DIY Oil Change on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The Vehicles has a powerful engine. It's not a full sports car, but it is a luxury Vehicles. As such, it's important to maintain it properly. Not checking the oil or replacing the filter are two of the car maintenance mistakes that owners often make, despite this process being relatively simple. If you are too nervous to do the servicing yourself, have a mechanic do it. The Vehicles uses an internal oil filter.

Under The Hood:

 DIY Oil Change on a Honda Pilot


Find a flat, level surface to park your Pilot on so you can safely lift it. A paved driveway is highly recommended if you're lifting the Pilot with a jack and then placing it on jack stands. Car ramps are even better when performing an oil change and are relatively inexpensive. Run the engine for a couple of minutes to warm up the engine oil, lift it on the car ramps or jack stands and open the hood. Locate the oil fill cap on the valve cover and remove it. It will have an orange "5W20" stamped on it. This will create an air pocket that will allow the oil to drain from the pan quicker.

Draining the Oil

Crawl under the Pilot. Under no circumstances should you do so unless it is secured by jack stands or preferably in ramps. Do not use jacks as supports. Put on a pair of safety glasses so you don't get anything in your eyes. A pair of latex gloves is handy, too. Grab a metric wrench set--usually a 14-mm will work, an oil catch bucket, oil filter wrench, the new oil filter and a few shop rags. Locate the oil pan and remove the oil plug with the catch pan positioned strategically beneath it. While the oil is draining, locate the oil filter. Once the oil has drained to a slight trickle to drip, replace and tighten the oil pan plug. Remove the oil filter using the oil filter wrench and again placing the oil catch bucket beneath the filter. Make sure the rubber gasket is on the old filter, if not, it's still on the oil filter housing and needs to be removed. Rub a small amount of spent oil on the gasket of the new filter and hand tighten the filter only. Do not tighten it with the wrench. Wipe down any areas where oil has dripped using the shop rags, and crawl back out from underneath.

Refilling the Oil

Using a funnel in the oil fill neck will help prevent any spillage. Pour 4 quarts of 5W20 engine oil into the oil fill neck. Replace the oil fill cap and then start the Pilot up for 10-15 seconds. This runs oil through the oil pump, but also fills up the oil filter. Locate the orange handled dipstick near the oil fill cap. You'll be about a half quart low since the 3.5-liter engine takes four and half quarts. Add the 1/2 quart and recheck the dipstick. Once the oil level is correct, remove any tools from underneath and from inside the engine compartment, and lower the Pilot.

Resetting the Maintenance Required Light

Place the key in the ignition once the Pilot is back on the ground safely. Press the odometer trip button and hold it. Turn the key two clicks to the accessory position, or the key on-engine off position. Continuing holding the odometer trip button in until the "Maintenance Required" light flashes and then resets.

 DIY Oil Change on a 2005 Mini Cooper

Allow the car to idle up to operating temperature, and then park it on level ground. Shut the engine down. Lift the front end of the Mini with a floor jack far enough that you can slide underneath, and secure it on jack stands. Pop the hood and open the oil filler cap on top of the engine.

Crawl under the passenger side of the car and locate the oil drain plug; make sure you're looking at the engine oil drain, and not the transmission drain plug. Place a drain pan under the plug, and use a ratchet and 13 mm socket to open it. Allow the oil to drain completely while you work on the filter.

On this engine, the filter is easily visible from the top, between the back of the engine and the firewall. You can recognize the oil filter housing by the large, plastic, hex-shaped cap on top. Use a 36 mm socket to unscrew the cap, being careful not to crack the plastic. You can also use a pair of adjustable slip joint pliers if you don't have a socket large enough.

Remove the filter cap; the filter element comes out with it. Remove the element from the cap, and then the old O-ring from above the cap threads. A small screwdriver can be helpful here. Clean the cap with lint-free towels. Lightly lubricate the new O-ring included with your filter, install it on the cap, and make sure it's evenly seated in the groove. Lightly lubricate the rubber ends on the top and bottom of the cartridge, and push it into the filter cap. Screw the cap back town, tightening it just snug.

Remove the oil drain pan, and clean the plug threads off with a lint-free towel. BMW actually designed this engine to have the oil sucked out with a vacuum tube stuck down through the oil dipstick tube, so the oil drain plug is just a back-up plan, and only designed to be used once. You'll need a new bolt with a new gasket, which will add about $5 to the cost of your oil change. You can re-use the old bolt and gasket, but don't be surprised if it leaks.

Tighten the bolt to 18 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. Lower the car, and refill it with 5 quarts of full synthetic oil. Mini recommends 0W-50 oil, but owner preferences run from 10W-40 to 20W-50 depending on the climate and driving conditions. Start the car, and allow it to idle for a minute. Turn the engine off and check for leaks while you wait two minutes. Check the oil level with the dipstick, and top up as necessary.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Oil drain pan

  • Ratchet

  • 13 mm socket

  • 36 mm socket

  • 5 quarts synthetic oil

  • Oil filter cartridge with O-ring

  • Small flat-blade screwdriver

  • New oil drain plug

  • Torque wrench

 DIY Oil Change in a Mercedes E350

Draining the Oil

A traditional oil change includes draining all remaining oil by way of a drain plug mounted in the oil pan. To complete an oil change using this method, you must first remove the shield that protects the underside of the E350. Although this helps prevent damage to components on the engine's underside, it can be difficult to remove from the car. Once the shielding is removed, the drain plug must be loosened with a metric socket. When the oil is done draining and you tighten the plug, be sure to put a new washer on it.

Suctioning the Oil

The E350 is designed to have oil evacuated via a suction pump during an oil change. A vacuum-type pump, which can be powered by electronics or by hand, is connected to a tube which is inserted into the dipstick check hole on the vehicle. This allows the oil to be removed without raising the vehicle and without getting dirty. As the E350 uses a canister-type oil filter that is mounted on the top of the engine, accessible from under the hood, an oil change can be completed without having to raise the vehicle if the suction method is used.

Oil Filter Access

The top mounted oil filter is a feature used by Mercedes-Benz on most models, including the E350. A plastic cap under the hood provides access to a canister-type oil filter. When replacing a canister type oil filter, make sure that you install the O-rings provided with it. These will keep oil from leaking when the engine is running.

Draining the Most Oil

During the oil change process, it is important to drain as much oil as possible, as this will allow you to fill the engine with more clean oil. Conventional wisdom would make the draining method seem the best choice to remove the most oil. However, because of a lip on the oil pan and the fact a vehicle must be raised when changing the oil, which can hold some additional oil in the pan, using the vacuum suction method will actually remove the most oil from your E350's oil pan.

 DIY: Oil Change for a 2006 Audi A3

Start the engine and allow it to run for five minutes in order to make the oil warm enough to drain completely. Shut the engine off. Raise the car, one side at a time, on the sub-frame just behind the front wheels, using the floor jack.

Place a jack stand on each side, directly behind the floor jack. Lower the car onto the stands. Remove the metal engine cover bolts, using a socket -- the bolts are located under the front of the car. Lower the cover and move it aside.

Place the drain pan under the drain plug, located toward the rear of the engine oil pan. Remove the plug, using a 19 mm wrench. Allow the oil to drain into the pan for 15 minutes. Install the drain plug and tighten it snugly.

Loosen the oil filter housing, using the strap wrench, and spin it off the rest of the way by hand. Get ready for a rush of oil as the housing is removed. Pull the paper filter out of the housing and replace with a new filter and O-ring that comes with the filter. Spread a light coat of oil on the new O-ring. Wipe the housing clean with a cloth.

Thread the oil filter housing clockwise to tighten it. Tighten the housing by hand only, or it will be hard to remove next time. Install the metal engine cover under the front of the car and tighten all the bolts securely.

Raise each side of the car, remove the jack stands and lower the car. Fill the engine with 4.5 quarts of oil. Start the engine and let it idle for one minute. Turn it off and wait two minutes. Check the dipstick to make sure it is up to the "Full" mark.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet

  • Set of sockets

  • 19-mm wrench

  • Filter strap wrench

  • 5 quarts of 10/40 synthetic oil

  • Filter

  • Large drain pan

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Clean rags

 DIY Oil Change on a 2007 Volkswagen Jetta

Park your Jetta on a level surface. If parked on a hill or slant, you will get an inaccurate reading from the oil level gauge, leading to an incorrect amount of oil being added.

Open the hood of the Jetta and locate the dipstick and oil filler cap. Both should be locate near the right side of the engine compartment and are clearly marked with an engine oil symbol. Remove the oil filler cap.

Underneath the car, locate the oil drain bolt on the left side of the oil pan beneath the engine, and the oil filter attached to the engine block in the same vicinity. Place a drain pan beneath the oil drain bolt and remove it using a socket wrench. Remove the oil filter with an oil filter wrench or a crescent wrench.

Remove the drain pan from beneath the Jetta when it has finished draining. Use a socket wrench to replace the oil drain bolt tightly. Lubricate the rubber gasket of a new oil filter with a small amount of engine oil, then tighten the the filter in place.

Add five quarts of 10W-30 engine oil to the engine through the open filler cap on top of the engine. Replace the filler cap and start the Jetta. Allow the car to idle for five to ten minutes, then turn off the car and check the oil level using the dipstick. If the oil level is too low, add oil until it meets the recommended dipstick measurement.

Items you will need

  • Basic wrench set

  • Drain pan

  • New oil filter

  • 10W-30 engine oil

  • Crescent wrench or pliers

 DIY Oil Change on a BMW 645

Raise the car with a jack and secure it on jack stands. Locate the oil drain plug and remove it with an 8 mm hex wrench. On the BMW 645, the oil plug is located under the car in a plastic belly pan accessed through a small trapdoor. Loosening the small drain plug bolt may be difficult, especially if the last time the oil plug was inserted it was done by a mechanic. If the threads are stripped, you will need to use a repair kit. Drain the oil into a deep pan.

Remove the car's oil filter. On a BMW 645, the oil filter cover is located in the same area as the drain plug. Use a 24 mm socket to remove the oil filter cover then take out and discard the old oil filter.

Apply a thin layer of oil to the inside of the new filter. Install the filter by screwing it in manually then use the socket to give the filter an extra turn to tighten it. Replace the plug and fill your BMW's tank with 8.5 quarts of oil.

Lower the car off the jack stands with the jack.

Items you will need

  • Drain pan

  • 8 mm hex wrench

  • 24 mm socket

  • 9 quarts of oil

  • New filter

  • Car jack

  • Jack stands

 DIY Oil Change for a 2004 Ford Taurus

Raise the car using the floor jack and support it on jack stands. Place the oil drain pan under the car's oil pan.

The pan is near the middle of the car's front end and is surrounded by the transmission pan and catalytic converter. Using a wrench, unscrew and remove the drain plug which located at the rear of the pan. Put the drain plug in a safe place so it doesn't get lost.

Wait for all the oil to drain into the drain pan. Eventually it will slow to a trickle and then stop. Reconnect the drain plug once all the oil is drained.

Remove the old oil filter, located at the front end of the oil pan, using a filter wrench to loosen it.

Install the replacement filter, tightening it in place by hand. Once it is snug, use the filter wrench to tighten it about a half turn more. Never over-tighten.

Lower the car off the jack stands.

Take the oil filler cap off and put in four quarts of API engine oil using the aid of a funnel in the filler pipe. The oil filler cap is near the front end of the engine in the middle.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Drain pan

  • Gloves

  • Wrench or breaker bar

  • Filter wrench

  • Oil filter

  • API engine oil

 DIY Oil Change on an Audi TT

Start the engine. Let it run for about two minutes to warm up the oil for a more thorough oil change.

Raise the car with the floor jack. Place jack stands under the frame and lower the car onto them. Place the drain pan under the oil pan and remove the oil drain plug using the appropriate wrench. Allow the oil to drain for 15 minutes.

Check the oil pan drain-plug's metal gasket to make sure it is not cracked or broken. Replace it if it is deformed. If it is not deformed, save the gasket for the next oil change.

Install the oil drain-plug. Tighten it securely but with very little torque. There are only two threads in a thin oil pan and the threads can be stripped very easily.

Remove the oil filter using the oil filter wrench. Turn the filter counterclockwise to remove it. Drain it into the drain pan.

If the engine is a V6, the oil filter is a cartridge inside of housing. Use a wrench to turn the lower housing bolt counterclockwise to remove it. Hold in on the bolt so no oil drains as it is being removed. It is messy, so be prepared. Lower the housing quickly to the drain pan to prevent wearing the oil. Pull the cartridge out of the housing and install the new cartridge.

Rub a little oil on the oil filter gasket and install the filter hand tight only.

If there is a cartridge filter, it should be in the lower housing before installing it. Hold the housing with the new filter up against the upper housing and insert the lower bolt. Tighten the bolt securely with a wrench.

Raise the car enough to remove the jack stands and lower the car.

Fill the engine with the correct amount of oil in the valve cover oil cap opening. The correct amount of oil depends slightly on the year of the vehicle, so look in the owner's manual for the proper amount.

Pull the dipstick and check to make sure the oil level is between the two lower marks on the stick. Dispose of the oil properly and responsibly. Most all auto parts stores have an oil tank for used oil.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Drain pan

  • 5 quarts of 10-40 oil

  • Oil filter

  • Set of wrenches

  • Oil filter wrench

  • Oil pan drain plug gasket

 A DIY Oil Change on a 530i Model BMW

Start your 530i's engine and allow the engine to warm up to its standard operating temperature.

Position the ramps in front of each front wheel and drive the car up onto the ramps once your car's engine has warmed up, then turn off your vehicle.

Locate the oil drain plug that sits on the passenger side of the oil pan and position the oil drain pan underneath it.

Use your 17 mm socket to remove the oil drain plug and allow the oil to drain out of the pan.

Open your 530i's hood and remove the cap from the engine's oil filler neck that sits in the center of the engine block.

Locate the 36 mm oil filter cap that sits on the driver's side of the engine bay and loosen it with your 36 mm socket. Remove the filter once you have removed the cap, install the new filter, and tighten the 36 mm oil filter cap.

Replace the oil drain plug using your 17 mm socket wrench and tighten it.

Pour the 7 qts. of oil into the engine oil filler and then replace the oil filler cap.

Shut your 530i's hood and reverse the car off the ramps to complete the procedure.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Pair of ramps

  • 17 mm socket

  • 36 mm socket

  • 7 qts. synthetic oil

  • New oil filter

  • Oil drain pan

About the Author

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