Is the oil easy to change on a Honda CR-V?

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Aug 20, 2003
My wife and I are thinking about purchasing a 2003 CR-V EX with the 2.4l 4 cylinder engine. I was wondering how hard it is to change the oil in this particular model?
Most service is easy on the Honda. Filter is hard to reach, on the back of the block. Not bad if it's not too tight. We have a 98 CR-V, they are popular on this Forum. Even the tranny service is DIY. I compare it to the Audi, where you need a special socket to drain the trans fluid, on the Honda, the drain bolt is 3/8" square, you don't even need a socket...the wrench goes right in!
Filter is very hard to get to on this engine.

Make sure you get a set of ramps and drain the oil when hot then WAIT for the engine to cool down and then tackle the filter. It's real close to hot parts on the rear of the engine.

Same problem with the

Take care, bill
My wife drives a 2002 CRV. As mentioned above, the oil filter is very hard to change. It will most certainly leak oil all over the drive axle rubber boot and other miscellaneous parts. You could get creative and try to stop the flow with baggies, but it never seems to be worth the extra time. I just mop it up the best I can and go from there.

We love our CRV. You should be real happy with it.

also there was a mention that the crvs could catch fire if an oil change was not performed properly. the main problem is that the oil filter is directly above the exhaust. so be sure to clean the exhaust really well.
imo, the trick is to have a box or milk crate to stand on to be able to reach behind and down.

also there was a mention that the crvs could catch fire if an oil change was not performed properly.

they found that some of the gaskets didn't come off the filter mount and two gaskets sandwiched together didn't make for a good seal.

to make getting the filter off easier, i just buy the advance auto easy grip filters or get a can of texture spray and spray the end of the filters before i use them.
never thought of texture spray. now you can have a pureone, k&n or a mobil 1 filter with the grippyness. im in heaven now.

edit: now you got me thinking. you could get some of that plastigrip stuff that you coat the handles of pliars and what not with and put sand in it, wonder if that would work. then just dip the end of the filter in and presto grippyness.

fyi: grippyness seems to be my new favorite word. ive been using it a lot in another filter thread on another forum.
What size engine is in the CR-V's?

On my 95 Accord (VTEC), I can drain the oil and wait 20 minutes or so, and take the filter off with NO oil dripping. The filter is installed horizontal.

I guess the ADBV is not working on the Purolator Premium plus filters?
the engine in the new crvs is a 2.4l engine. a little different than the hondas in the mid 90s but the filter is still horizontal. i cant remember if the 03s have the 2.4 or the 2.0 (or maybe it was a 2.2) but whichever engine it had it is a little different than the mid 90s honda engines. but the filter is still horizontal.
The filter is hard to get to but once you do it a few times it is not too long as you don't put the new filter on too tight. The mess is not really that difficult to clean up. I always get the oil hot before changing and have never burned myself but you might want to let it cool off before changing the filter the first time or two until you figure out the best way to reach it.
I used to drive Hondas, I hated that rear filter positioning, widowmakers ramping and accessing, burns hands in awkward positioning amd access to filter, my hands are large, very tough painful access burning and cutting skin. I drive my vehicles over a decade(s) and no one else changes oil in my vehicle, Oil Change accessibility and safety big issue for home OCI IMO.

I have Nissan's answer to the CRV, the Nissan X-Trail, may show up in the U.S. soon.

This machine is an OC dream, the filter sits right near the passenger front tire, a small flexible plastic cover comes off in about 4 seconds with a neat interlocking clip system much like the Altima, the filter is right there over 1 foot off ground tucked up, no obstruction, no crawling back of engine. Oil pan sitting pretty centered and high. Home OCI dream, no mess, fires, lots room and access, 100% safe.

neons are the same way cyprs. a dream to change oil on if you only have ramps or a jack
Do companies like Honda and yes Nissan too, (01 Altima 2.4 litre had filter high on back of engine too) purposely place thier filters in the most inconvient location back and high to discourage home Oil Changes by do it yourselfers like us, is this a ploy to get Hondas in Honda Dealership service bays?

Every Honda I and family have owned have/had difficult filter access. My sons 1992 1.9 litre Ford places the filter in back inconviently too.

I am stubborn, I will do my, families or friends OC no matter how difficult the OC, I dont believe I am alone. Why dont manufacturers bite the bullet and design filter location like the neon and X-trail & newer altima?

First thing I did when I saw the X-Trail first time was kneel down and lock for oil filter location and drain plug access/clearance. Made difference in my decision to buy that X-Trail, auto manufactures would be wise to consider this issue IMO.

Well, the Honda manual has a LOT of DIY info. The filter is not that hard either. The trans drain bolt is a 3/8" square, a socket wrench pops right in. Not too complicated.

You haven't ever changed the oil on a Chevy Vega/Chevette, I mean Trailblazer, with the I-6, have you??

I'd call the filter on the Honda VTECs a piece of cake.
i dont think the 4.2 filter is hard its just that you get messy really easy.

never knew the oil was hard to change on a 4 cyl vega, its not too bad on a vega with a v-8 (i drive one, a 10 sec one
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