Oil & Filter Change
Change the oil according to the maintenance interval chart in this Section. This interval is only for average driving. Change the oil and filter more frequently if your car is being used under dusty conditions or mostly stop and go city traffic, where acid and sludge buildup is a problem. When draining the oil, warm oil will flow easier and more contaminants will be removed. Dispose of use oil in accordance with state or local regulations.
- Run the engine until it reaches the normal operating temperature.
- Raise and safely support the front of the car on jack stands.
- If equipped, remove the lower engine cover from beneath the vehicle.
- Slide a drain pan under the oil pan drain plug.
- Loosen the drain plug with a socket or box wrench, and then remove it by hand. Push in lightly on the plug as you turn it out, so that no oil escapes until the plug is completely removed.
- While the oil is draining, check the condition of the copper gasket on the plug. If it looks split or badly deformed, replace it to avoid an oil leak. If the removed crush washer is aluminum, replace it.
- After the oil is drained, install the plug and torque it to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
To remove the oil filter:
- On all models except the VR6 engine:
- Using a strap-type wrench, or other oil filter-removing tool of your choice, loosen the oil filter from its housing.
- Carefully lower the filter from its mounting, direct the filter into the oil pan and drain it before disposal.
- Clean the oil filter seating area with a clean rag.
- Lightly oil the rubber seal on the new filter and spin it on to the base.
- Tighten the oil filter according to the filter manufacturer's directions.
- On VR6 models:
- Remove the drain plug from the bottom of the oil filter housing, and drain the oil from the housing. Once the oil has drained from the filter housing, install the drain plug, using a new O-ring. Lightly lubricate the O-ring with clean engine oil before assembly. Tighten the drain plug to 88.5 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
- Using a large socket, unscrew the lower portion of the oil filter housing, and remove the oil filter element.
- Install the new oil filter element, using a new O-ring on the lower portion of the housing. Lightly lubricate the O-ring with clean engine oil before assembly. Tighten the lower housing to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
- Refill the engine with the proper amount and viscosity of new engine oil.
- If equipped, install the splash/sound shield beneath the vehicle.
- Lower the front of the car.
- Run the engine and check for leaks.
- If necessary, add oil (in small increments to avoid overfilling) as necessary to obtain a proper dipstick reading.
Oil Level Check
Engine oil level should be checked weekly. Always check the oil with the car on level ground and after the engine has been shut off for about five minutes. The oil dipstick is typically located on the front or side of the engine.
- Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean.
- Reinsert the dipstick.
- Remove the dipstick again. The oil level should be between the two marks. On the flat rod type dipstick, the level between the MIN and MAX marks is approximately 3 / 4 of a quart (0.75L).
- Remove the oil cap on the top of the valve cover and add the engine oil through the capped opening on the top of the valve cover. If necessary use a funnel to avoid spillage. Wipe up any spilled oil immediately.
The Society Of Automotive Engineer (SAE) grade number indicates the viscosity of the engine oil and, thus, its ability to lubricate at a given temperature. The lower the SAE grade number, the lighter the oil; the lower the viscosity, the easier it is to crank the engine in cold weather. The oil viscosity should be chosen from the oils recommended for the lowest anticipated temperatures during the oil change interval. With the proper viscosity, the engine is assured of easy cold starting and sufficient engine protection.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) designation indicates the classification of engine oil used under certain given operating conditions. Only oil designated for Service SH, or the latest superseding oil grade, should be used. Oils of the SH type perform a variety of functions inside the engine in addition to their basic function as a lubricant. Through a balanced system of metallic detergents and polymeric dispersants, engine oil prevents the formation of high and low temperature deposits and keeps sludge and particles of dirt in suspension. Acids, particularly sulfuric acid, as well as other byproducts of combustion, are neutralized. Both the SAE grade number and the API designation can be found on the side of the oil bottle.
Frequent oil and filter changes over and above the recommendations by the manufacturer can help to prolong the life of an engine over a long period of time. If the vehicle is subjected to hard use such as operation in severe conditions such as extreme temperatures, hard use from sporting events, mountainous driving, or driving with a roof mounted luggage carrier, the oil and filter should be changed more frequently.
The recommended oil change intervals suggested by the manufacturer may differ from what your local independent repair facility may suggest. The independent's suggestions may differ because of their awareness of the local driving conditions and their experience on the long-term effects of these driving conditions on an engine.
A reasonable trade off between cost effectiveness and preventative maintenance would be to change the engine oil and filter every 3,000 miles.
For additional information pertaining to oil change intervals, refer to the manufacturer's recommended maintenance intervals.
Multi-viscosity oils (5W-30, 10W-30, etc.) offer the important advantage of being adaptable to temperature extremes. They allow easy starting at low temperatures, yet they give good protection at high speeds and engine temperatures. This is a decided advantage in changeable climates or in long distance driving.
A good quality petroleum based engine oil is significantly less than a synthetic engine oil, and a more cost effective choice for an engine that requires a quart or more of oil to be added between oil changes in order to maintain the proper oil level.Synthetic Oil
Synthetic engine oil is also referred to as 'energy-conserving' oil. There are excellent synthetic and fuel-efficient oils available that, under the right circumstances, can help provide better fuel mileage and better engine protection. However, these advantages come at a price, which can be significantly more than the price per quart of conventional motor oils.
Before pouring any synthetic oils into the car's engine, consider the condition of the engine and the type of driving that is done. It is also wise to check the vehicle manufacturer's position on synthetic oils.
Generally, it is best to avoid the use of synthetic oil in both brand new and older, high mileage engines. New engines require a proper break-in, and the synthetics are so slippery that they can impede this; most manufacturers recommend that you wait at least 5,000 miles (8,000 km) before switching to synthetic oil. Conversely, older engines, which have worn parts, tend to lose more oil; synthetics will slip past worn parts more readily than regular oil. If your car already leaks oil, (due to worn parts or bad seals/gaskets), it may leak more with a synthetic inside.
Also, because synthetic oils have excellent cleaning abilities, putting a synthetic oil in a high mileage vehicle may flush away built up carbon particles which can be picked up by the oil pump and trapped in the oil filter, causing a loss of oil pressure and potential engine damage.
Consider the type of driving conditions most often encountered. If mostly on the highway at higher, steadier speeds, synthetic oil will reduce friction and probably help deliver increased fuel mileage. Under such ideal highway conditions, the oil change interval can be extended, as long as the oil filter can continue to operate effectively for the extended life of the oil. If the filter can't do its job for this extended period, dirt and sludge will build up in the engine's crankcase, sump, oil pump and lines, no matter what type of oil is used. If using synthetic oil in this manner, continue to change the oil filter at the recommended intervals.
Cars used under harder, stop-and-go, short hop circumstances should always be serviced more frequently; for these cars, the expense of using synthetic oil should be weighed against the long-term benefits of the oil. Because on average, 80% of an engine's wear occurs during a cold start up, the synthetic oil will help preserve the mechanical condition of the engine. However, the expense of frequent oil changes may offset the long-term benefits of using synthetic oil.