Author Topic: DIY: Change your Engine Oil  (Read 4665 times)

July 09, 2012, 01:21 AM #0

boostfreak Offline

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Since we are starting to get a lot more younger people on here, or people who are new to owning and modifying vehicles, I thought a thread like this couldn't hurt. For those of you who do change your own oil, perhaps you might learn something, or have something to offer this thread as well.

This is not intended to become a discussion about which oil or filters you should use, we already have threads for that. So lets get started!

All brands and models of vehicles are different regarding the viscosity and amount of oil you should use, the filter size and location, tools needed (sometimes), and some other variables. This how-to is to show you the basics that apply to any make or model. Our demo vehicle in this case will be Shaun's 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX with the 2.5L DOHC, turbocharged and intercooled flat 4 cylinder engine.



Here's what you'll need:

- A drain pan.
- Rags or towels
- Funnel
- Something to lay on, like cardboard
- A socket/wrench set for removing any splash shields or factory aero to access the oil filter, and for removing the drain plug
- A filter wrench is often handy, especially if you've had your oil done at a shop or dealer (they tend to crank the filters on insanely tight)
- Gloves are highly recommended, you can get a pack for cheap from Costco, CT, anywhere. The oil is, or should be hot when you change it, and used oil is a carcinogen (cancer causing agent)
- A floor jack and stands, or ramps, will help to get the car in the air. USE THE STANDS, DON'T CRAWL UNDER YOUR CAR WITH JUST A JACK HOLDING IT. Follow all safety precautions/jacking instructions in your owners manual. Cars have specific points on where to jack them.
- Beer and friends are always good to have.





The stand is holding the car, the wheel is not. We kicked it under to get out of the way.





First I always remove the engine oil cap and dipstick. This helps vent the crankcase and drain the oil out smoothly. Like loosening the little cap on a jerry can of gas.



We've already removed the underbody splash shield/aero panel, so we can access the drain plug and filter. The drain plug is located on the bottom of the oil pan, usually at the rear of the pan. Put your gloves on, and crack it loose with a wrench or socket. Take it out with your fingers and place it in a rag, while the oil drains into your drain pan, pail, whatever you have. Careful not to burn yourself.

The drain plug washer is 50 cents. If you want to reuse it and it looks in decent shape, reuse it. If its cracked and beat up, get a new one.







Let the oil drain into your pan. Take a rag and wipe the plug and washer clean. During this time you can check your tire pressures, fill your washer fluid, check your transmission oil, check your air filter, etc. Wait until the oil is a slow drip to put the plug back in.





After that you can find your oil filter and remove it. The filter on this vehicle is tucked behind the exhaust pipe/manifold, roughly in the center of the engine. Since it is so close to the exhaust on this application, (:unamused:) the filter also gets quite hot.





If its on there good and tight, use your filter wrench to remove it and dump it into the pan.





Look at the filter base on the car and make SURE the old gasket came off with the old filter. If you put a new filter on and the old gasket is still on there, it will leak all the oil out in a manner of minutes.

Wipe the filter base clean.



We are using a Napa Gold (Wix) filter, along with Shell Rotella T6 full synthetic oil.



Take your new filter and lubricate the new gasket with a thin smear of clean engine oil.





Spin it on and hand tighten it a few turns.



You can lower the car back down and start filling it with clean oil. Don't empty the whole jug into it, look up your cars oil capacity. If you're confident about your depth perception, you can risk not using a funnel, lol. Didn't miss a drop!



Once we had 4L or so in the car (capacity is 4.2L I believe), we put the cap and dipstick back in.

Since this vehicle is turbocharged, we don't want the turbo to run dry of oil, so we have to prime it (this is not required, this is something I do because I'm fastidious about such things). We do that by removing the fuse for the fuel pump. Without fuel, the engine will crank and pump oil without starting. This is not required for vehicles that are naturally aspirated or supercharged.





Go inside the car and turn the key to the RUN position. Your cluster will light up, and you will see the oil pressure (not oil LEVEL) light turn on. You can start your car, or in our case, crank the car over for 5 seconds or so. Let your engine run until you see the light go out, meaning the oil pump has built up sufficient oil pressure.





Once the light goes out, usually after running for 10 seconds or so, you can shut the engine down (and put the fuse back in, if applicable). If the light does not go out after 5-10 seconds, shut the car down immediately and check for leaks/oil level. Pull the dipstick out, wipe it clean, then re-insert it, and pull it out again to see the oil level.





The pictures didn't focus well at all, but you should see two small holes at the end about 2cm apart. The distance between the holes is equivalent to 1 litre. If your level is at the lower hole, it will take exactly 1L to bring up to recommended level. If it is halfway, 1/2 a L, and so on.

After you're done adding (or draining, if you added too much), put the cap in, check all your other fluid caps, put the dipstick in, close the hood and check for leaks, you're done!

Remember to dispose of your used oil in an environmentally friendly way! Yes, those are my rolled up crappy jeans, it was hot out!



It might even cost you less to have your oil changed at Walmart/CT/the dealer/Jizzy Lube or whatever other place. This way you can say you did it yourself, learn about your car, and take pride knowing YOU did it and not the oil change kid at wherever you used to go.

Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 11:04 AM by Ænimal
BNRJAMZ
'13 Fiat 500 Turbo
Originally posted by: Igor
i don't know why you would want to say its an sti, especially around people that know what they are looking at. like buddy, its a wrx, who cares. personally i find it insulting that he calls it an sti

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    DIY: Change your Engine Oil
    « on: July 09, 2012, 01:21 AM »

    July 09, 2012, 01:38 AM #1

    ACiFiC Offline

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    I CAN'T FIND MY FILTER
    Originally posted by Winter Beater
    If a car is shows that a solid effort was made, and the car is reasonably well executed I can respect that. Even if it's not my cup of tea..

      July 09, 2012, 02:03 AM #2

      Commanderwiggin Offline

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      I've never heard of anyone pulling fuses to crank the engine over to prime the oil system...can't hurt but I personally don't see the need...in fact most turbo's are higher than the crankcase in which the oil will drain back to the crankcase every time the engine is off.  Turbo's that are lower than the crankcase (like mine) are usually equipped with a scavenge oil pump/system that sucks oil from the turbo center housing and pumps it back to the crankcase...when the engine is shutdown the scavenge oil pump will run for an extra 10seconds thus pumping the bearing of any oil (otherwise the oil will pass through the bearings into the intake/exhaust during sitting/cooling of the unit)

      Now priming the oil system for the first time that an engine ever has ran (fresh rebuild, etc...) is a good idea...after an oil change not required.

      If the OEM says however that this is the procedure for changing the oil on your car then follow it.

      EDIT: If you find it easier or more cost effective to get your oil changed at a Wal-Mart/Canadian Tire/Dealers etc... a good idea is to mark your oil filter so that you know it was actually replaced...there are many cases where places like Canadian Tire/Wal-Mart will take shortcuts and even OEM dealers. 

      Also be wary of the oil that is required for your car and the differences in brand name oils and filters.  Google "Fram" oil filters for some interesting results.  Synthetic and Non-Synthetic oil is the primary difference in engine oils...followed by Weight/Viscosity.  As an example my car runs a specific oil that is 14$-22$ a liter...there are a couple other engine oils that I can run but the specific engine oil built for my engine is a Castrol TWS 10W-60...there were bearing issues in the first couple years of the BMW M3 S54 Engine production and the result was a specific blend of oil being produced...this oil is now ran in most higher end BMW's.  My new 2012 Tacoma for example runs a 5w-20 Synthetic engine oil...Pre-2012 Tacoma's ran a non-synthetic engine oil.

      It is also acceptable for some vehicles to run a different spec oil in the summer than the winter.  IE 5w-30 Winter and 10w-40 Summer...depends on the vehicle so look into it further...when in doubt run what the OEM recommends (look in your manual). 

      Also some vehicles find it acceptable to switch to a synthetic engine oil after running non-synthetic...the benefits to synthetic engine oil is it will last longer and require less oil changes in addition to better lube characteristics and better fuel economy.

      Some people believe that running non-synthetic engine oil is beneficial during a vehicles break-in period as dino oil (non-synthetic) has different additives which supposedly have better sealing properties in regards to gaskets/o-rings etc...  Most Diesel owners follow this belief.  My 2006 Chev Duramax I ran non-synthetic for the first 15,000km and switched to a Shell Rotella Synthetic blend and over the following 3 oil changes I gained about 1-2MPG increase.

      Another thing to consider are bypass oil filters and sending oil away for analysis...this is quite advanced but can make an oil change last over 25,000km easily.  I only have experience with these on large gas turbine engines and they work very well...google for more info.  Alot of Diesel owners run this style of setup and heavy industy uses these on diesel powered construction equipment.
      Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 02:29 AM by Commanderwiggin
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        July 09, 2012, 02:15 AM #3

        trdsoarer93

        ^ id have to agree, (not about CanadianTire and such places not changing the filters)
        "The oil pressure generated in most engines should be about 10 psi per every 1000 rpm, peaking around 55-65 psi.
         Local pressure (at the crankshaft journal and bearing) is far higher than the 50, 60 psi, set by the pumpís relief valve, and will reach hundreds of psi."
        that being said im sure my 2 turbos will get their oil quickly by just turning on the engine and not stepping on the gas, they really dont spool at all @ 800rpms.

        and thats some Dirty oil you drained there, almost like it was left for 10k kms between changes.

          July 09, 2012, 02:27 AM #4

          Commanderwiggin Offline

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          Originally posted by trdsoarer93
          and thats some Dirty oil you drained there, almost like it was left for 10k kms between changes.

          Oil color depends alot on the style of engine and the way it's tuned.  Subaru's tend to run fairly rich, especially in boost.  I find this color is normal.  Heck my diesel oil was black by 500km on a fresh oil change.

          Edit: The H style configuration of the Boxer engine probably doesn't help out that much in this situation either.  Looser piston rings and lower compression in boosted vehicles also will affect this. 
          Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 02:31 AM by Commanderwiggin
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            July 09, 2012, 07:41 AM #5

            Shaun Offline

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            Originally posted by Commanderwiggin
            Wall of text
            As stated in the first two paragraphs, this is a "how to", not a discussion thread.
            Originally posted by trdsoarer93
            and thats some Dirty oil you drained there, almost like it was left for 10k kms between changes.
            6,000.


            Great write up Dave  :banana:

              July 09, 2012, 08:41 AM #6

              Commanderwiggin Offline

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              Originally posted by Shaun
              As stated in the first two paragraphs, this is a "how to", not a discussion thread.6,000.


              Great write up Dave  :banana:

              If you don't want educated responses on changing engine oil then lock the thread...or edit post to explain this is the way "you" like to change oil on your subaru...it is not common to pull a fuse for priming oil and it is false to say that all turbocharged vehicles need to have their oil changed in this manner.  Leave the attitude at the door young one and you might learn a few things...which was the point of my post.  Original post was good...keep up with the DIY's...the more knowledge the uneducated or inexperience have the better ;)  Cheers
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                July 09, 2012, 08:51 AM #7

                Shaun Offline

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                Originally posted by Commanderwiggin
                If you don't want educated responses on changing engine oil then lock the thread...or edit post to explain this is the way "you" like to change oil on your subaru...it is not common to pull a fuse for priming oil and it is false to say that all turbocharged vehicles need to have their oil changed in this manner.  Leave the attitude at the door young one and you might learn a few things...which was the point of my post.  Original post was good...keep up with the DIY's...the more knowledge the uneducated or inexperience have the better ;)  Cheers
                There are already other oil/filter discussion threads http://toptierimports.com/index.php?topic=78.0

                The fuse pulling bit you posted is fine, I wouldn't personally do it either (mostly because I'm lazy), but viscosity, filter brands, winter/summer oil discussions aren't meant for this thread.

                  July 09, 2012, 09:02 AM #8

                  Commanderwiggin Offline

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                  Originally posted by Shaun
                  There are already other oil/filter discussion threads http://toptierimports.com/index.php?topic=78.0

                  The fuse pulling bit you posted is fine, I wouldn't personally do it either (mostly because I'm lazy), but viscosity, filter brands, winter/summer oil discussions aren't meant for this thread.

                  Nice!  Lots of good discussion in there...I'll have to have a good read...Dave does appear to be very knowledgeable in the oil arts ;)
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                    July 09, 2012, 09:12 AM #9

                    boostfreak Offline

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                    Commander is right, it is not required, and I've edited the original post to reflect that. It is something I do because I have ridiculously high maintenance/engine standards in general. It is also something that I have in fact seen in an owners manual. People can choose for themselves if its worth it or a waste of time.

                    Clearly you missed the second line of the post, lol. I did say there is another thread.

                    Shaun's oil in fact was not that black, the point and shoot camera we were using is not a very good one and messes with color a lot.
                    BNRJAMZ
                    '13 Fiat 500 Turbo
                    Originally posted by: Igor
                    i don't know why you would want to say its an sti, especially around people that know what they are looking at. like buddy, its a wrx, who cares. personally i find it insulting that he calls it an sti

                      July 09, 2012, 09:57 AM #10

                      jordisonjr Offline

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                      ^ Even though its not required, seems like a good habit to get into.
                      If a couple seconds of your time keeps your turbo in better shape, then why not?
                      Originally posted by Madbuzz41
                      I'm not a fan of blowing for a long time anyways ; )


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                        July 09, 2012, 10:26 AM #11

                        Mr.SI2010 Offline

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                        very nice!! i guess i will have to do one for the 8th gen si owners on here!! bad part about k series engines is the filter is like half way up the back side of the block!!
                        poppin' vtec like jonny tran

                          July 09, 2012, 11:29 AM #12

                          AWDSOME

                          So informative! Thanks Dave! :) *applause*

                            July 09, 2012, 12:02 PM #13

                            themikewoo Offline

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                            July 09, 2012, 03:04 PM #14

                            Corey Offline

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                            I'm picky about some things too.  If you fill the filter with oil and let it soak in, you'll find you can put a lot of oil in it.  If the filter sits like on the Subaru shown, you can pretty much have it full of fresh oil, just waiting eagerly to be circulated around the engine.  If the filter is horizontal, you can dump out the standing oil and install it with all the filter media already pre-soaked.  It cuts down how much time it takes for the bearings to get oil either way.

                            If you have an engine that's prone to having the oil filter spin off under vibration (Honda S2000), you can wrap the filter with a hose clamp and safety-wire the 'tail' of the hose clamp to whatever is in the area so that the filter can't unscrew more than a few degrees before the safety wire stops it from turning.  This is really cheap insurance for those cars that may need it.  My Subaru doesn't get this treatment.

                              July 09, 2012, 03:16 PM #15

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                              ^interesting filling the filter with oil... I like and great write up :)
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                                July 09, 2012, 03:20 PM #16

                                boostfreak Offline

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                                Corry we did fill the filter with clean oil, I just failed to mention it or take pics. I always do this with vertical filters. Especially my truck, which takes a liter and a half in the filter alone.
                                BNRJAMZ
                                '13 Fiat 500 Turbo
                                Originally posted by: Igor
                                i don't know why you would want to say its an sti, especially around people that know what they are looking at. like buddy, its a wrx, who cares. personally i find it insulting that he calls it an sti

                                  July 09, 2012, 03:50 PM #17

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                                  Is this only necessary on vertical filters?
                                  Originally posted by Madbuzz41
                                  I'm not a fan of blowing for a long time anyways ; )


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                                    July 09, 2012, 04:09 PM #18

                                    boostfreak Offline

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                                    With the filter mounted any other way the oil will pour out.

                                    Its not necessary, but on big filters like my truck, instead of waiting for the oil pump to pump almost two liters of oil into it, its already full. It lets oil circulate faster on the initial start.
                                    BNRJAMZ
                                    '13 Fiat 500 Turbo
                                    Originally posted by: Igor
                                    i don't know why you would want to say its an sti, especially around people that know what they are looking at. like buddy, its a wrx, who cares. personally i find it insulting that he calls it an sti

                                      July 09, 2012, 04:59 PM #19

                                      Commanderwiggin Offline

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                                      I like how my BMW has the oil filter right at the top center of the engine...I put about two litres of oil in before putting the cap over it.  Out of all my vehicles I've ever owned it's the easiest one to change the oil on...my old 92 Toyota Pickup with a 3VZE being the worst.
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                                        July 10, 2012, 01:21 AM #20

                                        drft204 Offline

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                                        great write up!
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                                          July 10, 2012, 04:16 AM #21

                                          El Dorifto Offline

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                                          Great write up
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                                            July 10, 2012, 04:40 PM #22

                                            Coach Offline

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                                            I always fill the oil filter up with oil prior to putting the new one on.
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                                              July 10, 2012, 07:55 PM #23

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                                              Good write up Dave! Simple stuff, and a great way to learn.

                                                July 11, 2012, 09:49 AM #24

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                                                Word to the wise. Just did an oil change on a Mitsubishi. Oil filter is set up just like your Subaru. Double check the part number on the oil filter and make sure it matches. Someone switched the part numbers on me. Had to run out and buy a brand new one.

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                                                  « Reply #24 on: July 11, 2012, 09:49 AM »