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How to Change Oil on a 1997 S10

by Jody L. Campbell; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Two car ramps

  • Latex gloves

  • Drain pan

  • 15 mm wrench

  • Shop rags

  • Slotted screwdriver

  • Oil filter wrench

  • Replacement oil filter

  • Funnel

  • 5 qts. 5W30 oil

The 1997 Chevy S10 comes as a pickup truck or SUV in both two-wheel or four-wheel drive. It features a 4.3 L V-6 engine, and the procedure to change the oil and filter is the same whether it's the truck model or SUV. Depending on the grade oil used in the engine, the oil and filter change should be performed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles (up to 7,500 miles on premium synthetic oil).

Drive the S10 a couple of miles to warm the engine oil, unless the engine is already warm. Avoid changing the oil if the engine is extremely hot.

Drive the S10 up onto car ramps and apply the parking brake. Release the primary hood latch before exiting the vehicle.

Open the hood. Remove the oil fill cap.

Put on the latex gloves. Crawl under the S10 with the drain pan, 15 mm wrench, screwdriver, oil filter wrench, shop rags and replacement oil filter.

Align the drain pan beneath the oil pan. It is located rear center of lower engine. Remove the oil drain plug with the wrench by turning it counterclockwise. Oil will pour out quickly once the plug is removed, so be sure to realign the drain pan if necessary. Allow the oil to drain to an infrequent drip. This will take a few minutes.

Replace the oil drain plug and tighten it with the wrench. Wipe the oil pan off with the shop rags to avoid getting spent oil dripping on the ground.

Move the drain pan slightly forward, toward the front of the vehicle. Align it under the oil filter door on the splash guard. The door is marked "Oil Filter Access."

Turn the screw on the door counterclockwise a half-turn with the screwdriver. The door will pivot down and reveal the oil filter above.

Turn the oil filter counterclockwise with the oil filter wrench to break it loose. Then use a hand to continue unscrewing it. A small amount of oil will begin to drain from the filter and the filter housing. Be careful not to let the filter slip and splash into the spent oil in the drain pan. Inspect the old oil filter and/or oil filter flange to ensure the old gasket came down with the filter. If not, reach up and remove the gasket from the flange.

Apply a light, even coat of the spent oil on the gasket of the new filter and hand-tighten it onto the oil filter flange. Do not use the wrench to tighten the filter. It should be snug, but using the wrench will over-tighten it, and it will be much harder to remove on the next oil change. Wipe any oil spills from the access door or ground with the rags before replacing the door and turning the screw clockwise a half-turn with the screwdriver.

Crawl out from under the S10 with the tools and drain pan.

Place a funnel in the oil fill spout in the engine compartment. Add 4.5 qts. of the 5W30 engine oil to the engine. Pour slowly to avoid the funnel spilling over. Remove the funnel and replace the oil fill cap.

Start the engine and allow it to run for 10 to 20 seconds. If desired, exit the vehicle while the engine is running and check underneath the engine to ensure no oil is dripping from the filter or oil pan plug.

Release the parking brake and back the S10 down off the ramps so the vehicle is level. Shut the engine off and wait a couple of minutes to allow the oil to settle. Check the dipstick (driver's side edge of the engine with a yellow plastic ring handle). Wipe the dipstick clean with a shop rag, reinsert it fully into the dipstick tube and extract it again. Look at the bottom of the dipstick to ensure the oil level is near the top ("Full") section of the crosshatches at the bottom of the dipstick. Add more oil if necessary. The 1997 4.3 L engine takes 4.5 qts. of motor oil.

About the Author

Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.

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