If you're looking to get started working on your car, but have never done any serious automotive work, then you might not be ready to start with something such as rebuilding a transmission or replacing an alternator. However, changing your car's oil is a great way to start learning about your car and working on it. It's something that needs to be done on a semi-regularly basis, so you should learn how to do it anyways and save yourself the cost of bringing the car in to a shop. Below is a list of everything you need. You can pick up all of the items at an auto parts store.
If you've never added oil to your car before, then check your owners manual to see what oil you need. It's important to get the right weight. The brand is not super important.
Oil Filter Wrench
The oil filer will need to be removed and replaced. You should get a special oil filter wrench for this task. These are adjustable wrenches specially designed to grasp onto the oil filter and let you loosen it. You should not try using your crescent wrench because it won't give you a good fit. If you don't feel like getting a stand alone oil filter wrench, you can get a small attachment for a socket wrench.
New Oil Filter
The oil filter (it looks like a small cylinder) needs to be replaced. Don't make the mistake of changing out the oil but then putting back the old, dirty filter. When you are at the auto parts store, you can just give the employee the make and year of your car and they will find a proper oil filter. Lots of different companies make them, so you don't have to get any special brand. Auto parts stores have computer databases that can cross reference vehicle makes and years and find the proper filter.
Socket Set For Drain Plug
In order to get the old oil out of the car you need to loosen the oil drain plug. This requires a socket wrench. Make sure you use a socket set with enough attachments so that you have a socket that is a tight fit. You don't want to try and use a too big socket because you could strip the bolt and end up with a real problem.
Drain Pan To Collect Oil
While you can use an old coffee can, it's better to get a oil drain pan from an auto parts store. These are much less messy than using an old coffee can (or some other makeshift item). The oil catch pans will often have a grated cover, which is great if the drain plug happens to slip off the socket. This way the plug won't fall into the oil and cause you to have to reach in and get your hands filthy.
Choose a catch pan that can be capped and covered. This way you can transport the oil to a recycling center and deposit it. Other drain catch pans also have pour spouts. These are great because they allow you to pour the old oil into the empty oil containers. So, you can drain the oil, replace the drain plug, replace the old filter, refill the engine with oil, and then take the empty oil bottle and fill it with the old oil. Then you can take the used container to an auto parts store that sells oil to recycle or some other appropriate center.
Companies like Myers Auto Salvage can help you get what you need.