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So your change oil light is on, or that sticker on your windshield is now reading a couple hundred miles behind the odometer. Either way it's time to change your oil.
This guide will give you a step by step guide for changing the oil on the 3.8 L V6 engine. this guide uses A jack and stands, however a set of ramps also works, though modifications to these instructions may be necessary.
Things you will need:
15mm or 13mm socket
Jack and jack stands
Something to chock the rear tires
Oil drain pan
5-6 quarts of your preferred oil
Oil filter Part Number Guide:
AC Delco: PF47F
Mobil 1: M1-101
Napa Platinum: PFL 41040
Royal Purple: 10-47
Step 1: Let the engine cool.
Personally I don't always follow this, but it is safer than working on a hot car.
Step 2: Chock the rear tires to prevent the car from rolling away and crushing you.
Step 3: Lift the car onto jack stands using a floor jack.
Step 4: Clean around the base of the oil filler cap to prevent contaminates from entering the engine, then crack it open.
Step 5: Position yourself under the car and the oil drain pan under the cars oil pan. Allow room for the oil to shoot forward 6 inches or so into the pan.
Step 6: Using a 15mm socket (13mm on older cars), rotate the oil pan drain bolt counter clock wise to break it loose. After it is loose, you can remove it using your fingers, or the socket attached to a screwdriver handle. I recommend gloves at this point to keep your hands clean, or at least safe from the oil if it is still hot.
Step 7: Allow all the oil to drain out.
Step 8: Once the oil has drained, replace the drain plug bolt. Do not over tighten it or use air tools to install it.
Step 9: Wipe any oil off the bottom of the oil pan, and move the drain pan under the control arm.
Step 10: Now we are ready to replace the oil filter. Begin by ensuring the drain pan is under the filter.
Step 11: At this point you can either crank the steering wheel hard right and work through the opening, or remove the front passenger tire.
If you are using/replacing K&N filters, you can probably leave the wheel on, as these filters have a nut on the end, and are relatively easy to work with in the tight space.
If you are removing other filters, or just want more room, remove the front passenger wheel. It is a good idea to place the removed tires under the car for a little extra insurance should a jack stand fail.
For this tutorial, the wheel has been removed to facilitate picture taking.
Step 12: After deciding on a method to access the filter we can set about removing it. Some people prefer to puncture the filter at its low point and allow it to drain prior to removal. Some filters are thicker than others, and this may not work as well.
Step 13: To remove the filter rotate it counter clockwise. Your wrench will be starting towards the front of the car, and swinging toward the rear.
If you are removing a K&N filter, here's where the extra cost for the 1" nut on it pays off. If you don't have a K&N you will need a filter wrench or some other method to grab the filter.
If you haven't drained the filter, oil will seep out around the top gasket as it is removed. I usually loosen it and wait for it to finish dripping, then wipe it with a paper towel.
Spin the filter the rest of the way off and inspect it to ensure the gasket is still on the filter, and not stuck to the flange on the engine. Set the filter someplace you don't mind getting oily. I put it opening-end down into the oil drain pan. If the gasket is missing from the filter remove it from the flange.
Step 14: We can now put the new filter onto the car.
Begin by applying a little oil to the gasket of the filter. This makes removal easier next time.
At this point you can choose to add some oil to the filter so that when the car is started it is getting oil sooner than bringing it up from the oil pan. Don't put in too much, as the filter sits at a slight angle on the engine, and it may spill out while installing the filter. You can also leave the filter empty for easier install, the choice is yours.
Step 15: Tighten the new filter down snugly, don't over do it. Wipe any spilled oil off the aluminum engine cradle and control arms.
Step 16: With the filter and drain plug bolt installed, you can put the tire back on if you removed it, and let the car down off the jack stands. Make sure all your tools are out from under the car, especially the oil drain pan.
Step 17: Fill the oil pan with 4.5 quarts of your preferred oil. Use 5 quarts if you didn't fill the filter.
Step 18: Close the oil fill cap and check the oil level, if it's low add more.
Step 19: Reset your oil life monitor
Using the Radio (only works on stock head units)
1. Turn the ignition to ACC or ON, turn radio off.
2. Press and hold the TUNE DISP **** on the
radio for at least five seconds until SETTINGS
3. Press the SEEK PSCAN up or down arrow to scroll
through the menu until OIL LIFE appears on the display.
5. Press the 1 PREV or 2 NEXT buttons to enter the
submenu. RESET will be displayed.
6. Press the TUNE DISP **** to reset. A chime will
be heard to verify the new setting and DONE will
be displayed for one second.
7. Turn the key to OFF.
Using the Accelerator Pedal (because you don't have a stock head unit)
1. Turn the ignition to ON, do not start the car
2. Within five seconds, fully press and release the accelerator pedal slowly
three times. If the CHANGE
ENGINE OIL message flashes, the system is reset.
However, if it stays on, it did not reset. Repeat
3. Turn the key to OFF.
Step 20: Your oil is changed, have a beer.
A note about used motor oil:
Used motor oil is considered hazardous and should be disposed of properly. The same goes for oil filters in many places. Check with your municipality on how to dispose of used oil and filters. Your local AutoZone may also recycle these items for you.
Parts replaced: Ball Joints, Front Wheel Bearings, tie rod end, pads, rotors, IM gaskets, Valve Cover Gaskets, blower motor, alternator....
Last edited by saigashooter; 04-02-2012 at 03:53 PM.
Reason: Added oil filter list, added info about gasket check, added oil life reset steps
Before I lower the car, I like to start it and make sure the oil pressure is up and there are no leaks anywhere. This way I know for certain nothing is loose.
I often find that my car only takes 4.5 quarts of oil (no I don't put any in my filter). So I would recommend putting in 4, 4.25, 4.5 quarts and checking the level on the dipstick so you don't overfill, you can ALWAYS add more oil after. (as you mentioned)
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To add to step #3, some people ask where to jack the car up at. I normally jack one side of the car (I believe the passenger side up, but don't hold me to that) and brace it with one jack stand. The 6th gen Monte uses an aluminum sub-frame/engine craddle and that's what I've jacked up against.
Don't forget to check and make sure the old gasket for the oil filter did NOT stick in the car. I know at least one case of someone who had a massive oil leak because the filter now had TWO gaskets.
When tightening, I always tighten the filter by hand (usually I need a paper towel to get a good grip). There should never be a need to tight with any type of tool.
I'm surprised Chibi did not suggest popped the wheel off to get to the filter (I've never done it, but it would make for easier access to the filter).
For thoughs who love air tools, leave them in the tool box for this job. I HATE messing with drain plugs that some kid thought using an air ratchet or impact gun was the tool of choice (honestly, I've had to use a breaker bar to pop break the drain plug loose on a couple of cars I bought).
I am a fan of adding some oil to the filter. It may not matter, but makes ME feel better.
Most important thing, remember Saigashooter's LAST step was have a beer, not the first step
All-in-all, great right up Saigashooter! I've seen some people ask for this "how to", now they have it, WITH pictures!!