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My 1st oil change experience (long)

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Old 07-03-04, 05:01 PM   #1
lexusk8
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Smile My 1st oil change experience (long)

I actually have been reading up on past informative oil change threads from CL and LOC, as well as edmunds.com and a couple other car-related sites. I know it sounds like a lot of research for what's supposed to be a 30-min oil change deal, but I wanted to make sure I got the know-how and all the right tools for the oil change.

Today was a perfect day to do the oil change in the parking lot of my condo complex. Great sunny weather, and hardly any wind and pollen floating around. Got the ES up on a set of Rhino ramps I bought from Sears (they were on sale). Then I positioned myself underneath the front of the car and located the oil drain plug (14mm hex nut w/ washer). I had to make sure it was indeed the oil nut, and NOT the transmission plug which is the same size. Plus, the oil nut feels hotter to the touch than the tranny nut.

After resting some old newspapers and a 3-qt plastic container underneath the drain plug (I have several other containers with me), I then began to loosen the 14mm bolt. It was VERY difficult to loosen at first since it was locked TIGHT in there (another element to remember when having your oil change done by a service technician who torques every fastener in the car) Eventually I got the nut to loosen, and almost immediately the oil started gushing out like a natural waterfall. I did not have the container positioned correctly, so I made a little bit of mess with the oil all over the newspapers and the ground I got myself under control after getting all the old oil out and cleaning up the oiled newspapers, and putting the drain plug back into place.

Next comes the oil filter. As mentioned from steviej's thread here, the filter is located in front and underneath the exhaust manifold. It's imperative that you need to wear a long-sleeved shirt and some protective gloves when handling the oil filter, as the manifold and other metal parts can easily burn your arm(s). I took the old oil filter out with a swivel filter wrench (costs about $6 from Advance Auto). Again, my container wasn't in the correct position when catching the oil from the old filter, so another lesson to learn

Once all that's done, now comes the easy part of putting in the new filter and oil in there. For my '01 ES, I ended up getting the American-made Toyota OEM filter (08922-02011). Previously I had been using the Thailand-made Toyota filter (90915-YZZD1) from the dealership. I guess it doesn't make too much of a difference as far as which filter to use, as long as it's a Toyota. For the oil, I purchased a 5-qt. container of Mobil-1 10W-30 synthetic. This will be my first experience with synthetic oil, and considering the high mileage in my car, I think it deserves the synth oil.

Before putting the new filter in, I coated the rubber gasket with the new oil, and screwed the filter in hand-tight (no need for the wrench). New oil in, all parts and tools cleared out, started up the car and letting it idle for 3 min. Checked the dipstick, and the level sits right at the "full" mark. Drove the car around for a little bit, and no warning signs or anything.

Not bad for my first DIY experience for the oil change

I decided not to take any pics of the oil change process since I figured most people here have a good idea of how the process goes.
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Old 07-03-04, 05:33 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your first do-it-yourself oil and filter change.

Now that you did it don't you feel a great sense of achievement?

I changed the oil in my '94ES from the time it was new(after the first free dealer changes) until I traded it in, and I did it, not to save bucks but I knew that when I did it, I did it right!! It makes you wonder why dealers charge so much for this operation.

As far as spilling the oil, you should treat yourself to a big catch pan that you can buy at almost any auto supply store.......this way you don't have to be so accurate when placing the pan while draining the old oil.

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Old 07-03-04, 05:50 PM   #3
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good job dude. btw, everyone gets messy on their first time. this is just a learning experience.
i changed my oil the other day with mobil 1 (3 quarts of full synthetic, 2 quarts part synthetic) and my car feels like it picks up better than before. another thing to do when changing oil is to buy atleast 2-3 extra quarts of cheap stuff and dump it in there after the old oil has drained out and let it rinse out the bottom of the pan. you dont have to do this, but i do.
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Old 07-03-04, 06:11 PM   #4
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Rewarding to keep the $$ in your pocket and feel the accomplishment of a DIY job.
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Old 07-03-04, 08:20 PM   #5
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way to go Doug!

just a word of caution, don't be surprised if for the first week you see little drips of oil on the ground where you park. I trust your description in that it was done right, so the plug and the oil filter are not leaking.

The drops of oil will be coming from the oil that exited the oil filter when it was removed. The placement of this filter is to say the least, not well thought. The oil that did flow done the side of the block and along the splash guard and cross member will drip for a few days.

The first time I saw it, I got that tight fist in the gut feeling. But you will see it will subside and then not be there anymore after about a week. You could also hit is with a hose to help wash it off or go through a touchless car wash that has an undercarriage sprayer.

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Old 07-03-04, 08:35 PM   #6
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Well done Doug! I had the same thing steviej mentioned after my last oil change. My mechanic didn't clean things off properly & that's exactly what happened. I just checked everything was tight and wiped off the spillage......as steviej said, just something to keep in the back of your mind afterwards.
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Old 07-04-04, 02:38 AM   #7
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Congrats doug.

1. When taking off the oil filter, you can use something like a kitchen mit cuz yeah, it gets hardcore hot down there.

2. If you find it hard to take off the drain plug, either get a bigger wrench/ratchet. or go out and buy a piece of metal piping that you can put on the end of the ratchet to make it long. Longer ratchet gives you more torque.

3. Speaking of torque, you dont want to over tighten that plug because you can strip it. or even damage the oil pan.

4. Once you've taken off the oil filter. put it somewhere to drain, but first you gotta punch a hole it in it so it can drain easier. Either use a nail or an actual punch. If you're really into your car, you should cut open the filter and grab the actual filter material and examine it... see how well your engine is doing.

Again, congrats doug.
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Old 07-04-04, 04:50 AM   #8
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Is the Fram oil and oil filters good for our cars? What brands u guys use?I ain't gonna buy a TRD filter.Too $$$$$
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Old 07-04-04, 07:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lexus007
Is the Fram oil and oil filters good for our cars? What brands u guys use?I ain't gonna buy a TRD filter.Too $$$$$
If you want a quality filter at a reasonable price, stick with Toyota OEMs. They're about $6 from the Toyota parts dept (or cheaper if you go to http://www.irontoad.com).
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Old 07-04-04, 08:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: My 1st oil change experience (long)

Quote:
Originally posted by lexusk8
For the oil, I purchased a 5-qt. container of Mobil-1 10W-30 synthetic. This will be my first experience with synthetic oil, and considering the high mileage in my car, I think it deserves the synth oil.

[/I]
Great job. One concern though, how many miles do you have on your car? Synthetic switch over is not recommended on cars with higher mileage. You will experience more gasket leaks down the road unfortunately.
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Old 07-04-04, 03:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by lexusk8
If you want a quality filter at a reasonable price, stick with Toyota OEMs. They're about $6 from the Toyota parts dept (or cheaper if you go to http://www.irontoad.com).
cool thanx bro.
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Old 07-04-04, 04:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by flipside909
Synthetic switch over is not recommended on cars with higher mileage. You will experience more gasket leaks down the road unfortunately.
Where exactly did you get this source of info?? I have never heard of this piece of info before And in case you haven't realized, it's a total MYTH that it's not recommended to switch to synthetic at any time in the car's life. As an example, Valvoline makes a synthetic powered motor oil designed for vehicles w/ over 75K miles, so it's OK to go synthetic any point (esp. when the car feels a bit sluggish). I'm sure a lot of people on this board can back this up.

I have also read up that if a gasket leaks when using synthetic, it is perfectly OK to go back to dino oil. Oil drain plug gasket is cheap ($1 or less) and easy to replace
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Old 07-04-04, 11:56 PM   #13
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doug

congrats never took for a DIYselfer

i think my GS needs an oil change

bring tools to the BBQ
lol

congrats man whats next timing belt,engine swap


your the best doug

johnny


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Old 07-05-04, 07:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by T.L.W.
doug

congrats never took for a DIYselfer

i think my GS needs an oil change

bring tools to the BBQ
lol

congrats man whats next timing belt,engine swap


your the best doug

johnny


LOL thanks Johnny boy! I've surprised you a lot lately, haven't I? I guess it may have something to do with my poker face I have already done the 90K service a while ago (incl. the timing belt), but a 2JZ engine swap may be in the works j/k
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Old 07-05-04, 08:02 PM   #15
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Hi Doug,

Congrats on your first oil change. As for switching back and forth between dino and synthetic, you are correct, I can attest to it. As some of you know I have over 224,000 miles on my car and I have switched to synthetic and experienced no problems, I've even had a engine/motor flush and my ES runs so much smoother. As far as the maintenence history of my ES, I change my oil every 5,000 miles, do the other required maintenance and so far so good. I am confident that I can go another 224,000 miles. When do, I will let all you guys/gals know. Peace.

Last edited by Trexus; 03-22-05 at 05:34 PM.
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