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Edit: The pictures are now available in my member gallery if folks want to see some photos of the process. Location of the filter, cap o-ring, etc.
My Kia finally reached 3500 miles so I decided it was time to bounce the factory fill and replace it with a good quality synthetic oil. The car sits high enough that I was able to easily slink my 6ft 175lb self underneath without any ramps. Don't do this on a hot engine. Total time to completion was approximately 10 minutes.
Tools you'll need:
17mm wrench or socket/ratchet
27mm wrench or socket/ratchet
6qts of oil (I used Pennzoil Ultra Synthetic 5W-20)
oil filter cartridge (part # 26330 3CAA0 at your local dealer)
some paper towels
big flattened out cardboard box
pair of latex or nitrile gloves if you're worried about getting oil on your hands
1. Pop the hood and remove the oil fill cap. Cover the opening with something convenient. I used the box from the new oil filter.
2. Slide the cardboard under the engine bay on the ground. This serves two purposes. It will catch any spilled oil (save the planet and all that) and it allows you to easily slide around under there without getting dirty. Get your bucket and your 17mm ratchet and slide on under there.
3. You'll see the black crankcase. The 17mm drain plug is located at the back near the bottom. Feel around there if you don't want to scooch all the way under and you'll feel it. Get your wrench/ratchet on there and turn it counter-clockwise to remove it. It's going to be pretty tight. Make sure the bucket is below the opening because oil will gush out when the plug is removed.
4. Kick back and have a cup of coffee while the oil drains out. I usually give it 4-5 minutes to make sure that most of the old oil is out. 99% of it comes out in the first 30-45 secs if you're impatient.
5. Remove the old aluminum washer from the drain plug. Replace it with the new one that came with the new filter. For the lazy, this is optional. Re-using the old one usually doesn't result in a leak. Screw the oil plug back in and tighten (clockwise) finger tight. Don't just honk down on it with the wrench or you may crossthread it. Once you're satisfied it's properly threaded, tighten to approximately 25nm (about 20ft/lbs).
6. Rescue the used oil bucket from the ground below the engine bay. Leave the cardboard there in case you have any spills.
7. Use your 27mm socket or wrench to loosen (turn counter-clockwise) the cap on the oil filter housing. Where is the housing you ask? As you stare down at the engine from the front of the car, the oil fill hole is at approximately 7 o'clock. The filter cartridge top is at approximately 2 o'clock. Both are right on top of the engine and easy to spot. It will be on there pretty tight.
8. After removing the cap on the filter housing, you'll see the old oil filter. Pull it straight upward. It will resist a bit since there's a tiny o-ring on the little "nipple" on the bottom of it. Make SURE that little o-ring comes out with the filter. Have a couple of paper towels handy to catch any drips from the cap or the filter when removing them.
9. With your fingernail or soft piece of plastic, pull off the large rubber o-ring on the cap. Replace it with the new one that came with the new filter. Dab a few drops of oil on your finger tip and wipe it around the new o-ring so it doesn't bind up when you replace the cap later.
10. With your finger tip, dab a drop of oil on the tiny o-ring on the "nipple" of the new filter. That will prevent it from binding when you insert it. Orient the nipple to match the location of the hole at the bottom of the filter housing and push the filter down until you feel the o-ring "snap" into place.
11. Replace the cap on the filter housing and tighten it (clockwise) with your hand to make sure it's not cross-threaded. When you're satisfied it's on correctly, put your wrench/socket on it and tighten to 35nm (about 25 ft/lbs).
12. If you've got surgeon-steady hands, you can now pour your 6qts of oil in the fill hole. Mere mortals, use a funnel.
13. Replace the oil fill cap and look under the car to make sure you don't have any obvious leaks.
14. Start the engine and let it IDLE (don't race it) for about a minute. Then turn it off and wait a couple of minutes. Now check the oil. It should be slightly below the Full mark on the stick. The actual capacity is slightly more than 6qts so the truly anal can open up another quart and put a tiny bit more in there.
15. Using your funnel (or your surgeon-steady hands), pour the used oil from your bucket into the container(s) that once held your new motor oil. Most gas stations or auto parts stores will accept used oil for recycling. When I had oil heat at home, I would just pour it into my 300gal heating oil tank. Don't just pour it into a drain or on the ground.
16. Look around the oil filter housing and under the car to make sure you're not leaking. If not, you can recycle that cardboard (or save it for next time) and get to work on your other "honey do's" for the day.
That's it. Links to pictures will come as soon as the moderator "approves them" in my member gallery. Since I do mostly highway driving these days, I plan to follow a 7500 mile oil change interval from here on out. You'll also want to keep receipts for your filter and oil just in case something happens to your engine while under warranty. That way, you can "prove" you did the oil changes. Make a note of the date and mileage. I just tore the top off the new filter box and wrote that stuff on the back. I stapled the receipts to it and tossed it into the glove compartment.
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