Save Money!!! Why not do your own Oil-Change?

Snowblind

Well-Known Member
Alright, I put together some Pics for you to enjoy.
My Car is not the easiest Vehicle to work on, and when it comes to a simple Oil Change, I figured I'd give it a try.
I used to be a Mechanic back in the Days (80's) but I always had my Independent Mechanic down the Street do my Oil Changes. He works only on European Cars and I have done Business with him for years.
The Oil Change usually cost me $125.00 complete with him.
The Dealer charges $320.00. That's why we call him (St)ealer.
OK, so I figured, why not do it myself?
If I can do it on this (somewhat) complicated SUV, you can do it on your Toyota Camry or Prius as well for very little money.

Let's begin:
Jack up the Car, secure it with Jack-Stands.

/

20170909_142004.jpg



You'll need a creeper like this to easily move around under your Car.

20170909_142543.jpg


Now here comes the annoying Part:
My Car is covered with these huge Plastic Pans all over the place.
YMMV, ok?
You may not even have to get under the Car.
More about this later.
I would only have to remove the front one, but i removed both to inspect the entire Area for any oil leaks.
Like the @@@@@@, transfer case, etc.
Ok, moving on.

20170909_143056.jpg


Here is one of those under-carriage covers.
Moving on.

20170909_144015.jpg


Remove Engine Cover. (if you have one).
You may not have to this to access the Oil Filter or Oil Filter Housing if your Vehicle has it on the bottom.

Next Step:

20170909_144040.jpg


Here is my Oil Pan with the Drain plug.
You may notice the "Cover" around the Oil-pan like a dampening blanket.
They do this on Diesels to get the Sound down, quietening things.
I had to actually take a Razor-blade to open the access to the Drain plug some more, since there was very little room for a Wrench.

OK.
20170909_144608.jpg


This Container will catch all the Oil. Cheap at Amazon.com or other places.
Minimizes the Mess.
To be continued, since the Board won't let me upload any more images.
 
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Snowblind

Well-Known Member
Ok,
Here is where I un-screw the Oil filter.
In my Case, it is conveniently located right on top of the Engine, inside a Housing.
Your Filter may not even be inside a housing.
It may hang underneath you Engine (like so many chevys) or is mounted right pointing forward towards the Radiator.
(Many VW's)

20170909_150043_001.jpg


I use a cheap Oil Filter wrench, also available at Amazon.
You may also just use an old Belt, or a pair of pliers.

20170909_150309.jpg


I put some Rags around the area, to capture any Oil that may seep out.

20170909_150742.jpg


The important part is also to replace any O-Rings inside the Housing.
These usually come with your Filter Kit. Do make sure you replace them and pre-oil them before putting them into their place.

20170909_162202.jpg

New Filter installed, O-Rings in place, going back into the Oil Filter housing.

20170909_163056.jpg


My Diesel uses Mobile 1 0W-40 Mercedes Benz approved Oil, Mercedes is very very specific about what kind of Oil is to be approved.
Again, your Mileage may vary.
One Fun Fact:
I always thought that this Oil is always available at Costco at an unbeatable Price...guess what?

Walmart has it much cheaper.
They shipped it to my House at zero Shipping Charge.
 
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Snowblind

Well-Known Member
Fill it back up with fresh Oil, (after you secured the Drain plug, of course.

20170909_163311.jpg


Mine uses 8 Quarts of that good Stuff.

Wipe everything clean, while you're at it.
Check the Dip-stick, but remember your Car is jacked up and it may give you a wrong reading.
Better drop the Car off the Jacks and check again.
I usually drop the Car, start it up so that the Oil goes around and fills the Oil Filter housing, then check it again.
Top it off, if needed.

Engine Cover on, all good to go.

20170909_164317.jpg


What to do with the old Oil, you may ask?

Well, I live here in the beautiful City of Long Beach, I called the Recycle Department, and they sent me some nice Canisters and a plastic Bag for the Oil Filter for free.
On the next Trash and Recycle pickup, they will pick it up for free, supplying me with new Containers.

20170909_171003.jpg


OK,
So how much has all of this cost me?

Provided, you have the Tools, this thing cost me:

8 Quarts of Oil: $38.00 ( Top of the line synthetic Oil, YMMV)
Oil Filter: $6.99
Roll of Paper Towels: $2.50

Basically, I have performed an Oil Change on a Mercedes Benz for less than $50.00
I don't care if you have a Escalade, Surburban, BMW X5, Tahoe or whatever.
We all like to save Money, we all like to see how our Cars tick, get some Hands on, why don't you.

I hope you all enjoyed my little tutorial, I spent a good ....what hour on it including cleanup, whatever.
I love my Car, it is my Investment and am planning to keep it for a long Time.
Comment if you like,
Cheers!
 
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LAuberX

Well-Known Member
Moderator
rhino ramps.jpg


Great write up, pretty much like the oil change on my daughters 335i, Walmart for her german car approved synthetic oil, Amazon for oil filter kit and cap wrench for oil filter housing.

I like Rhino Ramps for d.i.y. oil changes, no jack or jack stands required.

Step one: take the oil filter cap housing loose until you can see the o-ring has cleared the threads, that lets the oil drain out of the filter housing, then drain the oil from below... otherwise you can leave dirty oil in the engine.

Always use a new drain plug (crush) washer and tighten it until it just "crushes" a bit... never re use the old drain plug washer.

Then install the new filter with a new o ring on the filter housing, don't over tighten the plastic cap...

Add the required amount of oil, check for leaks, drive 5,000 miles and repeat.

(ASE certified master technician with smog license, so take my .02 with a grain of salt)
 

Snowblind

Well-Known Member
Yes it is a good Idea to use a new Drain plug or even a new Gasket for it, (Copper or aluminum).
But my Kit didn't come with one.
Matter of fact, the way they change the Oil on my Car usually is performed with a Vacuum, that sucks it all out through the Oil Dipstick.
So that Drain plug has never been off.
I guess I am the first to ever pull that thing out.
And it was tight, I kid you not.
Mercedes does recommend that it will be ok to run it 10K, but hey....every 7500 miles will work for me.

Perhaps next Week I'll do a little write up about changing the Cabin Filters in your Cars, something mostly overlooked.
And the Pax will thank you for it.
Also, very cheaply done.
Stay tuned!
 

LAuberX

Well-Known Member
Moderator
I have a vacuum tank, I just don't trust it to get all the old dirty oil out... mostly I use it for other fluids.

I'm old school, and don't work on German cars every day... the Mann filter kit came with the filter o ring and drain plug gasket for her BMW.
 

bsliv

Well-Known Member
You saved between $75 and $270 for about an hours work. If you could net more than that driving in the same hour, you might want someone else to do it. :rolleyes: But by doing it yourself you know you used the type of oil and filter recommended. You'll also be more aware of potential issues like leaks, lose wires/hoses, etc. Using convention oil instead of synthetic would save more (not in a Mercedes or a lot of newer cars). Five quarts is more common than eight quartz too. I'd say that Mercedes is more involved than most cars. Both my current cars have hatches to access the filter from underneath. No need to remove the whole plastic piece. I've got the plastic piece on top of the engine too but there are cut outs for the dipstick and fill tube. No need to remove the whole plastic piece. So, most cars will be easier and cheaper.

Ramps are easier than jacks and stands. Until you want to rotate your tires.
 

tohunt4me

Well-Known Member
All of my cars
View attachment 156653

Great write up, pretty much like the oil change on my daughters 335i, Walmart for her german car approved synthetic oil, Amazon for oil filter kit and cap wrench for oil filter housing.

I like Rhino Ramps for d.i.y. oil changes, no jack or jack stands required.

Step one: take the oil filter cap housing loose until you can see the o-ring has cleared the threads, that lets the oil drain out of the filter housing, then drain the oil from below... otherwise you can leave dirty oil in the engine.

Always use a new drain plug (crush) washer and tighten it until it just "crushes" a bit... never re use the old drain plug washer.

Then install the new filter with a new o ring on the filter housing, don't over tighten the plastic cap...

Add the required amount of oil, check for leaks, drive 5,000 miles and repeat.

(ASE certified master technician with smog license, so take my .02 with a grain of salt)
I can reach the oil pan plug. From underneath. No jacks. No ramp. I use a catch pan that fits.
Usually loosen filter from up top under the hood.
 

pacifico

Active Member
Ok,
Here is where I un-screw the Oil filter.
In my Case, it is conveniently located right on top of the Engine, inside a Housing.
Your may not even be inside a housing.
It may hang underneath you Engine (like so many chevys) or is mounted right pointing forward towards the Radiator.
(Many VW's)

View attachment 156635

I use a cheap Oil Filter wrench, also available at Amazon.
You may also just use an old Belt, or a pair of pliers.

View attachment 156637

I put some Rags around the area, to capture any Oil that may seep out.

View attachment 156638

The important part is also to replace any O-Rings inside the Housing.
These usually come with your Filter Kit. Do make sure you replace them and pre-oil them before putting them into their place.

View attachment 156639
New Filter installed, O-Rings in place, going back into the Oil Filter housing.

View attachment 156640

My Diesel uses Mobile 1 0W-40 Mercedes Benz approved Oil, Mercedes is very very specific about what kind of Oil is to be approved.
Again, your Mileage may vary.
One Fun Fact:
I always thought that this Oil is always available at Costco at an unbeatable Price...guess what?

Walmart has it much cheaper.
They shipped it to my House at zero Shipping Charge.
thanks for sharing, also important is you know exactly what you pour in your engine, even if you trust someone down the street does not mean its always fair, you will be fair with yourself doing things in your own car :smiles:
 

Snowblind

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the Comments, Folks, appreciate it very much.
As LAuberX and bsliv already mentioned, I will definitely look into those Ramps.
To raise it up with the Floor jack, then securing the Car with those Stands seems not the way to go.
And that Car is heavy, Jeeez. Today I'll have to do it again, because I got two of those Cars.:mad:
 

Snowblind

Well-Known Member
LAuberX , I followed your Advice and (almost) bought those Rhino Ramps.
Then, I started reading the Reviews, and they aren't pretty.
Unless you have a small Car like a Prius or the like, I won't recommend using them:

collopast.JPG

or:

collopas11t.JPG


Maybe I'll go with some of those aluminum built Ramps.
Or, just build my own out of 2x8's.

I think I found what I need:

aRamp.JPG


Craigslist Ad:

I offered him $200, since Walmart has them for $280 or so.
They look more "trusty" than those plastic ramps.
:smiles:
 

pacifico

Active Member
LAuberX , I followed your Advice and (almost) bought those Rhino Ramps.
Then, I started reading the Reviews, and they aren't pretty.
Unless you have a small Car like a Prius or the like, I won't recommend using them:

View attachment 156847
or:

View attachment 156848

Maybe I'll go with some of those aluminum built Ramps.
Or, just build my own out of 2x8's.

I think I found what I need:

View attachment 156853

Craigslist Ad:

I offered him $200, since Walmart has them for $280 or so.
They look more "trusty" than those plastic ramps.
:smiles:
oops, chinese made ramps? , I don't trust made in china stands neither, thinking about doing some on wood :smiles:
 

bsliv

Well-Known Member
LAuberX , I followed your Advice and (almost) bought those Rhino Ramps.
Then, I started reading the Reviews, and they aren't pretty.
Unless you have a small Car like a Prius or the like, I won't recommend using them:

View attachment 156847
or:

View attachment 156848

Maybe I'll go with some of those aluminum built Ramps.
Or, just build my own out of 2x8's.

I think I found what I need:

View attachment 156853

Craigslist Ad:

I offered him $200, since Walmart has them for $280 or so.
They look more "trusty" than those plastic ramps.
:smiles:

I got some plastic ramps from Hazard Fraught (harbor freight), $38. They work fine on my 2800 lb car. But I don't trust them alone. I wedge jack stands under the car anyway. For the really cheap among us, skip the ramps. Get a floor jack and stands. I can recommend a Hazard Fraught floor jack, the low profile, 3 ton, with rapid pump. It goes on sale for $70. Sears sells the same jack for > $200. Never go under it w/o stands, tho. A lot of cars have pinch welds along the edge. Several companies sell pinch weld adapter plates. Its similar to a hockey puck with a slice down the middle. It prevents the welded area from crumpling under the weight of the car. I use the adapter on the jack, lift both side tires off the ground at once. Lower the car on to the stands. The stands go at the jack points for the anemic scissor jack. With 4 stands, one could get all the wheels off the ground at once. Easy to rotate the tires that way. An electric impact wrench makes it easy to get the lug nuts off too.
 

Snowblind

Well-Known Member
bsliv , I got a 7T Floor jack, and all the Stands I need.
The Car Weight is 4974 lbs. Just awkward to move the Jack around, placing the Jack stands...
A Car Ramp makes much more sense to me.
ROFL for "Hazard Fraught", I almost fell off my Chair!
 

Snowblind

Well-Known Member
Good for you, yojimboguy .
My Tire rotation is free, since I got my Tires from a great Tire Shop around the corner.
They want me to bring it in every 5K Miles.
I usually bring them Doughnuts.:wink:

Also, they fix any problems with the Tires (Nail, leak, etc.) as long as I own the Tires.
I think it's called Road hazard Insurance.
I bring my Car to the Dealership only for Warranty Stuff. I purchased the extended 3-year/100000 mile warranty and it has already paid for itself.
Last month I had an Oil leak on the Turbo and the Headlights turned somewhat yellow.
They replaced the Headlights and fixed the Turbo.
Estimated Cost for that Repair = $7500+.
:smiles:
 

EcoboostMKS

Well-Known Member
LAuberX , I followed your Advice and (almost) bought those Rhino Ramps.
Then, I started reading the Reviews, and they aren't pretty.
Unless you have a small Car like a Prius or the like, I won't recommend using them:

I've used rhino ramps on SUV's forever and have never had a single issue with them. I don't know what the people in those pictures did to destroy those ramps, but they did something wrong. My guess is they didn't run their car up evenly and all the weight was on one side of the ramp. Rhino ramps are a very safe way to elevate a SUV. They're probably the single most used ramp in the auto industry and have been around forever. They're rated for like 12,000 pounds - that's more than enough for a SUV.

Looking at that picture of the collapsed ramp again and look what that moron has those ramps on. He's got them on a gravel driveway. That's pure stupidity. Of course they're not going to be balanced on something like that and will be a lot more prone to fail. Use them on a paved driveway or in your garage and you'll never have anything to worry about. A pair of rhino ramps will last you a decade plus.
 

LAuberX

Well-Known Member
Moderator
LAuberX , I followed your Advice and (almost) bought those Rhino Ramps.
Then, I started reading the Reviews, and they aren't pretty.
Unless you have a small Car like a Prius or the like, I won't recommend using them:

View attachment 156847
or:

View attachment 156848

Maybe I'll go with some of those aluminum built Ramps.
Or, just build my own out of 2x8's.

I think I found what I need:

View attachment 156853

Craigslist Ad:

I offered him $200, since Walmart has them for $280 or so.
They look more "trusty" than those plastic ramps.
:smiles:

I use them on a regular basis with my Yukon, it's hard to make a product idiot proof as the pictures show.....

Good for you, yojimboguy .
My Tire rotation is free, since I got my Tires from a great Tire Shop around the corner.
They want me to bring it in every 5K Miles.
I usually bring them Doughnuts.:wink:

Also, they fix any problems with the Tires (Nail, leak, etc.) as long as I own the Tires.
I think it's called Road hazard Insurance.
I bring my Car to the Dealership only for Warranty Stuff. I purchased the extended 3-year/100000 mile warranty and it has already paid for itself.
Last month I had an Oil leak on the Turbo and the Headlights turned somewhat yellow.
They replaced the Headlights and fixed the Turbo.
Estimated Cost for that Repair = $7500+.
:smiles:

The oil leak issues and the sensitive emissions system are what keeps me from a diesel GL or ML... the engine/trans are strong otherwise.
 
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