Oil and oil filter change

Oil and oil filter change

Replacing the oil and oil filter is an easy job that needs to be done at regular intervals. This guide is for the 1.8lt injected engine which, when also replacing the oil filter, takes 4 liters/4.23 quarts of oil.

The oil weight you choose should reflect the climate of your location, eg: I live in a sub-tropical area and use 20w-50W. You may also want to choose a thicker/higher weight oil for older engines.

  • Approx. time: 45mins - 1hr
  • Approx. cost: $50 - $75AUD (oil filter and oil)

You'll need

  • New oil filter¬†(eg Ryco Z553)
  • Replacement oil
  • 17mm socket
  • Jack and jackstands
  • Drain pan and empty containers to store used oil
  • Rags (and cardboard to protect driveway surfaces)
  • Optional: oil filter wrench
  • Optional: new sump plug washer
  • Optional: funnel

Step 1 - Ensure the car is on a flat surface and jack up the front of the car

Park the car on a flat surface and jack up the front end. Use jackstands to ensure safety. If you want, place cardboard under the front of the car to help protect the surface your working on from getting any stains.

Before proceeding to next step ensure the engine is cool - hot oil can hurt.

Step 2 - Unscrew the sump plug and drain the oil

Position the catch-pan under the sump. The sump plug is a 17mm bolt towards the rear of the car at a 45 degree angle. Undo this and let the oil drain out. Be aware there should also be a washer accompanying the plug. Remove the oil fill cap on top of the engine to speed up drainage.

Tip: whilst undoing the sump plug maintain an upward pressure on the plug until is come loose. This will help prevent oil escaping and getting on your hands as you're unscrewing.

Step 3 - Remove the oil filter

After the oil has drained, reposition the catch pan under the oil filter at the front of the engine. You should be able to remove the oil filter by hand (should be screwed in "hand-tight"). Note the filter will contain oil so be ready to tip it into the catch pan.

If you're having difficulty removing the filter try one or some of the following:

  • Use work gloves (eg polyurethane dipped gloves) to enhance your grip. Degrease the filter to make it less slippery
  • Slide a razor blade or craft knife around where the filter meets the engine to break any suction seal
  • Use an oil filter wrench. If you're using a belt-type wrench you can place sandpaper inside it to increase grip
  • Use a heat gun to heat up the filter (expanding the metal, making it looser).
  • As a last resort, you can take a large screwdriver and hammer it through the side of the filter to use it as a lever

Step 4 - Replace the oil filter

Before screwing in the new oil filter smear the rubber seal with some oil to help it seal against the engine and make it easier to remove next time. With a rag, clean the surface where the filter will meet the engine. If there are any stuck pieces of the old filter's seal consider using a plastic scraper to remove them.

Screw in the new filter using only your hands - no tools should be necessary.

Step 5 - Replace the sump plug

Some sump plugs are magnetic to catch any metal shavings that get caught up in the oil. An inspection of the sump plug may indicate the healthiness of your engine. Clean the plug to ensure no metal is returned to the engine.

There is also a washer that sits between the plug and sump. This is designed to 'crimp' and enable you to tighten down the plug snuggly. If this washer is to distorted consider replacing it.

Replace the plug and tighten it up.

Step 6 - Lower the car and add the new oil

Remove the jack stands and lower the car. Keep the catch pan in place, though, incase there are any leaks.

Add the oil to the top of the engine, using a funnel if you have one. The 1.8 liter engine (with a new filter) should take 4 litres or 4.23 quarts of oil.

Tip: when adding oil tilt the oil container horizontally. This will allow air to enter the container smoothly reducing the 'glugging' effect.

Step 7 - Run the car and check the levels

With the oil fill cap replaced, start the car and let it idle for just a moment to allow the new oil to circulate through the engine. Check for leaks around the filter and sump plug whilst this is happening. After a short while, turn the car off and check the oil level is correct on the dipstick to ensure the correct amount is in.

Lastly, dispose of your used oil sensibly. Place it back into a container similar to what it came in. Depending where you live, most automotive parts stores accept used motor oil so it can be recycled.


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