Changing the engine oil


Steve Chong


Andy Woo

Created : 980415
Last updated: 980831

Note: Click on images for larger version.

1) Jack up your car. (Hint: Before you jack up your car to where it's hard to reach the oil filler cap, you might want to make sure that it's easy to loosen once it's jacked up. If not, you may want to take advantage of having more leverage while the car is on the ground the loosen up the oil filler cap a bit. See other "How Someone ..." for suggestions of how to jack up your car.

2) Unscrew the oil fill cap on top of the engine. This will allow the oil to drain out better.

Oil Cap in Engine Bay

Oil Cap Opened


3) You need a container to hold about 4 liters ( 1 US gal )

Container for Old Oil


4) Undo the oil drain plug with a 14 mm socket and drain the oil. Clean the drain plug. Remove the old copper washer, and replace with new copper crush washer.  Wipe clean the area around the drain hole. This is the view with me on my back, and my feet sticking out in front of the car.  Basically, I'm upside down.

Drain Plug & Oil Filter

Drain Plug w/ Used Crush Washer

Drain Plug w/ New Crush washer


5) Using an oil filter remover, undo the filter.

Removing Oil Filter w/ Oil Filter Wrench

Oil Filter Wrench on Oil Filter


[Andy]Sometimes, if you have over tightened the filter from the last oil filter change, I have found 'the persuader' rather useful. I have only needed it ONCE so far. After my very first oil change. :-). I discovered there IS such a thing as 'too' tight.

Normal Oil Filter Wrench w/ Persuader


6) [Steve] Although the shop manual recommends changing the copper washer on the drain plug, I don't always do this, and haven't experienced any bad effects. You can buy copper washers at the local automotive parts shop. I also found that the washer is also supplied with the Nissan branded filter.
[Andy] I always replace the copper crush washer. Call me paranoid. ;-)

Screw plug back in and tighten.

Drain plug torque is 22-29 ft lbs.

7) Fill the new filter with oil. As much as you can without it spilling while you are trying to re-install it. (I usually fill it between 3/4 to 7/8 full) Lubricate the rubber seal on top of the filter with engine oil. Simply dab your finger with some oil, and rub your finger around the top of the rubber seal. Lubricate both sides.

Dabbing Oil on Oil Filter Seal


8) Install the new filter.
As you are screwing on the new filter, as soon as you feel the rubber seal making contact, twist roughly an additional 2/3 to 3/4 of a turn. (warning: If you over tighten, you will have a very hard time getting it off the next time. If you under tighten, it may leak)

9) Refill with your favourite oil (synthetic or whatever) at your favourite interval (3000 or 6000 miles). Oil fill quantity for both the turbo & non turbo is: 3.4 liters (3 5/8 US qts) with the oil filter change, 3.0 liters ( 3 1/8 US qts) without.

Pouring New Oil


10) Put oil filler cap back on.  Start engine, run for about 2 minutes, check for leaks around the drain plug, oil filter and tighten if necessary.

11) Lower the car back down. :-)

Steve Chong & Andy Woo

Back to the Home Page