feel like doing the oil change in style and want even more comfort, I recommend getting a creeper like the black one shown here.

Brake Cleaner

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. “Brake cleaner?” Yes. This stuff works. If you go to any shop, mechanics will use this to clean almost anything when they do their repairs. It cleans brake parts, but it’ll also clean all the dirty oil clinging to your car underneath.

Work Gloves

You’ll need some gloves when working with engine oil. Medium to heavy duty application gloves are what you’re looking for. 


And finally, you’ll want some heavy duty rags to clean your tools when you’re finished the job. You’ll also want to clean up any dirty oil that is clinging to your car underneath with a rag.

If you have any unused t-shirts laying around your home that’s an even cheaper option.

Getting down to budget.

Let’s recap on the basic tool list you’ll need to get started. Remember that you don’t need to buy all of these tools, but it’ll make the job much more easier to have everything here for your oil change.

Here is the complete list of tools you’ll need for the engine oil change. I’ll show you what this would cost you on a budget below:

  • Small Ratchet and Socket Set CAD $28.97 (US $22.15)

  • Oil Filter Wrench CAD $26.99 (US $20.39)

  • Oil Catch Pan CAD $12.73 (US $9.62 )

  • Creeper or cardboard box (assuming you already have a cardboard box)

  • Empty Jug (assuming you likely can find a jug for free)

  • Manual Car Jack (assuming you have one in your car trunk)

  • Jack Stands CAD $47.81 (US $36.13)

  • Brake Cleaner CAD $16.78 (US $12.68)

  • Work Gloves CAD $16.48 (US $12.49)
  • Rags (assuming you have old t-shirts you can use)

The total will come out to about CAD $149.76 (US $113.46 as of December 09, 2019). Prices may change over time.

Not bad for starting out though. This starter tool set will last you at least three years, maybe even more. These tools have good ratings and I’ve used similar products myself. 

Investing in tools that can last you three years will earn you back 1000 fold in income if you get consistent work. Just remember to take care of these tools and they will take care of you.

Leave a Reply