OIL LEVEL CHECK
The engine oil level should be checked frequently. For instance, at each refueling stop.
- Park the car on a level area.
- The engine oil may be either hot or cold when checking the oil level. However, if it is hot, wait a few minutes after the engine has been shut off to allow the oil to drain back into the oil pan. If the engine is cold, do not start it before checking the oil level.
- Open the engine compartment and locate the dipstick. Pull the dipstick from its tube, wipe it clean and reinsert it.
Make sure the dipstick is fully seated when checking the oil level to assure accurate readings.
- Pull the dipstick out again and while holding it horizontally, read the oil level. The oil level should be above the "ADD" line but not above the "FULL" line. Do not overfill.
OIL & FILTER CHANGE
The mileage figure given in the "Maintenance Intervals" chart are the Pontiac recommended intervals for oil and filter changes assuming average driving. If your Fiero is being driven under dusty, polluted, or off road conditions, cut the mileage intervals in half. The same thing goes for cars driven in stop-and-go traffic or for only short distances.
Always drain the oil after the engine has been running long enough to bring it to operating temperature. Hot oil will flow easier and more contaminants will be removed along with the oil than if it were drained cold. You will need a large capacity drain pan (2 gls) which you can purchase at any auto store. Another necessity is containers for used oil. You will find that plastic bottles such as those used for detergents, bleaches etc., make excellent storage jugs. One ecologically desirable solution to the used oil disposal problem is to find a cooperative gas station owner who will allow you to dump your used oil into his tank.
Pontiac recommends changing both the oil and filter during the first oil change and the filter every other oil change thereafter. For the small price of an oil filter, its cheap insurance to replace the filter at every oil change. One of the larger filter manufacturers points out in its advertisements that not changing the filter leaves a quantity of dirty oil in the engine, which could be as much as a quart on some models. This claim is true and should be kept in mind when changing your oil. Change your oil as follows:
- Run the engine until it reaches normal operating temperature.
- Jack up the car and support it safely with jack stands.
- Slide a drain pan under the oil pan.
- Loosen the drain plug. Turn the plug out by hand. By keeping an inward pressure on the plug as you unscrew it, oil won't escape past the threads and you can remove it without being burnt with hot oil.
- Allow the oil to drain completely and then install the drain plug.
Be careful not to overtighten the plug and strip the threads in the oil pan. Torque the plug to 25 ft. lbs. (34 Nm).
- Using a strap wrench for the 1984-86 2.5L L4 engine, remove the oil filter. Keep in mind that it's holding dirty, hot oil. Remove the oil filter through the hole in the oil pan directly above the oil drain plug on the 1987-88 2.5L L4 engines. Pull the filter through with a pliers.
- Empty the old filter into the drain pan and dispose of the filter.
- Using a clean rag, wipe off the filter adapter on the engine block. Be sure that the rag doesn't leave any lint which could clog an oil passage.
- Coat the rubber gasket on the new filter with fresh oil. Spin it onto the engine by hand; when the gasket touches the adapter surface give it another 1 / 2 - 3 / 4 turn. Do not overtighten or you may squash the gasket and cause it to leak.
- Refill the engine with a correct amount of fresh oil.
- 2.5L L4 engine (LR8)-4 Quarts (with filter)
- 2.8L V6 engine (L44)-4 Quarts (with filter)
- Check the oil level on the dipstick. It is normal for the level to be a bit above the full mark. Start the engine and allow it to idle a few minutes.
- Shut off the engine, allow the oil to drain for a minute, and check the oil level. Check around the filter and drain plug for any leaks, and correct as necessary.